Sept. 2, 2012
Charlottesville, Va. - With just one minute left in the first overtime, junior defender Joe Sofia scored a golden goal to give the 11th-ranked UCLA men's soccer team a 1-0 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers.
With the win, the Bruins improved to 1-1-1 on the season while the loss dropped the Cavaliers to 1-2-0.
The Bruins came out on the offensive early on and saw a golden opportunity in the 4th minute when Leo Stolz got the ball on the right side of the box and fired a low lining shot towards the far post. Virginia keeper Spencer LaCivita made a diving save though to keep Stolz from scoring his first UCLA goal. UCLA didn't let up though, and in the 15th minute Ryan Hollingshead almost scored off of a nice header from a Stolz free kick. But again LaCivita made the save to keep the Bruins off the board.
The match slowed down for awhile after that until the 38th minute, when Cavalier forward Will Bates almost scored after breaking away from the UCLA defense in the box. Senior Chris Cummings made a great recovery though and was able to deflect Bates' shot off the crossbar to keep the match scoreless. Towards the end of the first half, freshman goalkeeper Juan Cervantes, making just his second career start, came up huge for the Bruins making two great diving stops on a Darius Madison shot in the 43rd minute and a Scott Thomsen shot in the 45th minute to keep the match tied at 0-0 going into halftime.
Cervantes would come up huge again for the Bruins at the start of the second half when Madison found himself on a one-on-one breakaway in the 50th minute. With Madison bearing down, Cervantes came off his line and closed down the angle, eventually blocking Madison's shot away from danger. Neither side saw a serious scoring chance again until the 79th minute, when Hollingshead took a nice through ball in the box and attempted to curl a shot far post. But his shot went wide and the match stayed tied. It would stay tied for the rest of regulation and the two schools went to overtime.
Much of the first overtime was played in the midfield until the 99th minute, when junior forward Victor Chavez helped earn the Bruins a corner kick. Stolz played the corner into the box and after the ball was played towards the net, a rebound came back to Sofia. Sofia then one-timed the ball into the corner of the near post to secure the win for UCLA.
Overall, the Bruins outshot the Cavaliers 14-8 in the match, including 11-3 in the second half and overtime session. They were also able to dominate possession for most of the match. Cervantes made three saves in just over 99 minutes of play to earn his first career shutout.
"We are pleased with the result of the game," head coach Jorge Salcedo said after the match. "To get two results on the weekend is a tribute to our guys and their commitment. We are looking forward to continuing to develop our group and getting ourselves ready for next weekend."
UCLA (1-1-1) will return home next weekend to square off against Tulsa on Friday, Sept. 7 at 4:30 pm and UC Irvine on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 2:30 pm. Both matches will be played at Drake Stadium and will be broadcast live by the Pac-12 Networks.