UCLA Men's Soccer Team Downs Cal, 2-1

Oct. 20, 2002

Los Angeles, Calif. - The UCLA men's soccer team, ranked No. 6 by Soccer America, moved into first place in the Pac-10 Conference after a 2-1 victory over 13th-ranked California on Sunday afternoon at Frank W. Marshall Field. First-half goals by Aaron Lopez (Santa Barbara, CA/Santa Barbara HS) and Matt Taylor (Irvine, CA/Irvine HS) gave the Bruins the edge over the Golden Bears.

Lopez ended a scoreless tie in the 21st minute. Bruin defender Scot Thompson got the play started with a close-range shot that was saved by Cal goalkeeper Josh Saunders. However, the rebound went to Lopez, who finished for his first goal of the season.

Cal was quick to push for the equalizer. In the 25th minute, Mike Munoz blasted a hard shot to the left side of the goal, but UCLA keeper Zach Wells made a nice diving save. The Golden Bears broke through in the 40th minute when an Angel Quintero pass found Carl Acosta in front of the goal. Acosta slammed a shot past into the right corner of the net for his fifth goal of the year.

The Bruins came back minutes later on a breakaway in the 44th minute. A Tim Pierce pass to Matt Taylor on the left side resulted in the game-winner for Taylor, his fifth goal and second game-winner of the year.

Cal tried valiantly to come back in the second half, particularly in the last 10 minutes of the game. In the 83rd minute, Munoz missed just wide on a shot, and in the 89th minute, Alex Martinez had two good looks at the goal but was denied by Bruin defender Jordan Harvey. UCLA's defense in the second half withstood six Cal shots and six corner kicks to keep the Bears off the boards.

'I'm extremely happy with the win,' said UCLA head coach Tom Fitzgerald. 'We played well enough to win and we scored two good goals. In a situation like this, playing two games in three days, it's a struggle fitness-wise. The guys showed a lot of character.'

UCLA, which is unbeaten in its last six games, improves its record to 8-1-2, 3-0-0 in Pac-10 play. California, which lost for the first time in nine games, falls to 10-3-1, 3-1-0. Conference play continues for the Bruins on Friday, Oct. 25 at Oregon State.

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