UCLA, San Diego State Tie 1-1 In Regular Season Finale
Nov. 14, 2009
Los Angeles, CA - No. 10/5 UCLA and San Diego State played to a 1-1 tie on Saturday night in both teams' regular season finale. It was the fifth consecutive tie between the two teams at Drake Stadium. UCLA senior Kyle Nakazawa scored the tying goal at 83:32 to send the game into overtime.
On senior day, all eight Bruin seniors - Nakazawa, Sean Alvarado, David Estrada, Brian Perk, Luis Serrano, Andrew Sinderhoff, Michael Stephens and Danny Suits - started the contest. Fittingly, the lone Bruin goal was created by members of that senior class. Stephens sent a pass to Serrano on the right side. Serrano sent a perfectly-placed cross to Nakazawa in the box, and Nakazawa headed the ball past Aztec goalkeeper R.J. Smith for his team-leading 11th goal of the season.
San Diego State, which needed a win or tie to remain NCAA tournament eligible, grabbed a 1-0 lead at 74:49 after Matt McManus' shot from the top of the box deflected off a Bruin defender and into the goal.
The first 74 minutes of the game featured strong defensive efforts from both teams. UCLA goalkeeper Perk had seven saves in the game, all in regulation, including a save on a breakaway opportunity by McManus, a diving stop on a hard shot by Chance Marden in the 65th minute, and a save on a free kick by Daniel Ortega in the final eight seconds of regulation. Smith made four saves for San Diego State, with three coming in the first 19 minutes of the game. Stephens cranked a hard shot in the eighth minute that required a nice save by Smith, and in the 13th minute Nakazawa fired off a hard shot that was saved. One of Smith's biggest saves came in the 92nd minute when he stopped a hard shot by Ryan Hollingshead to save a goal.
'In the first half, we had a few chances that we couldn't convert. It was an up-and-down performance. Some moments were good, and some moments were not so good. San Diego State is a difficult team to break down, and they made it difficult for us,' said UCLA head coach Jorge Salcedo.
UCLA finishes the regular season with a 10-3-4 overall mark and a winning Pac-10 Conference record of 5-1-4. San Diego State finishes the regular season 6-6-6 and 3-4-3 in conference play. Both teams will await postseason selections on Monday. As the Pac-10 Champion, UCLA is guaranteed its 27th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.