No. 1 UCLA Downs No. 16 Penn State, 5-2

Aug. 29, 2003

Fullerton, Calif. - It was nearly d�j� vu all over again for No. 16 Penn State, as the top-ranked UCLA men's soccer team erased a 1-0 lead and won handily, 5-2, in the season opener at the Cal State Fullerton Soccer Town Classic at Titan Stadium. Like last year's NCAA quarterfinal match between the two teams, Bruin forward Matt Taylor recorded a hat trick, scoring UCLA's first three goals of the game. Freshman Chad Barrett made an outstanding Bruin debut, recording three assists and one goal.

Like last season's NCAA quarterfinal game, Penn State was first on the scoreboard, as Joe Zewe scored his first goal of the year on a counter-attack. But UCLA equalized with four minutes to play in the half on an own goal that was credited to Taylor. The Bruin senior took a shot from five yards out, and the slow roller was escorted in by a Penn State defender in an attempted clearance.

Taylor and the Bruins were quick out the gate in the second half. Just one minute into the period, Taylor gave UCLA the lead with an empty net goal. Adolfo Gregorio started the play by sending a long lead pass to Barrett, who crossed to a wide-open Taylor. In the 54th minute, Taylor earned his second hat trick in his last four games and his second straight hat trick against Penn State by scoring on a chip shot from 15 yards out.

Senior John Carson made the score 5-1 at 60:00, scoring his first career goal with a shot to the far post from 10 yards out. He was assisted by Barrett and Jordan Harvey. Barrett added to his three assists with his first collegiate goal at 67:30, scoring after a Gregorio free kick.

Penn State added a second goal with eight minutes to play on a Kenji Treschuk free kick from 18 yards out, but it was not nearly enough to catch the Bruins.

Seven UCLA players made their collegiate debuts tonight - starter Kiel McClung and reserves Brandon Owens, Benny Feilhaber, Barrett, Taylor Canel, Eli Meschures and goalkeeper Eric Reed.

'We're very excited about starting another season,' said UCLA head coach Tom Fitzgerald. 'We controlled the match pretty much the whole game. One mental mistake led to a goal on a counter-attack, but we recovered and were able to score a number of very good goals in the second half, with Matt Taylor getting a hat trick and a great debut by Chad Barrett as a freshman.'

The Bruins will next face Ohio State on Sunday in the final day of play at the Soccer Town Classic. The game is scheduled to kick off at 5:00 pm.

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