The 11th-ranked UCLA men’s soccer team picked up a huge road win on Sunday night, beating the third-ranked Cal State Northridge Matadors, 4-2, at Matador Soccer Field. Junior Leo Stolz and senior Victor Chavez each scored two goals for the Bruins in the victory.
The first half started with a flurry, though neither side could find the back of the net in the early going. In the ninth minute, junior keeper Earl Edwards Jr. came up big for the Bruins, making a nice save on an Edwin Rivas shot to deny Northridge a goal and keep the match scoreless. Each side continued to trade possession and generate some chances until the 44th minute, when UCLA broke the scoreless tie with a goal. Senior Reed Williams was fouled in the box, handing the Bruins a penalty kick. Stolz stepped up to take it for UCLA and he would go on to bury the kick to put the Bruins ahead, 1-0, just before the halftime whistle.
The Bruins took that momentum into the start of the second half, quickly going up by two goals just five minutes into the half. In the 51st minute, senior Ryan Lee sent a great cross into the box to Chavez, who flicked a header over Northridge keeper Adam Hobbs and into an open net for his second goal of the year. The Matadors would respond a couple of minutes later, getting a header goal from Beto Velasquez to cut the Bruins’ lead to 2-1.
The next 20 minutes went without a goal, but UCLA came back in the 74th minute and got a crucial insurance goal from Stolz. Senior Max Estrada came out of a scrum with the ball and passed it back to Stolz, who put a shot on goal at Hobbs that initially looked to be a save. But Hobbs couldn't get a handle on it and the ball slipped underneath him, trickling into the net to make it 3-1 Bruins. Chavez would put the final touches on UCLA’s victory in the 85th minute, finishing with a wonderful strike after a great pass in the box from freshman Felix Vobejda to give UCLA a commanding 4-1 lead.
Cal State Northridge would get one goal back in the 88th minute when Azulay Yarden beat Edwards to make it 4-2 Bruins, but that would be all the Matadors would get and UCLA went on to claim the 4-2 victory.
Overall, the Bruins converted on four of their 11 shots in the match while Edwards made four saves on the night to pick up his fourth win of the year. With his two goals, Stolz now leads the Bruins with four goals and nine points on the season.
"Tonight was a great team performance coupled with a few fantastic individual performances," head coach Jorge Salcedo stated after the match. "Both Leo Stolz and Victor Chavez showed their attacking quality by scoring two goals each. I am proud of the guys and look forward to building upon this win against a very high quality opponent in Cal State Northridge."UCLA (4-2-1) returns home this week to play its final nonconference match of the year, taking on UC Riverside (5-0-2) on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m.