Dec. 3, 2011
Louisville, Ky. - In a tightly contested match that went back and forth all night, the 13th-seeded UCLA men's soccer team got a golden goal from sophomore Reed Williams in the 102nd minute to send the Bruins to their first College Cup since 2006.
This is the 13th time in UCLA's history that they will be appearing the College Cup. This year, the College Cup will be played in Hoover, Ala., which happens to be the hometown of junior forward Chandler Hoffman. This is also the second time in head coach Jorge Salcedo's tenure that the Bruins have made the College Cup.
In the 14th minute, the Bruins almost went ahead 1-0 when Joe Sofia threw the ball into the box and Fernando Monge put a header on net. But Louisville keeper Andre Boudreaux made a diving save and the Cardinals cleared the ball off the line to keep it at 0-0. Just two minutes later, Louisville had a chance to go ahead when forward Colin Rolfe made a nice move in the box and took a hard shot from close range that sailed high of the net, leaving the game tied. Monge had another chance in the 22nd minute when he took a cross in the box and headed it towards goal. But like Rolfe, his shot went high. Neither side would generate a serious scoring chance for the rest of the half and the two sides went into to the locker room deadlocked at 0-0.
At the start of the second half, Rolfe almost put the Cardinals ahead again in the 48th minute when he fought off two UCLA defenders and slid and put the ball past Brian Rowe. But the ball trickled inches wide of the net and the game remained scoreless. Louisville again kept the pressure on and in the 66th minute midfielder Ryan Smith caught Rowe off his line and attempted to put a shot on net. But he mishit the ball and it went out of bounds for a UCLA goal kick. Eder Arreola saw a golden chance in the 75th minute when he put a low lining shot on net towards the far post. However, Boudreaux made a nice diving save to prevent the goal. In the 85th minute, Rolfe was at it again and blasted a shot on net from the top of the box. But Rowe made a big save to keep the game scoreless. After 90 minutes of play the game remained scoreless and the teams would go into overtime.
The two teams could not find the back of the net in the first overtime despite UCLA dominating most of the possession. Finally in the 102nd minute, Reed Williams put the Bruins ahead for good as he took a cross in the middle of the box from Patrick Matchett and shot a low liner that hit the far post and went in. It was Williams' first goal of the season and his second career goal in the NCAA Tournament.
Overall, the Bruins outshot the Cardinals 17-12 in the match. This was also UCLA's eighth straight shutout of the opposition, which ties a school record that was set by the 1977 squad. Rowe made three saves on the night and earned his 12th shutout of the season. In addition, the Bruins have not allowed a goal in 748 consecutive minutes dating back to October.
With the win, the Bruins improved to 18-4-1 on the season will face the top-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels in the College Cup Semifinals.