UCLA Defeats Loyola Marymount, 4-2, In NCAA Second Round
Nov. 27, 2002
Los Angeles, CA - UCLA scored two goals off set pieces, and junior midfielder Adolfo Gregorio (Hilmar, CA/Hilmar HS) scored two goals of his own and added an assist to lead UCLA to a 4-2 victory over Loyola Marymount in an NCAA second round game at UCLA's Drake Stadium.
UCLA forward Cliff McKinley put the Bruins on the scoreboard first in the 14th minute. The Bruins earned a free kick outside the box after Mike Enfield was fouled. Jimmy Frazelle tapped the free kick to McKinley, who fired a rocket to the high right corner past LMU keeper Adam Sthay. The Lions equalized just four minutes later when Matt Kovar took a cross from Arturo Torres on the left side and chipped it to Kevin Novak, who slotted it past UCLA goalie Zach Wells from five yards out. Aaron Lopez put the Bruins ahead again in the 41st minute when he headed in a free kick from Gregorio.
'Once we scored, I was pretty confident, as was the rest of the team,' said Kovar. 'But then they came back and scored, and it was tough from there.'
Shortly after halftime, Gregorio gave the Bruins some cushion with an unassisted goal at 49:31. Gregorio dribbled down the right side and kicked in a shot from 30 yards out to bring the score to 3-1. The goal would prove to be valuable, as LMU cut the lead to 3-2 with a Kovar goal at the 70th minute.
However, Gregorio put the game away in the 83rd minute with a goal off a Frazelle assist.
'UCLA played a great game. We played a great game. The difference was Gregorio 3, LMU 2,' said Lion head coach Paul Krumpe. 'He was phenomenal. It's difficult to beat a team with players like him. Unfortunately, we didn't play as well in this match-up.'
Wells made two saves on LMU's nine shots, while Sthay made four saves on UCLA's 13 shots.
'We were obviously excited to play LMU today since they were one of our speed bumps during the season,' said UCLA head coach Tom Fitzgerald. 'I thought that if we put 90 minutes together we would be the victors. Tonight was probably closer to a 90-minute game that we've played all year. It was a total team effort.'
Gregorio concurred. 'We were really excited to go out there and play,' he said. 'We wanted to prove ourselves after the first game (LMU defeated the Bruins 2-0 on Sept. 22), and tonight we proved that we were the better team. Tonight we took the game to them rather than them taking it to us. Our whole team, we gave 110 percent.'
The Bruins' record improves to 14-3-3, while LMU ends its season with a 15-4-2 mark. UCLA will next face California for the third time this season in a third round match that will be played at Drake Stadium on Saturday at 7:00 pm. Cal defeated UC Santa Barbara earlier today, 2-1.