UCLA Downs FIU 2-0 In NCAA Soccer Third Round
Nov. 30, 2003
Los Angeles, Calif. - The top-seeded UCLA men's soccer team defeated Florida International by a score of 2-0 in the third round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Championships at UCLA's Drake Stadium. Sophomore forward Evan Corey (Pacific Palisades, CA/LA Baptist HS) picked the perfect time to score his first career goals, coming off the bench to record both of UCLA's goals in the second half.
In an extremely physical game that saw a total of 42 fouls called, along with two yellow cards, the Bruins prevailed thanks in large part to a deep bench. Already playing without starting midfielders Ty Maurin and Ryan Valdez (injury) and key reserve Jordan Harvey (with the U.S. U-20 National Team), the Bruins suffered more blows when defensive midfielder Aaron Lopez and sweeper Dru Hoshimiya went down with knee injuries. Lopez left the game after just eight minutes, while Hoshimiya played 60. However, UCLA's reserves stepped up and contributed solid minutes.
After a scoreless first half, Corey, who was playing wide right, put the Bruins on the scoreboard with his first goal of the season and of his career. At 45:51, Corey received a nice dish from Adolfo Gregorio on the right side and fired in a shot past FIU goalkeeper Roy Rosenberg to make the score 1-0. At 84:41 it was Corey again, taking a cross from Matt Taylor and scoring from 12 yards out on the right side again.
'At halftime they put me in and told me to go after the ball,' said Corey. 'I got off a good shot; the ball was played down the line, cut into the middle, and I put it on the far post. The second goal was a slot ball from Taylor, and I volleyed it past their goalie. I'd have to say that this was the best time for me to score the first two goals of my college career.'
'I've underachieved since I've been here,' he continued. 'Two goals today have really boosted my confidence big-time. Hopefully I can keep that form.'
'We came out flat in the first half again. FIU was a very different kind of team. In the second half we took over and had two unexpected goals by Evan (Corey),' said UCLA head coach Tom Fitzgerald. 'When I think about the heroes of today, Taylor (Canel) had a great game, Kiel (McClung) played well, and we had three freshmen in there at the end. That's why our roster is so big. We talk about this, we plan for this, and we recruit for this, and it really paid dividends today.'
Bruin keeper Zach Wells made three saves and earned his 11th solo shutout of the year and school record 20th victory. Rosenberg also had three saves for FIU, which ends its season with a 14-5-3 record.
The Bruins (20-1-1) will host eight-seeded Indiana in the NCAA Quarterfinals on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 7 pm in Drake Stadium. Indiana (14-3-5) defeated Virginia Commonwealth today, 5-0.