Hoffman's Hat Trick Leads Bruins to 3-2 Comeback Victory over UCSB

Sept. 16, 2011

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Los Angeles, Calif. - Junior forward Chandler Hoffman scored a hat trick and tied a UCLA record by scoring at least one goal in five consecutive games as the No. 16 UCLA men's soccer team defeated No. 6/9 UC Santa Barbara 3-2.

The game from start to finish had a quick pace and the Bruins saw a golden opportunity in the 6th minute when Ryan Hollingshead took a long ball up the sideline and crossed into the box to Chandler Hoffman. But Hoffman's shot went just inches wide and UCLA was denied the lead. UC Santa Barbara countered and had a great opportunity to score as well when Luis Silva put a shot on goal from the right edge of the box. However, Brian Rowe made a nice diving save to preserve the tie. In the 28th minute, the Gauchos were on the attack when Santa Barbara forward Sam Garza put in a low, twisting shot on net. But yet again Brian Rowe made a fantastic diving save to deny the Gauchos.

Santa Barbara would score the first goal of the match in the 35th minute, as midfielder James Kiffe dribbled the ball into the middle and curled a shot past Rowe from the top of the box to put the Gauchos up 1-0. Evan Raynr had a chance to equalize before the end of the half, but his shot from the right side of the box went wide and UCSB went into the half with a 1-0 lead.

At the start of the second half, the Gauchos almost made it 2-0 when David Opoku found himself one-on-one with Rowe. Opoku put a hard, close range shot on net but Rowe stopped it once again and kept the deficit at one. The Bruins immediately countered and Chandler Hoffman tied the game at 1-1 after getting a pass from Kelyn Rowe in the box and putting it past Grandt with his right foot. It was the fifth consecutive game that Hoffman has scored a goal for the Bruins, tying a school record held by Joe Max-Moore and Billy Thompson.

In the 67th minute, the Bruins took a 2-1 lead on yet another goal by Hoffman, as he took a corner kick from Kelyn Rowe and fired it past Grandt with a beautiful right-footed volley. Chandler would get the hat trick just minutes later in the 70th minute, as he sent a pass to the wing to Victor Chavez who returned a beautiful cross to Hoffman on the far post. Chandler tapped the volley into the near post and gave UCLA a 3-1 lead. Hoffman now has an astounding seven goals in his last five games and 13 goals in his last 12 games.

In the 73rd minute, Santa Barbara earned a penalty kick off a Bruin foul in the box and Sam Garza stepped up for the Gauchos and put it into the net to cut the lead to 3-2. The high octane play continued a minute later, as Eder Arreola found himself alone one-on-one in the box with the keeper. But his shot went just wide of the near post and the score remained 3-2. Once again UCLA had a chance to get that insurance goal in the 81st minute, when Arreola crossed one into the box to a wide open Zack Foxhoven. Foxhoven got a left foot on it but it went wide again. For the last 10 minutes, the Bruins did a great job of keeping possession and kept the Gauchos from getting any serious chances as they held on for the 3-2 victory.

Overall, the Bruins outshot the Gauchos 16-14 and goalkeeper Brian Rowe came up big for the Bruins with six saves on the evening.

UCLA improves to 3-2-1 on the year and will travel down to San Diego to take on the San Diego Toreros on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 5 pm.

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