Oct. 5, 2012
Los Angeles, Calif. - The fifth-ranked UCLA men's soccer team upped their conference winning streak to 16 matches as they defeated the Oregon State Beavers, 1-0, to move to 3-0 in conference play. Victor Chavez scored the only goal of the match for the Bruins in the 64th minute.
The first half was a quiet one with each side seeing limited scoring chances. The best chance of the half came in the second minute, when junior Reed Williams found himself alone in the box with a chance to head a long throw-in on net. However, his header went high and out of play for a goal kick. From there, neither side found the back of the net and the schools went into the half tied at 0-0.
In the second half, UCLA came out much more aggressive and was able to control possession for much of the half. Then in the 64th minute, Chavez broke the scoreless tie when he fired one from the right side of the box to the far post for his second goal of the year. Seniors Evan Raynr and Chris Cummings earned the assists on the play.
The Bruins continued to look for that insurance goal and almost got it from Raynr in the 72nd minute. Raynr took a cross on the right side of the box and weaved his way to the middle until he was right in front of Oregon State keeper Matt Bersano. His shot sailed high though for a goal kick. Fernando Monge then saw an opportunity when he ran down the left side and attempted a chip to far post in the 79th minute. The ball beat Bersano, but bounced wide and out of play. From there the Bruins were able to make Chavez's goal hold up and took home the 1-0 victory over the Beavers.
Overall, UCLA outshot Oregon State 14-9 in the match. Sophomore goalie Earl Edwards made four saves to earn his third shutout of the year, including two big ones on a Josh Smith header in the 75th minute and another header by Brenden Anderson in the 86th minute to preserve the win for the Bruins. The back line of Cummings, Matt Wiet, Joe Sofia and Grady Howe had a great performance as well to earn the team's fifth shutout of 2012. In addition, the match proved to be a physical contest with three yellow cards being handed out, all to Oregon State players.
As mentioned above, the win was UCLA's 16th straight victory in Pac-12 play, just four shy of the record 20 wins set from 1995-1997. The Bruins are also unbeaten in their last 10 matches and have won four straight, improving their record to 8-1-2 overall. UCLA currently sits atop the standings in the Pac-12 with their 3-0 conference record.
"Today's game was a tale of two halves," head coach Jorge Salcedo stated. "We got off to a decent start to begin the first half, but as the half wore on we were too stagnant and we weren't good enough on the ball. At halftime we made some adjustments and our mentality and our approach had to be better and I think it was. I think we got the reward we deserved for our second half performance and we were unlucky to maybe not score more than one goal. Overall, the guys did a good job to fight through having a poor performance in the first half and having a good one in the second half."
The Bruins will return to the pitch on Monday, Oct. 8 at 7 pm to face the Washington Huskies (6-3-1, 1-0-0 Pac-12) out at Drake Stadium. The match will be nationally broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks.