UCLA Continues Hot Streak, Defeating Cal Poly, 2-1
Nov. 8, 2008
Los Angeles, Calif. - No. 19 UCLA continued its hot streak, defeating 25th-ranked Cal Poly, 2-1, on Senior Day at UCLA. Fittingly, senior Maxwell Griffin scored the game-winning goal, his team-best 10th of the season, while another senior, Jason Leopoldo, earned an assist on the play. All four Bruin seniors saw action in the game, with Griffin, Leopoldo and Brad Rusin earning starts, and Richard Flores coming off the bench and recording one shot on goal.
The Bruins were aggressive from the beginning, forcing Cal Poly goalkeeper Eric Branagan-Franco into making three saves in the 13th minute alone, including two on consecutive shots by Leopoldo and Griffin. Not more than 15 seconds after those saves, Branagan-Franco made a point-blank save on a diving header from Eder Arreola after a nice service from David Estrada. Branagan-Franco was helpless, however, on a long-distance shot from Bruin freshman Andy Rose at the 17:06 mark. After receiving a pass from Michael Stephens, Rose unleashed a rocket into the right corner for his first collegiate goal.
UCLA goalkeeper Brian Perk had his share of big saves as well. In the 27th minute, Cal Poly's Patrick Sigler had a header in front of the goal that was snared by Perk, and Perk did the same in the 50th minute on a header by David Zamora.
In the second half, the Bruins looked to be snake-bit after Griffin hit the right post in the 65th minute and then the left post in the 68th minute, but he found redemption at 68:58 when Arreola sent a pass to Leopoldo, who crossed to Griffin on the left side. This time, Griffin would not be denied, and he put the Bruins up 2-0 with his career-best and team-leading 10th goal of the year.
UCLA was two minutes away from recording its seventh consecutive shutout, but a handball call at 88:15 gave Cal Poly a penalty kick, and Zamora converted to end the Bruins' shutout streak at 664 minutes and Perk's shutout streak at 657 minutes. Perk finished the game with four saves. Branagan-Franco had seven for Cal Poly.
The Bruins, who are unbeaten in seven straight games and in 13 of its last 14 games, improve their record to 9-4-6, while Cal Poly drops to 10-5-5. UCLA wraps up regular season play on Saturday, Nov. 15 at San Diego State.
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