No. 2 UCLA Closes Regular Season with a 3-0 Win over San Diego State
The No. 2 UCLA men’s soccer team closed out the regular season in style on Saturday night, defeating the San Diego State Aztecs by a score of 3-0 at the SDSU Sports Deck in San Diego, Calif. Junior Leo Stolz provided two goals for the Bruins while freshman Gage Zerboni added the other.
The Bruins finish the regular season with a record of 11-3-4 and a 6-1-3 Pac-12 record. UCLA is currently at the top of the conference standings and will clinch its ninth Pac-12 title with a Washington loss to Oregon State tomorrow. A Washington tie would result in UCLA and the Huskies being declared co-champions. San Diego State finishes its season with 6-11-2 record, 2-6-2 in conference play.
UCLA had the majority of the chances in the early going, outshooting San Diego State 6-3 through the first 25 minutes. Then in the 28th minute, Zerboni put the Bruins ahead, 1-0, with a header on the left side off a Jordan Vale cross for his fourth of the year. UCLA would make it 2-0 in the 41st minute, when Stolz dribbled down the field and buried a shot into the bottom left-hand corner for his team-leading eighth goal of the year. Junior keeper Earl Edwards Jr. made four saves in the first half as well and the Bruins went into the locker room with a 2-0 lead.
The Bruins did not let up in the second half, and added another when Stolz scored his second of the match in the 58th minute. Senior Victor Chavez got the play started when he put a shot on goal that was saved by Aztec keeper Blake Hylen. Stolz gathered the rebound and then beat Hylen for his ninth of the season, putting UCLA ahead by three.
From there UCLA was able to keep the Aztecs out of the back of the net and went on to claim the 3-0 win.
Overall, San Diego State outshot UCLA by a 18-16 margin while Edwards matched a season-high with seven saves in the match.
"The performance tonight was very comprehensive and solid from beginning to end," head coach Jorge Salcedo said. "The 3-0 scoreline was indicative of our attacking play and our dominance with possession."
The Bruins, who are ranked No. 1 in the NCAA RPI, will now await NCAA selection as the NCAA airs its selection show on Monday, Nov. 18 at 9 a.m. on ncaa.com.
Salcedo added, "We look forward to the selection show on Monday and no matter what happens we are very excited for the postseason. We have ended the regular season on a high note and will be ready for our first game of the NCAA Tournament."