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Gage Zerboni (Photo by Don Liebig)
No. 5 UCLA and Oregon State Play to a 1-1 Draw
By: UCLA Athletics

Freshman Gage Zerboni scored his first collegiate goal with just under two minutes to play in regulation as the fifth-ranked UCLA men’s soccer team earned a 1-1 draw with the Oregon State Beavers.

The Bruins are now 7-3-2 on the year and 2-1-1 in Pac-12 play. Oregon State moved to 7-5-1 overall and 0-3-1 in conference play with the draw.

UCLA dominated possession in the early going, continually keeping the ball in the Oregon State half of the pitch. Senior Victor Munoz and sophomore Jordan Vale came up with the best chances in the first 15 minutes, both just narrowly missing the goal on long-range attempts.

The match slowed down a bit from there as neither side could generate much of a chance for the rest of the half. The back line of Ryan Lee, Michael Amick, Joe Sofia and Patrick Matchett did a good job of keeping the pressure off of keeper Earl Edwards Jr. and the two sides went into the locker room tied at 0-0.

The first 25 minutes of the second half played out much like the first half, with UCLA controlling the majority of possession and neither keeper being seriously tested. Then in the 73rd minute, Oregon State took the lead when Devonte Small stole the ball from junior Leo Stolz and sent a long ball to Chance Bergen, who broke away from the UCLA defense before beating Edwards to the far post for a goal.

The Bruins continued to push forward and had two great opportunities off of set pieces in the 80th and 82nd minutes. The first chance came when Munoz swung the ball into the box to Vale, who got a touch on it but was unable to put the ball in the back of the net. Then two minutes later, Munoz sent another great ball into the box to a wide open Chavez, who slid but sent his shot high, keeping the match at 1-0 in Oregon State's favor.

Things looked bleak for the Bruins, but as has been the case for the past few weeks, UCLA found another clutch goal in the waning minutes to tie the match at 1-1. This time the goal would come from Zerboni, who gathered the ball after a scramble in the box and buried a shot far post to level the match and send it into overtime.

In the first overtime period, UCLA kept the pressure on and was able to create a multitude of chances. Sophomore Javan Torre had a great opportunity in the 97th minute, taking a cross at the far post and volleying a shot on goal. However, Oregon State goalie Matt Bersano was there to make the save. Then just a few seconds later, Stolz found himself at the top of the box and uncorked another shot on net. Once again though Bersano was quick off his line and made a nice leaping save. Stolz would have another chance in the 100th minute as he again attempted a twisting shot that found its way on goal, but for the third time in the period Bersano made the save to keep the match tied.

The second overtime proved to have a flurry of chances for both sides. A minute into the second extra period, junior Aaron Simmons headed a corner kick on net that was stopped by Bersano and then cleared off the line by the Oregon State defense. Two minutes later, Borce Atanasov almost ended the match for the Beavers when he one-timed a cross from the box on goal. Edwards made a terrific diving stop though to prevent the goal and maintain the tie. Oregon State had another chance with under a minute to go when Atanasov again pushed forward and chipped a shot on net. Edwards again came up with the save though and the follow up shot was blocked by the Bruin defense before time ran out on the match.

Overall, UCLA dominated the majority of possession and outshot the Beavers, 25-12. Edwards made seven saves in the match while Bersano made nine for the Beavers.

“Today’s match was definitely not the result we were looking for,” head coach Jorge Salcedo said. “Oregon State was difficult to break down because they defended well in their half of the field the whole game. Unfortunately it took a goal that made us have to press and find a way to tie the game, but credit to our guys for being able to do that. We will continue to be better in the final third and find a way to be a little bit more decisive with our play with all of the possession we have. We are committed to continuing to find a way to be rewarded for our possession and we’ll work towards getting it right for Monday night against Washington.”

UCLA (7-3-2, 2-1-1) will take part in a big road test on Monday night, squaring off with the third-ranked Washington Huskies (10-0-3, 3-0-1) at 7 p.m. in a big Pac-12 showdown. The match will be televised live by the Pac-12 Networks.

Watch Gage Zerboni's Game-Tying Goal in the 88th Minute

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