Nov. 27, 2011
Los Angeles, Calif. - Chandler Hoffman scored two goals on the night and Victor Chavez added another as the 13th-seeded UCLA men's soccer team cruised to a 3-0 victory over Rutgers to advance to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the third straight year.
Just 41 seconds into the match, Hoffman gave the Bruins the early 1-0 lead after taking a cross in the box from Patrick Matchett and scoring near post for his 17th goal of the season. Rutgers looked to score the equalizer in the 10th minute when midfielder Sam Archer took a hard, lining shot from the top of the box that deflected off a player and in on net. But Bruin goalkeeper Brian Rowe was there to make the diving stop to keep the game at 1-0. In the 44th minute, UCLA would get a crucial insurance goal as Kelyn Rowe one-timed a shot from the left side of the box that Rutgers' keeper Kevin McMullen stopped. But the rebound came back to Victor Chavez who promptly put it in the back of the net to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead going into halftime.
The Bruins refused to back off of the attack in the second half, and picked up another goal in the 49th minute when Chandler Hoffman converted his second goal of the game off of a cross by Kelyn Rowe to the far side of the box. Hoffman's 18 goals this year are the most by a UCLA player since Joe-Max Moore had 18 back in 1991, and his 40 points are the most by a Bruin player since Seth George had 42 in 1997. The Scarlet Knights began to push everyone forward as the game went on and in the 67th minute saw a chance when Bryant Knibbs put a shot on goal from the left side of the penalty box. But again, Brian Rowe was there to make a nice diving save to preserve the shutout. In the 84th minute, Rutgers freshman midfielder Nathan Bruccoleri was handed a red card for a foul on Kelyn Rowe and the Scarlet Knights went a man down. From there, the Bruins were content to keep possession and run out the clock as they cruised to the 3-0 victory over Rutgers.
Overall, the Bruins outshot the Scarlet Knights 12-11 in the match. This was also UCLA's seventh straight shutout of the opposition, which is just one shutout shy of tying the school record for consecutive games without allowing a goal. The Bruins have not allowed a goal in 646 consecutive minutes dating back to October. Brian Rowe made three saves on the night and earned his 11th shutout of the season while Kelyn Rowe and Ryan Hollingshead each had two assists in the match as well.
With the win, the Bruins improved to 17-4-1 on the season and advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals, where they will face the Louisville Cardinals for the second time this season on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 4 pm PT in Louisville, Ky. The match will be a rematch of last year's Quarterfinal matchup, where the Cardinals defeated the Bruins 5-4 to advance to the College Cup. Louisville also defeated UCLA 2-0 in the season opener for both teams this year.
"We feel like we've gotten better since that first game at Louisville," Head Coach Jorge Salcedo said. "Fast-forward to where we are at now and we're a much better team that is equipped to go on the road. We keep the ball, we possess the ball and we plan to go and play and get a result there. We absolutely are going to try and go play our game and see who's the better team on the night."