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Laguna Beach High alumna helps UCLA women’s soccer win national title

Reilyn Turner, shown competing for Laguna Beach against Paloma Valley in 2018, helped UCLA win the national title on Monday.
Reilyn Turner, shown competing for Laguna Beach against Paloma Valley in 2018, helped UCLA win the national title on Monday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)
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Reilyn Turner scored the goal of her life on Monday night, at a time when the UCLA women’s soccer team needed it most.

The Laguna Beach High alumna leaped for a header at the back post off a corner kick and put it in, tying the NCAA College Cup championship match at 2-2 in the 90th minute.

The goal with 16 seconds left forced overtime, and the Bruins got the go-ahead rebound goal from graduate midfielder Maricarmen Reyes in double overtime in a 3-2 victory in Cary, N.C.

Top-seeded UCLA (22-2-1) won its second national title after earning a furious comeback win against No. 2 North Carolina (20-5-1). Turner, a junior forward who scored in both of the Bruins’ College Cup wins, was named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the tournament.

Her goal in the final helped UCLA become the first team to rally from two goals down to win the College Cup title. It came off a corner kick from Ally Lemos.

“With this team, you can never, ever, ever give up,” Turner told reporters in a post-match press conference. “We will always come back, have each other’s back and work until the last second of the game ... I kept looking at the clock and I’m like, ‘Give me the ball, play it in.’

“I knew we had numbers in the box, and [it was] just doing anything I could just to get something on it. I blinked, and the ball was in the goal.”

Turner, the 2017-18 Daily Pilot Dream Team Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year as a sophomore at Laguna Beach, finished the season with 11 goals for UCLA. That tied her for the team lead, and she also had three assists.

Reyes, who plays for the Mexico women’s national team, is originally from Santa Ana and played one year at Segerstrom High.

UCLA, led by first-year head coach Margueritte Aozasa, also featured Costa Mesa native Faith Nguyen (sophomore goalkeeper), Marina High graduate Sofia Cook (freshman midfielder) and Corona del Mar native Jen Alvarado (junior midfielder) on its roster. Cook substituted in to play 25 minutes in the final.

The national title was the 120th NCAA team championship overall for UCLA, which trails only Stanford with 131.

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