Comeback Bid Falls Short For Men's Soccer

Sept. 2, 2005

Fullerton, Calif. - The ninth-ranked UCLA men's soccer team nearly pulled out a miracle comeback but in the end fell, 3-2, to 21st-ranked Santa Clara in both teams' 2005 season opener at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Stadium. Down two goals and down a man, UCLA came roaring back in the second half to tie the score before Santa Clara recorded the game-winner with nearly two minutes to play in regulation.

Santa Clara's first penalty kick came at 29:09 when forward Matt Hatzke was taken down in the penalty area. Peter Lowry converted the penalty kick. UCLA nearly tied it up immediately when Marvell Wynne came close on a header from five feet out.

Less than five minutes later, at 34:38, the Broncos earned a second penalty kick. With Bruin goalkeeper Nate Pena out of his box, Santa Clara's Medhi Ballouchy took a shot that was headed for goal. UCLA defender Brandon Owens dove towards it in an attempt to stop the shot from going in and was red-carded for an intentional hand-ball in the box. Lowry again successfully converted the penalty kick to give Santa Clara a 2-0 lead that it would take to halftime.

In the first part of the second half, however, it was all UCLA, despite an 11-10 man disadvantage. The Bruins immediately went on the offensive and pulled to within one just four minutes into the second half on a Jordan Harvey strike from long distance. Harvey had another opportunity with 30:47 left on the clock with another long-range shot that went just high.

Just two minutes after checking into the game, freshman Maxwell Griffin made his Bruin debut memorable by heading in a Wynne cross for the equalizer at 64:50.

However, at 87:52, the Broncos scored the game-winner on a Keith DeVey shot from a sharp right angle.

'It's a disappointing result,' said UCLA head coach Jorge Salcedo. 'We played poorly in the first half. Santa Clara won every second ball in the first half, and it was difficult to sustain possession.'

'Ultimately it was a tale of two halves,' he continued. 'In the second half, with just 10 men, we gave a much better effort and applied ourselves better. We had opportunities to possibly win the game, and I thought we had them on the ropes. This is the early part of the season, and we can iron things out and hopefully make them better against Maryland on Sunday.'

UCLA hosts No. 2 Maryland in the home opener on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 2 pm. The game will be played at Frank W. Marshall Field at Drake Stadium.

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