In a match that went back-and-forth all afternoon, the 14th-ranked UCLA men’s soccer team was able to earn its second win of the weekend, defeating the San Diego Toreros, 3-2, in overtime on Sunday afternoon at Drake Stadium.
The Bruins got the game-winning goal when a San Diego defender committed an own goal by sliding and kicking the ball into an open net. The Toreros dropped to 1-3-1 with the loss while UCLA improved to 3-1-1 with the win.
The match started out a little slow, with neither side seeing any serious chances for the first 20 minutes. However, things picked up just a few minutes later, as San Diego was awarded a penalty kick in the 27th minute. Senior Patrick Matchett fouled a Torero player in the box, allowing Connor Brandt to step up and take the kick for San Diego. Brandt would convert and the Bruins found themselves in an early 1-0 hole.
UCLA picked up the pressure though and would respond in the 38th minute, getting the equalizer from junior Leo Stolz. The play started when freshman Felix Vobejda dribbled through the midfield, setting up Stolz with a great chip into the box. Stolz took a touch and slotted the ball past San Diego keeper Michael D’Arrigo, tying things at 1-1. The Bruins were not done with the scoring in the first half either, getting another goal just before halftime to give themselves a one goal advantage. This time it would be freshman Brian Iloski, who converted on a great give-and-go in the box with Stolz to make it 2-1 UCLA.
The Bruins kept their intensity up at the start of the second half, getting a couple of shots on goal from Vobejda and senior Max Estrada. D’Arrigo was there to save both shots though and keep the match at 2-1. In the 55th minute, senior Victor Chavez had a golden chance to put UCLA ahead by two, taking a cross in the box and firing a shot that got past D’Arrigo, who had run out of the net to meet the ball. His shot would be stopped though as San Diego’s Parker Price was able to get a foot on the ball and clear it off the line.
The Toreros would find the tying goal in the 67th minute, as Price headed home a corner kick from Turner to level the match at 2-2. Things went back-and-forth for the final 20 minutes, as both sides continued to look for the go-ahead goal. In the 87th minute, sophomore Jordan Vale almost put the Bruins ahead for good as he took a fantastic cross from senior Reed Williams at the far post, chipping a shot on net. The ball beat D’Arrigo but clanged off the inside of the crossbar and away from danger, sending the match into overtime.
The Bruins dominated the majority of possession in overtime, and again almost ended the match when Williams controlled the ball in the box and took a shot towards the far post. The ball went just wide though and out of play. Finally, UCLA did find that winning goal when Stolz found himself on a breakaway off of a counter-attack. With a two-on-one situation, he attempted to cross the ball to a streaking Chavez to the far post. The ball got past a diving D’Arrigo, but a San Diego defender, who was running to get back, slid and kicked the ball into the net for an own goal, giving UCLA the 3-2 win.
Overall, the Bruins outshot the Toreros, 15-8, while keeper Earl Edwards Jr. made two saves to pick up his third win of the year.
“We ended the weekend with our second victory and today we saw the potential of the team,” head coach Jorge Salcedo stated after the match. “Our first two goals were great combinations and good finishes and were just two great team goals. Ultimately, we were maybe a bit fortunate to score the way we did in overtime, but I believe we deserved to win the game and that’s what we did.”
UCLA (3-1-1) will hit the road next week, taking on UC Irvine on Thursday, Sept. 19 before heading to the valley to face Cal State Northridge on Sunday, Sept. 22. Both matches will be at 7 p.m.Watch UCLA's first two goals of the match