UCLA Comebacks Result In 3-3 Tie With San Diego State
Oct. 5, 2008
Los Angeles, Calif. - UCLA fell behind 2-0 in the first half against San Diego State before twice mounting comebacks in the second half. Michael Stephens scored twice to tie the game, and the two teams traded goals in the second half, resulting in a 3-3 tie in both teams' Pac-10 Conference opener at UCLA's Drake Stadium.
San Diego State scored both of its first-half goals on rebounded shots. At 30:39, Evan Toft took a shot from the left side that was stopped by Bruin goalkeeper Trevor Hunter, but the rebound went to Matt McManus, who put it past Hunter for the 1-0 lead. McManus scored on another rebound shot at 34:39, after Jamel Wallace's shot hit the right post. The Aztecs nearly scored a third goal in the 43rd minute when Nick Cardenas' shot hit the crossbar, but the rebound attempt was blocked.
UCLA put on the pressure in the second half, recording 12 shots. In the 53rd minute, after a handball resulted in a free kick outside the box, Stephens' hard shot rattled off the crossbar and went down but stayed out of the goal. Stephens did not miss on his next attempt, however. At 59:27, Jason Leopoldo crossed to Stephens in the box, and Stephens cut the lead in half with a shot to the right corner of the goal. The Bruins tied the score at 73:24 on a Stephens penalty kick. The PK was earned after a handball in the box by San Diego State defender Daniel Steres, who was red-carded on the play. David Estrada had a shot on the play that was saved by Aztec goalkeeper Brad Byrnes, and the rebound went to Maxwell Griffin, whose shot was headed for the goal before Steres stopped it with his hand.
Despite playing a man down, however, San Diego State managed to regain the lead at 81:29. Forward Michael Rocha got ahead of the Bruin defense on the left side and took a shot that Hunter stopped. Once again, the Aztecs pounced on the rebound, and Joe Corona scored to put San Diego State ahead, 3-2.
Both teams continued to attack in the final minutes. The Bruins nearly tied the score again in the 86th minute when Prince Lapnet drew the goalkeeper out, but his shot missed wide. Toft also had another scoring opportunity for the Aztecs with a shot that hit the crossbar in the 87th minute.
In the waning minutes, however, the Bruins got new life. After receiving a pass from Chris Cummings down the left side, Leopoldo sent a perfect cross to Griffin in the box, and the senior forward finished with authority at the 87:43 mark to send the game into overtime.
San Diego State went down two men in overtime after Wallace received his second yellow card of the game at 97:58. Wallace grabbed Estrada's jersey to impede his progress as he was dribbling up the middle. UCLA, however, could not capitalize on the two-man advantage. The Bruins got off five shots in the second overtime, but just missed. In the 102nd minute, Leopoldo had a shot saved by Byrns, and the rebound went to Griffin, whose follow-up header went just high. Leopoldo and Griffin almost connected in the 105th minute, with Leopoldo crossing to Griffin the box, but the pass went just beyond Griffin's reach. Leopoldo also had an opportunity in the 106th minute, but his shot missed just wide left.
UCLA finished the game with 25 shots to san Diego State's 18. Hunter had three saves, while Byrns recorded five.
The Bruins, who earned their school-record fourth consecutive tie, now own a 2-3-5 record and have a five game unbeaten streak. San Diego State moves to 2-5-1. UCLA continues conference play on Friday, Oct. 10 at California.