Rematch Ends In 2-2 Tie For UCLA, UCSB
Oct. 1, 2008
Los Angeles, Calif. - A rematch of the 2006 NCAA Championship game ended in a 2-2 tie between UCLA and No. 16/22 UC Santa Barbara at UCLA's Drake Stadium on Wednesday night in front of 1,432 lively fans. The Bruins scored two second-half goals to come from behind and take a 2-1 lead before the Gauchos tied it up in the 78th minute.
UCSB struck first at the 12:43 mark when Luis Silva took a pass from Danny Berrera and hit a hard shot from just beyond the top of the box into the far left corner. The Gauchos threatened to add to their lead in the 19th minute on a hard shot by Chris Pontius that missed just wide. UCLA goalkeeper Brian Perk made a nice save on a shot by Bryan Dominguez in the 22nd minute, and Pontius just missed again with a header in the 27th minute. The Bruins had a good opportunity in the box themselves in the 37th minute, but Maxwell Griffin missed wide on a header after a Prince Lapnet cross.
UCLA did not take long to get even in the second half. Just minutes into the half, Perk nabbed a ball in the box and threw the ball up the middle to Michael Stephens. The Bruin midfielder dribbled all the way down the field and passed to David Estrada on the right side. Estrada took a shot that was stopped by UCSB keeper Kristopher Minton, but Estrada followed through with the rebound and fired another shot that tied the score at 1-1 with 48:01 on the clock.
The Bruins capitalized on another rebounded shot to move ahead 2-1 at 55:59. After a Stephens shot was saved by Minter, the ball scurried around in the box, and Griffin shot from close range to score his team-leading fourth goal of the season.
UCSB answered, however, at 77:01 when Pontius scored his eight goal of the year after dribbling across the box and shooting to the far right corner.
The Bruins held strong in overtime despite playing without team co-captain and defensive leader Brad Rusin, who went down with an injury just minutes before the end of regulation. UCSB was only able to get off one shot in overtime, a Pontius lob that sailed high in the 94th minute. The Bruins were dangerous in the extra time, with Jason Leopoldo firing a shot in the box that was saved by Minton in the 96th minute. Leopoldo used his speed to create another opportunity in the 99th minute, bursting past the defense into the box from the left side, but he was unable to get a shot off. In the 100th minute, Stephens juked the defense on the left side of the box and sent a crafty pass into the middle, but Andrew Sinderhoff was unable to get to the ball to take a shot. Griffin had the Bruins' last scoring opportunity in the 119th minute, getting ahead of the defense but missing just wide on a hard shot.
Perk finished the game with one save on 10 shots, while Minton had three saves on 11 UCLA shots.
UCLA increased its unbeaten streak to four games while earning its school record third consecutive tie. The Bruins' record now stands at 2-3-4, while UC Santa Barbara moves to 5-3-1. UCLA opens conference play on Sunday, Oct. 5 against San Diego State at 2:30 pm.