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Pac-12 Conference

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of Champions

The best goals from opening weekend of Pac-12 women's soccer

Aug 22, 2023
Karlie Lema
Photo of Karlie Lema courtesy of Cal Athletics

Women's soccer kicked off the 2023-23 college sports season this past weekend. We saw a handful of Pac-12 teams earn their first win and, to celebrate, we're highlighting some of the best goals from opening weekend. 

Grayson Lynch, Washington State at Texas A&M

The Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week helped push her team to a win in College Station. She had already cashed in a penalty chance early in the game, but the Cougars found themselves searching for the game-winner with less than 12 minutes left. Lynch rushed down the left side and Margie Detrizio gave her a perfect ball. Lynch froze the keeper and put her shot away into the back of the net for Washington State's 3-2 win. 

Keri Matthews, Arizona State vs. Wright State

The Sun Devils needed a striker to step up this season after the program's all-time scoring leader Nicole Douglas was drafted by the NWSL's Washington Spirit after last season. Junior Keri Matthews, who hails from England like Douglas, seemed best suited to take that role. She made an early impression in the season opener with a brace. Her second goal was a stunner.  

Karlie Lema, California at North Carolina

Scoring in Chapel Hill is an accolade by itself. Karlie Lema's equalizer against second-ranked North Carolina was a thing of beauty. The Golden Bears were working the long ball, Lema timed her run perfectly. Malia McMahon's pass set up Lema for a 1-on-1 opportunity against Tar Heels keeper Emmie Allen. Lema made a great move to her left and had a wide open net in front of her. 

Kennedy Wesley, Stanford vs. San Diego

Wesley has played four seasons at Stanford and has a national championship to her name. However, she had never scored a goal in a Cardin uniform until the season opener. The fifth-year defender dribbled down the right side of the pitch and let a ball fly from outside of the box for Stanford's first goal of the season and Wesley's first goal in 80 games played. 

Joelle Jung, Stanford at UC Irvine

Joelle Jung also scored her first goal in her Stanford career, but it came in her second career game. And it was clutch. After falling behind early, the Cardinal tied the game at one but were in a deadlock for most of the contest. That was until Jung got an opportunity and placed it into the top right of the goal for the eventual game-winner. 

Bella Woods, Utah at NC State

The Utes desperately needed a goal against NC State, trailing late in the second half. Bella Woods took her chance for the equalizer and it paid off. The Wolfpack were unable to clear the ball as it rolled to Woods about 30 yards out from net. She couldn't have rolled the ball better if she tried, getting past a diving keeper in Utah's season-opening draw

Katie O'Kane, Utah at College of Charleston

Katie O'Kane took advantage of the awarded free kick. Straight on and right outside of the box, O'Kane couldn't have scripted a better chance. She capitalized with a strike to the bottom left corner that the keeper had no shot keeping out.

Jadyn Holdenried, Washington at Idaho

The freshman didn't care about the traffic in front of her, she was scoring. Radisson Banks set Holdenried in the center of the pitch and the she found enough space through three Idaho defenders for the go-ahead score. 

Ally Cook, UCLA vs. Georgia

Georgia learned the hard way that you can't give the reigning national champions too many chances. As the Bulldogs struggled to end the Bruins' attack, All-Pac-12 honoree Ally Cook found the ball in her possesion in the box. She created enough cushion to her right before putting UCLA up two goals with a beautiful finish.

Bonus: Oregon State's Hailey Colli's game-sealing save at San Francisco

Somehow, this wasn't a goal. San Francisco was awarded a penalty with less than two minutes left in the match. Colli dove to her right, getting a hand on the ball to secure Oregon State's 1-0 win to start the season.