The sixth-ranked UCLA men’s soccer team fell to the Cal Poly Mustangs, 3-0, in the 2013 home opener on Thursday night.
The Bruins dropped to 1-1-1 on the year while Cal Poly improved to 2-1-0.
Cal Poly struck first in the 11th minute to take an early 1-0 lead. The Mustangs got the goal when Kip Colvey took a free kick from the top of the box that went off the wall. Steve Palacios collected the rebound off of the free kick and then put a shot on net that UCLA keeper Earl Edwards Jr. was able to save. However, the rebound off of the shot came right to Chase Minter, who finished into the empty net for the goal.
The Mustangs then made it 2-0 in the 25th minute when John Chronopoulos crossed the ball into the middle of the box. Mackenzie Pridham picked up the cross and found himself all alone in front of goal. He then slotted the ball past Edwards to put the Mustangs ahead by two.
The Bruins’ only serious chance of the half came in the 27th minute, when senior Victor Munoz put a great shot on goal towards the far post from 15 yards out. Cal Poly keeper Wade Hamilton made a nice diving save though to deny Munoz of a goal and allow the Mustangs to take their 2-0 lead to the half.
At the start of the second half, freshman Nathan Smith had a chance to cut into Cal Poly’s lead, taking a great cross from senior Reed Williams by the far post. He took a touch and fired the ball towards goal, but it sailed high. Then in the 63rd minute, the Bruins were dealt a huge blow when freshman Michael Amick was handed a red card for a foul on a player just outside the box, sending UCLA down to 10 men. It would be too much to overcome for UCLA, and eventually the Mustangs increased their lead to three when Chris Bernardi scored on a breakaway in the 84th minute, giving Cal Poly a 3-0 lead. The 3-0 lead would hold up for the final six minutes and the Mustangs went on to take the match.
Overall, Cal Poly outshot the Bruins, 14-9, while both keepers made three saves.
“Tonight was a poor performance by our team,” head coach Jorge Salcedo said after the match. “We have some work to do and we’ll continue to work to try and improve and have the right mentality for next week.”
UCLA (1-1-1) will continue its homestand next weekend as they take on Southern California rivals UC Santa Barbara (2-0-0) on Friday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m., before facing San Diego (0-1-0) on Sunday, Sept. 15 at 4 p.m. Both matches will be played at Drake Stadium and televised live by the Pac-12 Networks.