The ninth-ranked UCLA men’s soccer team kicked off the 2013 season with a scoreless draw against seventh-ranked Notre Dame in the opening match of the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington, Ind. today.
The match was the season opener for both teams as they both start out the 2013 campaign at 0-0-1. UCLA is now 15-0-4 in its last 19 road/neutral site matches.
Both sides had their chances in the first half, but neither one could find the back of the net. In the 13th minute, Patrick Hodan took a free kick for the Irish that found its way on net, but UCLA goalie Earl Edwards Jr. made the save and the rebound shot from Vince Cicciarelli went wide. Seven minutes later, freshman Nathan Smith almost put the Bruins ahead with a shot off of a corner kick from senior Victor Munoz. His shot would hit the crossbar though and skipped away from danger.
After a scoreless first half, Notre Dame came out and immediately put two shots on goal. Edwards stopped them both though to preserve the 0-0 tie. In the 55th minute, freshman Brian Iloski put a shot on net, but Notre Dame keeper Patrick Wall made the save. Neither side found a serious scoring chance again until the 84th minute, when Cicciarelli’s took a shot that got past Edwards. The ball hit off the post though and the match remained tied at 0-0.
In extra time, freshman Kevin De La Torre put a shot on goal in the first overtime that was saved by Wall, but that would prove to be the only real chance for either team and the match ended in a scoreless draw.
Edwards was superb in goal for the Bruins, earning his fifth career shutout while making five saves. The Bruin defense also did a great job of continually forcing Notre Dame offsides, drawing eight offsides in the match from the Fighting Irish. Finally, UCLA became the first team in 24 matches to shut out Notre Dame.
“The game this afternoon was a hard fought match between two good teams,” head coach Jorge Salcedo said. “Both sides had some moments and created some chances. We had to dig deep and grind through some tough elements and I am proud of our effort. This weekend is a great test for our guys and it will be another battle on Sunday versus IU.”UCLA (0-0-1) will conclude the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic on Sunday against top-ranked Indiana at 11 am PT. The match will be televised live by the Big Ten Network.