UCLA Holds Off Cal, 3-2, In NCAA Third Round
Nov. 30, 2002
Los Angeles, CA - UCLA shot out to a 3-0 lead and withstood a furious rally by California in the final 10 minutes, and advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals with a 3-2 win in a third round matchup at Drake Stadium. Cliff McKinley recorded a goal and an assist for the Bruins.
Aaron Lopez started off the scoring with a goal in the 20th minute. On a free kick from 30 yards out, Jimmy Frazelle tapped the ball to Cliff McKinley, who fired a shot to the lower left corner of the goal. Cal goalkeeper Josh Saunders stopped the shot, but the rebound came out to Lopez on the left side. Lopez one-timed the ball past Saunders for his second goal in as many games. McKinley struck again in the 28th minute, taking a Frazelle pass and beating Saunders with a shot from the top of the box to make the score 2-0.
'It was one of the best halves of soccer I've seen,' said UCLA head coach Tom Fitzgerald. 'Cal didn't quit, we were just too strong on this night. We were playing so well that we forced them to play conservatively. We were on fire, and at halftime we talked about keeping the momentum going.'
And the Bruins did just that, striking again at 50:08. Matt Taylor collected a loose ball in the box after a corner kick and then rocketed a shot into the net.
With about 10 minutes remaining, Cal mounted their comeback. At 79:30, the Golden Bears had an apparent goal called back due to an offsides. That play would prove to be huge, as Cal's Carl Acosta scored two goals in two minutes to cut the lead to one. Acosta's first goal came at 80:07 off a cross from Yohei Fukuda, and his second goal was scored at 82:16 off an assist by Calen Carr. Acosta had a shot at the equalizer at 83:26 but missed high on a bicycle kick, and the Bruins held off the Golden Bears long enough for the final whistle to blow.
The Bruins' record improves to 15-3-3, while Cal ends it season with a 14-6-2 mark. UCLA will next face the winner of Sunday's Penn State/William & Mary matchup in the quarterfinals at Drake Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7:00 pm. The Bruins are in the quarterfinals for the first time since 1999.