UCLA Soccer Team Ends Season In NCAA Second Round At Santa Clara
Nov. 28, 2007
Santa Clara, Calif. - The UCLA men's soccer team saw its season end Wednesday night with a 3-1 defeat at Santa Clara in the NCAA second round. The Bruins battled back from a 1-0 deficit to tie the game at the end of the first half but gave up two goals in the span of 70 seconds in the second half.
UCLA redshirt freshman goalkeeper Trevor Hunter not only made his first career start but played his first full minute of a game after regular starter Brian Perk was deemed not healthy enough to start the game. Perk had injured his shoulder in the final minute of the game against New Mexico last Saturday evening. The Broncos tested the young goalkeeper early, and Hunter responded by punching out a potential shot in the box just 4:15 into the game. Jide Ogunbiyi had an opportunity in the sixth minute but was unable to get off a shot due to intense defensive pressure by Brad Rusin. Ogunbiyi found himself with a 1-v-1 opportunity in the 15th minute, but Hunter made the save on the shot.
UCLA had its first shot opportunity in the ninth minute with a Chance Myers shot at the right corner of the goal, but Santa Clara keeper Kevin Klasila was there to make the stop. Myers was dangerous again in the 16th minute, making a nice run down the left sideline after a feed by Kyle Nakazawa, but Klasila again stopped his shot and sent it out of bounds.
Santa Clara broke the scoreeless tie in the 24th minute when Matt Hatzke ripped a right-footed shot to the upper right corner at the 23:33 mark. The Bruins nearly equalized immediately, when Myers and Maxwell Griffin broke past the defense. After receiving a pass from Myers, Griffin got off a shot that seemed to be heading for goal in the lower right corner, but a Bronco defender got a foot on it and sent it over the endline for a corner kick.
No Bronco could get to Mike Zaher's shot at 37:35, however, as he sent a bending shot to the far left post from outside the box to tie the game at 1-1.
In the 48th minute, Nakazawa had a shot blocked wide of goal, but the Bruins could not convert on the corner. Santa Clara earned a corner kick in the 50th minute, but Hunter skied high to nab the ball with Ogunbiyi bearing down in the box. Hunter also made a save on a Jamil Roberts header in the 57th minute. The left post saved the Bruins from falling behind 2-1 in the 59th minute when a shot by Kellen Wantulok rattled the woodwork.
UCLA had a golden opportunity to go ahead in the 65th minute. On a give-and-go with Nakazawa, David Estrada blew past the Bronco defense and had just the Bronco goalkeeper Klasila to beat. Klasila just barely got a hand on the shot, slowing it down just enough for Chris Sauter to clear it off the line. On the ensuing corner kick, a Brandon Owens header was cleared off the line by Hatzke.
In the 70th minute, Santa Clara's leading scorer Peter Lowry got off his first shot of the game, but it sailed high, and Stephen McCarthy missed just wide on a free kick from the left side in the 77th minute. But McCarthy did not miss in the 79th minute, sending in a shot that went just past an outstretched Hunter after a Lowry free kick. Just seconds later, a collision between Ogunbiyi and Rusin went the Broncos' way, and Ogunbiyi found himself all alone with just Hunter to beat. Ogunbiyi got Hunter to commit and went the opposite direction and sent in an open-net goal to the right corner for a 3-1 advantage.
Hunter played admirably in goal in his first start, making four saves. Klasila had five saves for Santa Clara.
UCLA finishes the season at 9-9-3. Santa Clara improves to 16-1-4 and advances to play Notre Dame in the third round this weekend.