UCLA Ties Rutgers, 1-1
Oct. 4, 2002
PISCATAWAY, NJ - No. 6 UCLA played No. 13 Rutgers to a 1-1 tie in the nightcap of the Philips/adidas Soccer Classic in front of 3,048 fans. Senior forward Tim Pierce netted his sixth goal of the season in the 60th minute, but Rutgers junior Josh Gros scored his first career goal with just over two minutes remaining in the regulation.
Both teams used an aggressive attack in the opening half and were rewarded with strong scoring chances. The Bruins nearly took an early lead in the 23rd minute, but goalkeeper Ricky Zinter made a diving save on a shot by freshman midfielder Jordan Harvey. Less than a minute later, UCLA came close again, as Scot Thompson's header caromed off the cross-bar. Rutgers' best chance came 20:28 into the game, when Chris Karcz's header sailed wide off a feed from Wes Kirk.
Pierce broke the tie in the 60th minute, taking a long feed from Matt Taylor for his fourth goal in two games. The Bruins held the lead until the 88th minute, when Guy Abrahamson broke free on the left side of the box and blasted a shot from 10 yards out. Bruin keeper Zach Wells made the save but could not clear it, and Gros swooped in a corralled the loose ball, flicking it into the far corner to tie the match at the 87:57 mark.
In the overtime period, the senior duo of Abrahamson and Zinter led the way, as Rutgers' defense stopped a resilient UCLA attack. Zinter made a remarkable diving save on a shot by sophomore Mike Enfield in the first overtime, and then, with just 1:10 left to play in the second OT period, Zinter punched away an eight-yard blast from Adolfo Gregorio from point-blank range.
UCLA held a 22-20 edge in shots, as well as a 7-5 advantage in corner kicks. Both goalkeepers turned away eight shots.
The Bruins (5-1-1) will next face top-ranked St. John's in the final day of the Classic, on Sunday, Oct. 6 at 1:00 pm ET. St. John's defeated Old Dominion earlier, 4-0. Rutgers (3-2-3) will face Old Dominion.