Nov. 1, 2012
Los Angeles, Calif. - Senior midfielder Fernando Monge scored a golden goal in the 103rd minute to give the fourth-ranked UCLA men's soccer team a thrilling 2-1 double-overtime victory over Stanford on Thursday night.
The win moved the Bruins to 12-2-2 on the year and 7-1-0 in Pac-12 play. UCLA now just needs three points in its final two matches to clinch the Pac-12 crown and could win the conference title with a win on Sunday. With the loss, Stanford fell to 7-8-1 on the year and now sits at 3-4-1 in the conference.
As has been the trend this lately, the Bruins yet again found an early goal when Victor Chavez put one in the back of the net in the 16th minute. The play started when sophomore Leo Stolz sent a corner kick into the box to junior Joe Sofia, who headed the cross on net. Stanford keeper Drew Hutchins saved Sofia's shot, but the rebound came to Chavez who chipped it past Hutchins to give UCLA an early 1-0 lead.
Down a goal, the Cardinal pushed forward looking for the equalizer and saw a chance in the 39th minute, when junior JJ Koval headed a corner kick on net. But UCLA keeper Earl Edwards was in perfect position and made the save to deny to Koval. From there, neither side saw another scoring chance and the Bruins went into the locker room up 1-0.
In the second half, Stanford continued to push men forward and finally got the equalizer in the 73rd minute, when Koval controlled took the ball after it was headed away from the goal and fired one to the near post to level the match at 1-1. The Cardinal kept the intensity up and kept looking for the go-ahead score, but Edwards was fantastic down the stretch, denying Stanford with three key saves to keep the match tied. Neither side found the back of the net for the rest of regulation and the match went to overtime with teams deadlocked at 1-1.
In overtime, the Bruins regained the majority of possession and saw some golden chances near the end of the period. In the 99th minute, senior captain Ryan Hollingshead made a beautiful move to get around a Stanford defender and tried to curl one to the far post. But Hutchins was quick off his line and made a tough diving save to deny Hollingshead of the game-winner. Shortly thereafter, sophomore Reed McKenna, who had just entered the match, had a chance when he out-jumped the Cardinal defense and headed a Stolz corner kick to the far post. But his attempt went wide and the first overtime period ended with the teams still tied.
Finally in the 103rd minute, UCLA got the game-winner from Monge after he took a great long ball from senior Chris Cummings on the left side and shot one that hit the crossbar and went in, handing the Bruins a big 2-1 victory that keeps them in control of their destiny in the Pac-12.
Overall, the shots were fairly even with Stanford edging the Bruins by a 13-11 mark. Edwards made seven saves on the night in what was a terrific performance from the sophomore keeper. Hutchins had four saves for the Cardinal.
"Tonight's match was not a great team performance by us," head coach Jorge Salcedo said after the match. "I attribute our performance to fatigue after playing our third match in seven days. Stanford was rested and is very difficult to play against and we didn't have a good game in terms of possession or really being good on the ball. But at the end of the day, we got the result we needed to continue to control our destiny in the Pac-12 Conference and we are really looking forward to Sunday."
UCLA (12-2-2, 7-1-0 Pac-12) will be back out on the pitch on Sunday, Nov. 4 to take on the California Golden Bears (8-6-2, 3-4-1 Pac-12) at 5 pm out at Drake Stadium. The match will be nationally televised live by the Pac-12 Networks.