One shot on goal.
That's all it took to end the Bruins' pursuit of an undefeated season, and of the pursuit of the program's second national title.
Both dreams were killed by one shot on target in the first half of a home playoff game – that and the seven saves that kept them from ever pulling even or taking a much-needed late lead.
No. 2 seed UCLA women's soccer (16-1-3, 8-0-3 Pac-12) fell to UC Irvine (15-5-0, 8-2-0 Big West) in the first round of the NCAA tournament Friday night by a score of 1-0. The Bruins were hosting the match at Wallis Annenberg Stadium, but they got stuck with their first loss of the season at the worst possible time, with no cushion or wiggle room to speak of.
UCLA didn't have far to go to pack their bags and head home for the season, and now they'll have to watch the next five round of the tournament from their couches despite the record-breaking performances they strung together for the past two months.
The undefeated regular season started with a home game against the Anteaters, and now it ends the same way. The only difference is that instead of winning 3-0, the Bruins never got on the board and lost 1-0.
Midfielder Destinee Manzo sent a pass to Alyssa Moore deep in the box, and Moore converted it for the goal in the 14th minute. From that point on, the Anteaters didn't send one more shot senior goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy's way.
Brzykcy didn't have a chance to redeem herself, and she finished the match without a single save for just the third time this season.
Her counterpart in the other net, Glo Hinojosa, had plenty of chances to turns shots away, and that's exactly what she did at each and every opportunity.
Hinojosa made seven saves, starting with one in the 20th minute and another in the 33rd. The goalkeeper turned away all five shots on net UCLA sent her way in the second half, and also got the benefit of another couple shots hitting the woodwork.
Graduate midfielder Olivia Athens had a few late chances to extend her collegiate career, but a UC Irvine defender cleared out her shot in the 57th minute and her attempt in the 76th went off the crossbar. Junior forward Mia Fishel and sophomore forward Reilyn Turner, two of the Pac-12's leading goal scorers, took a combined four shots, but only one even ended up on target and none ended up in the goal.
On the night, UCLA attempted 19 shots with eight on net, while UC Irvine took four with just the one on target – the one that went in and ultimately ended UCLA's season.
It was just the second time all season that the Bruins were unable to find the back of the net, and they were averaging 2.1 goals a night heading into Friday's match.
UCLA had made it to the Round of 16 in eight of the last nine NCAA tournaments.