LOS ANGELES (Friday, March 16, 2018) – Utah Royals FC closed out its inaugural preseason road trip with a 4-1 victory over the UCLA Bruins in Westwood. Early goals from FW Brittany Ratcliffe and MF Diana Matheson gave the claret-and-Cobalt side a 2-0 halftime lead, while second-half goals from substitutes FW Maegan Kelly and MF Erika Tymrak finished off the home-standing NCAA elite as the NWSL’s newest team looks ahead to its historic first-ever regular season game at Orlando next Saturday (5:30p MT; local TV, streaming, radio TBA).
The game opened up quickly for the side led by Utah Royals FC Head Coach Laura Harvey after FW Brittany Ratcliffe scored the first goal in the 10th minute, finding the back of the net with a far-post shot from the top of the eighteen yard box. A volley swung in from a wide area off the foot of tireless MF Gunny Jonsdottir allowed Ratcliffe to run into the area and beat the UCLA keeper.
Just 17 minutes later, Utah Royals FC added a second goal, this time through a penalty kick, scored by MF Diana Matheson. Ratcliffe received the ball in the box with her back to goal, prompting the official’s whistle following a push in the back by a UCLA player. Matheson capitalized on the penalty, cooly placing the ball low and past the outstretched netminder.
The Royals FC team continued to maintain its shape and push the midfield play throughout the second half, creating ample opportunities on goal. FW Maegan Kelly found the back of the net in the 55th minute to extend the lead to 3-0, just seven minutes after subbing into the match. Kelly took advantage of a loose ball bouncing in the box following a saved Lo LaBonta shot.
The Bruins responded late in the match, with FW Delanie Sheehan, receiving a corner kick at the top of the box, nailing a low shot to the side-netting in the 81st minute for UCLA.
A phenomenal team goal determined the final margin in the 88th minute, as MF Alexa Newfield began a sequence that saw movement from FW Katie Stengel pull defenders wide, opening space for Jonsdottir to set up Erika Tymrak, who turned from the top of the box and kissed the ball off the left post and in.
UP NEXT: Utah Royals FC will head to Orlando to play against the Pride in the NWSL season opener next Saturday, March 24.
URFC – Brittany Ratcliffe, (Gunnhildur Jonsdottir) 10th minute: MF Gunnhildur Jonsdottir was able to get her foot on a volley, sending the ball deep into UCLA’s box. After deflecting off the foot of another UCLA player, FW Brittany Ratcliffe received the ball at the top of the box, took a touch wide, and shot the ball to the far post for the game’s first goal.
URFC – Diana Matheson, 27th minute: FW Brittany Ratcliffe received the ball in the box with her back to goal, prompting a foul from the UCLA defensive line. MF Diana Matheson stepped up to take the penalty kick, slotting it into the back of the net.
URFC – Maegan Kelly, (Gunnhildur Jonsdottir) 62nd minute: A URFC corner kick left the ball bouncing around the box, with players from both sides attempting to get a foot on the ball. MFGunnhildur Jonsdottir got a poke on the ball, sending FW Maegan Kelly running forward to get a stretching touch up and over UCLA’s keeper.
UCLA - Delanie Sheehan, 81st minute: FW Delanie Sheehan also scored on a corner kick, trapping the ball at the top of the box, and shooting across her body into the left side-netting.
URFC - Erika Tymrak, (Gunnhildur Jonsdottir) 88th minute: MF Gunnhildur Jonsdottir found herself with the ball in the center of the pitch, where she then passed to MF Erika Tymrak in front of the frame. Tymrak turned on her first touch and was able to find her shot, registering the final goal of the match.
Match: Utah Royals FC vs. UCLA
Date: March 16, 2018
Venue: Frank Marshal Field
Weather: Cloudy with sun and 58 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Utah Royals FC 2 2 4
UCLA 0 1 1
URFC – Brittany Ratcliffe (Gunnhildur Jonsdottir) 10’
URFC – Diana Matheson (pen.) 27’
URFC – Maegan Kelly, 62’
UCLA - Delanie Sheehan, 81’
URFC - Erika Tymrak (Gunnhildur Jonsdottir) 88’
Utah Royals FC: Abby Smith (Nicole Barnhart, 72’), Becky Sauerbrunn (Sydney Miramontez, 38’), Rachel Corsie (Taylor Isom, 72’), Becca Moros (Kendall Johnson, 72’), Kelley O’Hara (Brooke Elby, 24’), Desiree Scott (Alexa Newfield, 68’), Katie Bowen (Lo’eau LaBonta, 46’), Gunnhildur Jonsdottir, Diana Matheson (Erika Tymrak, 62’), Taylor Lytle (Katie Stengel, 46’), Brittany Ratcliffe (Maegan Kelly, 55’)
Subs not used: EJ Proctor
UCLA: Lauren Brzykcy, Ashley Sanchez, Kennedy Faulknor, Anika Rodriguez, Karina Rodriguez, Julia Hernandez, Viviana Villacorta, Delanie Sheehan, Maddi Desiano, Jessie Fleming, Marley Canales.
Referee: Israel Fernandez
Assistant Referees: Anthony Almeida, Osvaldo Delgado-Landeros