Aug. 24, 2012
Los Angeles, Calif. - In a wild and highly competitive contest from start to finish, the UCLA men's soccer team got goals from seniors Ryan Hollingshead and Evan Raynr, but it wasn't enough as the second-ranked Bruins fell to No. 6 New Mexico 3-2 in the season opener.
UCLA had a couple of chances early on in the match, most notably in the seventh minute, when sophomore Leo Stolz unleashed a hard shot on net from the top of the box. But New Mexico goalkeeper Patrick Poblete made a great diving stop to deny Stolz. A few minutes later, Raynr found himself on the edge of the box and put a shot on net towards the far post, but Poblete again came up with the save.
New Mexico came back in the 15th minute with a golden opportunity when midfielder Michael Calderon found himself alone with Bruin goalkeeper Earl Edwards. Edwards charged out to meet the ball and Calderon attempted a chip over Edwards towards the far post that went just wide, keeping the match level at 0-0.
The Bruins finally came through in the 43rd minute when Hollingshead scored his first goal of the year off a header in the box. Junior Reed Williams sent a cross in from the end line and Hollingshead finished it with a beautiful header far post to give UCLA a 1-0 lead going into the half.
UCLA almost made it 2-0 at the start of the second half when Raynr again put a shot towards the far post that was saved by Poblete. The rebound came to Hollingshead, who turned and fired on net and was again denied by Poblete. Finally, a third rebound came to senior Fernando Monge but his header hit the crossbar and the Bruins were denied.
A crazy few minutes ensued after that, starting with an injury to Edwards that forced UCLA to put freshman Juan Cervantes in goal in the 53rd minute. Just a few minutes later, the Lobos evened the match at 1-1 with a header from senior Devon Sandoval in the 57th minute. Edwards came back in the match after the goal, but New Mexico then made it 2-1 in the 60th minute when Edwards got caught out of the goal and senior Blake Smith scored into an empty net. But the scoring wasn't done, as the Bruins responded just a minute later with a beautiful header from Raynr off a free kick from Stolz to tie the match again at 2-2.
Both sides traded possession for awhile before New Mexico eventually took the lead on Sandoval's second goal of the match in the 75th minute. Smith took the ball to the left side of the box and then crossed it to the middle where Sandoval flicked the ball into the net to put the Lobos on top. Down a goal, the Bruins fought hard and with just seconds remaining on the clock almost tied the match again when Monge headed a Matt Wiet throw-in on goal. But Poblete made another diving save to keep the Bruins out of the net and secure the victory for the Lobos.
Overall, UCLA outshot New Mexico 13-5 in the match. Edwards made two saves in 86 minutes of play for the Bruins while Poblete made five saves for the Lobos.
UCLA (0-1-0) will travel east next week to take on ACC powers Maryland and Virginia. The Bruins will face Maryland on Friday, Aug. 31 at 4:30 pm PT in a match that will be nationally televised live by ESPN3.com. They will then take on Virginia on Sunday, Sept. 2 at 4 pm PT.