UCLA Comes Back Twice To Force 2-2 Tie With Cal State Northridge

Sept. 28, 2008

Box Score

Los Angeles, Calif. - The UCLA men's soccer team battle backed twice from one-goal deficits and forced a 2-2 tie with Cal State Northridge at Drake Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Jason Leopoldo and Michael Stephens scored the tying goals for the Bruins in the final 20 minutes of the contest.

The Bruins had the run of play early in the contest and threatened to score several times in the first 20 minutes of action. In the fifth minute, Leopoldo raced down the field on a counterattack, but his shot from the top of the box was saved by Cal State Northridge goalkeeper Kevin Guppy. In the 18th minute, David Estrada had a good look at a ball in the box with the goalkeeper out, but the ball was cleared away by a defender before Estrada could get to it. Estrada had another chance a few seconds later after Leopoldo made a crafty run through the defense in the box. In traffic, Leopoldo passed to Estrada, whose shot from the right side was saved by Guppy. Leopoldo created another opportunity in the 20th minute, chipping a shot that was tipped over the goal by the keeper. However, it was Northridge who struck first. At the 23:22 mark, Sunghyun Kim dribbled down the left side of the field and fired a hard-angled shot to the upper right corner of the goal to give the Matadors the 1-0 lead.

Both teams kept the pressure on in the second half. In the 55th minute, UCLA's Eder Arreola had a shot hit the post. The rebound attempt went right to Prince Lapnet but went off his arm for a handball. Just one minute later, Lapnet was fouled just outside the box to earn a free kick. Stephens' free kick attempt was headed for the upper right corner, but Guppy made a big save to tip it out of play. Lapnet again created havoc in the 60th minute with a bicycle kick attempt that went wide. In the 65th minute, Northridge had a good scoring opportunity when Moy Gomez got ahead of the defense. Bruin defender Brad Rusin, however, made a nice sliding tackle to take away the ball at the goal line and then got up to sweep the ball out of danger and give UCLA possession.

The Bruins tied the score soon after, at the 70:54 mark. A Zack Zerrenner throw-in found Andy Rose, and Rose headed it across the box back to Leopoldo on the left side. Leopoldo fired a shot from the top of the goal to the far right corner past Guppy for his first goal of the season. Northridge answered at 73:17 after Kim played a ball to Gomez in the box through traffic. With two Bruin defenders on the ground, Gomez hit a shot to the right corner to put the Matadors ahead, 2-1.

UCLA would not give up, however. Pushing forward, Rusin was fouled in the box by Matador defender Bo Miller at 84:09, and the Bruins were awarded a penalty kick. Stephens took the kick and converted for the tying goal, his third of the year.

In the fourth minute of overtime, Bruin goalkeeper Brian Perk came up with a big save, stopping a shot by Gomez that was headed towards the lower left corner. Leopoldo nearly scored in the 99th minute after a Bruin takeaway in midfield, but his shot went just wide. Rusin also had a pair of shots in the second overtime that went wide.

The Bruins (2-3-3) outshot the Matadors (4-3-1) by a 15-12 count. Perk made four saves, while Guppy had five.

UCLA next hosts UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 7 pm at Drake Stadium in a rematch of the 2006 NCAA Championship game.

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