Victor Chavez’s Golden Goal Gives UCLA 1-0 Win over No. 1 Indiana

In a great back-and-forth match that saw the Bruins go down to 10 men with 15 minutes to go, senior forward Victor Chavez scored a golden goal just 49 seconds into overtime to give UCLA a huge 1-0 victory over No. 1 ranked Indiana in front of a stadium record crowd of 7,720.
The Bruins improved to 1-0-1 on the season while the Hoosiers fell to 1-1-0. This is also the first time that UCLA has defeated a top-ranked team since defeating No. 1 Maryland in the 2009 season opener. Additionally, this was the Bruins’ first win over Indiana since 2000, snapping a four-match losing streak to the Hoosiers.
UCLA got off to a fast start, earning the majority of the possession in the early going. Sophomore Jordan Vale had two great chances early on, first taking a header off of a long throw-in by senior Joe Sofia that sailed just high of the goal. A couple of minutes later, Vale put a terrific low lining shot on net from the top of the penalty box, but Indiana keeper Michael Soderlund made a great diving stop to rob Vale of a goal.
In the 15th minute, the Hoosiers saw their best chance of the half when Dylan Mares curled a shot on goal towards the top shelf. However, UCLA goalie Earl Edwards Jr. made a nice leaping save to push the ball over the goal and out of play. Neither side saw a serious chance for the rest of the half and the two sides went into the locker room tied at 0-0.
At the beginning of the second half, the Bruins found themselves a little bit on their heels as Indiana began to push forward. Then in the 75th minute, Sofia was handed a red card after taking down Tommy Thompson in the box, setting up a penalty kick for the Hoosiers and sending the Bruins down a man. Mares stepped up to take the kick for Indiana and sent a low dribbler towards the left post. Edwards was quick off his line though and stuffed Mares to preserve the tie. Down to 10 men of the remainder of the match, the Bruins hung tough and were able to finish out regulation without giving up a goal.
UCLA started out the first overtime with the ball and wasted no time in attacking. Freshman Nathan Smith started out the game-winning play by taking the ball down the right side into the box. He then dumped the ball off to senior Victor Munoz, who played a wonderful through ball towards Chavez in front of the goal. Chavez was able to poke the ball away from Soderlund and dribbled his way around the Indiana keeper, leaving an open net for the senior from Fontana, Calif. Chavez promptly finished with the open net and gave the Bruins the 1-0 win.
Overall, the shots were even for both sides at 13-13. Edwards made four saves for the Bruins to earn his second consecutive clean sheet while Soderlund made four for the Hoosiers. For their efforts in the tournament, freshman Brian Iloski, Vale and Chavez were all named to the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic All-Tournament Team.
“Our guys fought through some challenging elements to get our season off to a great start,” head coach Jorge Salcedo said. “We knew that we would be better against Indiana than we were against Notre Dame and that was absolutely true in the first half of today’s game. The resilience and the fight we showed after Indiana was awarded a penalty and us being issued a red card, I still believed that we would find a way to win the match.”
The Bruins also improved their record to 16-0-4 in their last 20 road/neutral site matches.
“We are quietly very proud of our record in road and neutral site games over the last few years,” added Salcedo. “But now we’re going to get back to Westwood and continue to work and continue to get better.”
UCLA (1-0-1) will return home this week to take on the Cal Poly Mustangs on Thursday, Sept. 5 at 7 pm out at Drake Stadium.
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