Sept. 15, 2006
Los Angeles, Calif. - The 16th-ranked UCLA men's soccer team won its third consecutive game, defeating seventh-ranked Santa Clara by a 2-1 score in front of 1,265 at Drake Stadium. Maxwell Griffin and Jason Leopoldo scored 19 seconds apart in the second half to give the Bruins an advantage they would not relinquish.
While Santa Clara had more shots in the game, the Bruins made better use of their opportunities. At 66:36, Greg Folk got ahead of his defender and sent a shot from the left side that hit the post. Griffin followed up on the rebound, and his shot cleared the line to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. Just 19 seconds later, UCLA struck again when Griffin sent a through ball to Leopoldo, who scored his first collegiate goal with an eight-yard shot that beat Santa Clara goalkeeper Joseph Buttita. Griffin, UCLA's leading scorer with nine points, has recorded three goals and one assist in his last three games.
UCLA goalkeeper Eric Reed was masterful in goal, making a career-high seven saves on 18 Santa Clara shots. Reed's only blemish came in the waning moments of the game. After the referee stopped the clock to allow a Santa Clara corner kick with six seconds remaining, Keith DeVey netted Amaechi Igwe's kick for the late goal.
Both teams attacked right from the get-go. Peter Lowry took a shot for Santa Clara that was blocked just a minute and 25 seconds into the contest. At 5:33, after a series of seamless passes from Bruin midfielders Kyle Nakazawa and Sal Zizzo, Leopoldo sent in a shot that was saved at the left post by Buttita. In the ninth minute, Igwe sent a shot from the left side to the near post, but Reed grabbed it just before it crossed the plane of the goal. Santa Clara forward Brian Martin had a shot hit the post at 19:50, but Reed gobbled up the rebound before any Broncos could get to it. Reed had three huge saves in the half, including a leaping save on an Igwe header in the 32nd minute.
UCLA, who has now played five ranked opponents, improves to 3-2-1 on the year. The Bruins handed Santa Clara its first loss of the season, and the Broncos drop to 4-1-1. UCLA will next host No. 8 San Francisco on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 1 pm.