Nov. 19, 2006
Los Angeles, Calif. - The eighth-seeded UCLA men's soccer team advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals after a 3-0 shutout victory over ninth-seeded Clemson in third round action Sunday evening. Freshman forward David Estrada scored two goals, and sophomore midfielder Sal Zizzo continued his post-season tear, contributing to all three goals.
Much like the Bruins' second round win over Harvard, UCLA got off to a quick start, with Zizzo as the offensive catalyst. In the 11th minute, Zizzo broke free and took a shot in the box that was saved by Clemson goalkeeper Phil Marfuggi. Estrada ran into the box to collect the rebound and followed through with his ninth goal of the year. Zizzo scored a goal of his own in the 25th minute. The Bruins earned a free kick after a foul, and freshman midfielder Kyle Nakazawa sent in a perfect cross into the box to Zizzo, who sent a diving header past Marfuggi for his third post-season goal of the year.
The Bruins kept Clemson on its toes for much of the game, peppering the Tiger defense with 13 shots, eight of which were on goal. Zizzo, Estrada and Jason Leopoldo combined on all eight shots on goal.
Clemson had a chance to pull to within one in the 58th minute when a Frederico Moojen shot went in for an apparent goal, but just before his shot went off, Moojen was whistled for a foul, thus disallowing the goal. The Tigers had another good opportunity in the 76th minute on a Mark Buchholz free kick, but it was deflected right into the waiting arms of Bruin goalkeeper Eric Reed. A minute later, Hector Quintanar had a header in the box headed out by UCLA defender Brad Rusin for a team save.
Clemson's chances of cutting the score in half decreased in the 84th minute when leading scorer Dane Richards was red-carded after a vicious foul on Leopoldo, leaving the Tigers a man down. The Bruins took full advantage, scoring a third goal with 41 seconds to play. Zizzo once again started the play with a long run down the right sideline. He passed to Estrada up front, and the freshman juked two defenders three times before unleashing a shot near post for his second goal of the game and his 10th of the season.
"They were pushing up, and I was able to make a deep run, and Estrada followed up in the middle and made a great finish," said Zizzo.
Estrada credited Zizzo, saying, "Both goals were practically Sal's. I credit him for every goal I've scored because he just puts them there and I just finish them."
Bruin goalkeeper Eric Reed recorded his second-straight shutout with a strong game between the pipes. He had two saves in the contest. Marfuggi had four saves for Clemson.
"They are by far the most technical team we have played this year," said Clemson head coach Trevor Adair. "We knew they liked to move the ball around. We just couldn't stay with them. The kids fought hard, but the breaks just didn't fall our way. I give credit to UCLA. They are the best team we have played this year. Anybody that plays them is going to have a hard time."
"The guys have responded so well to the changes we've made," said UCLA head coach Jorge Salcedo. "This is literally the third game that we've played with this lineup, with Kyle Nakazawa up front. They're jelling well. David (Estrada) and Kyle are jelling well together and are obviously holding balls for us, being goal-dangerous, scoring goals. I couldn't be happier with what's happening right now with our front-runners."
The Bruins (12-5-4) will travel to Durham, NC to take on top-seeded Duke (18-3-1) in the quarterfinals on Sunday, Nov. 26 at 1 pm ET. The winner of that game will move on to the College Cup, which will take place in St. Louis, Mo. on Dec. 1 & 3.