Top Seed UCLA Advances In NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament

Nov. 26, 2003

Los Angeles, Calif. - The top seeded UCLA men's soccer team came from behind to defeat Tulsa in the NCAA second round, 3-2. Down 1-0 at halftime, the Bruins scored three goals in the second half, the third being the game-winner in the 81st minute by senior sweeper Dru Hoshimiya (South Pasadena, Calif./South Pasadena HS).

Tulsa went on the offensive early and often in the first half, tallying seven shots to UCLA's four. Ryan Pore, the nation's second-leading scorer, scored his 20th goal of the year at 22:43 on a free kick just outside the box. The Golden Hurricane took that 1-0 advantage into halftime. Prior to Pore's goal, UCLA had been inches away from striking first when Cliff McKinley hit the right post on a rocket at 8:11. Tulsa had a near miss of their own at 12:20 when a Matt Wiley shot was cleared off the line by a Bruin defender. Senior forward Matt Taylor nearly tied the score with 26 seconds left to play in the half on a nice header that was saved by Tulsa keeper Justin Durst.

After halftime, UCLA came out energized. After a Tulsa yellow card, senior midfielder Adolfo Gregorio slipped a free kick to Taylor, who squirted the ball into the goal on a close-range shot at 52:42. The Bruins scored the go-ahead goal at 64:38 when redshirt sophomore midfielder Ryan Valdez rocketed a 25-yard shot past Durst.

Just two minutes later, however, Tulsa tied the score on a breakaway 1 v. 1 goal from Kyle Brown, his 12th of the year. Scott Kincaid was credited with the assist.

Hoshimiya provided the heroics at 80:04. A Chad Barrett shot forced a corner kick by Gregorio, and Gregorio's perfectly placed ball found Hoshimiya, who leaped high to head the ball in for the game-winner.

'It's been a long time since I have played up for corners, but that's what I was doing tonight,' said Hoshimiya. 'I had told Adolfo [Gregorio] earlier in the game to look for me on the near post, and the play came together.'

UCLA outshot Tulsa 16-13 in the game and 12-6 in the second half. Both Bruin goalkeeper Zach Wells and Tulsa's keeper Durst made four saves in the contest.

'When the game ended, I told them it was a shame we had to meet them so early in the tournament,' said UCLA head coach Tom Fitzgerald. 'Their team comes right at you and battles, but we knew that going in. I'm very proud of the character my guys showed tonight. When Cliff (McKinley) hit the post in the first half, I was hoping it wouldn't be one of those nights. In the second half, we took charge, and I was very proud of my team.'

UCLA (19-1-1) advances to the third round, where it will face Florida International (14-4-3) on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 1 pm at UCLA's Drake Stadium. Tulsa, which had its longest run ever in the NCAA Tournament, ends its season with a 13-6-2 record.

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