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UCLA Shuts Out USF, 3-0, in Season Opener

Feb 8, 2021
Grayson Doody (photo: Jesus Ramirez)

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LOS ANGELES – The UCLA men's soccer team opened the 2020-21 campaign on a strong note on Monday afternoon, blanking San Francisco 3-0 at Wallis Annenberg Stadium.

The Bruins (1-0-0) pushed their unbeaten streak in season-openers to eight straight, dating back to 2013. UCLA outshot the Dons (0-1-0) by a margin of 13-6, holding the visitors without a shot attempt in the second half.

UCLA went ahead early on the first career goal for senior defender Ben Reveno, who scored inside the opening 10 minutes of the game. The Bruins went on to put away the contest with second half scores from freshman defender Pablo Greenlee and sophomore midfielder Riley Ferch.

Junior goalkeeper Justin Garces made a pair of saves to notch his seventh career shutout.

UCLA's opening goal came on the team's first corner kick attempt of the season.

Freshman left back Tommy Silva sent the corner kick past the far post to freshman Grayson Doody, who headed it back across goal towards the near post. From there, Reveno pounced and got his head on the ball and sent it into the net for the first goal of his collegiate career.

USF had probably its best chance of the game in the 17th minute, as a long possession in their offensive third led to a strongly-struck chance by Nonso Adimabua, but Garces was up to the challenge and made the stop on the top shelf-destined shot.

Ferch also had a solid chance to score in the first half, getting in a decent position to shoot after a nice take atop the box, but he didn't get enough behind the shot and it was saved by USF keeper Ruben Stuiver.

The Bruins controlled the run of play in the second half, leading to scoring chances for Doody, sophomore midfielder Jose Sosa, and Greenlee. After being stopped on a close-range header in the 64th minute, Greenlee broke through at the 71:59 mark by getting his head on a cross from junior forward Kevin Diaz. The Cerritos College transfer set that play up by getting deep into USF territory down the right wing, faking an inside move to create separation, and then heading towards the end line and whipping in the cross to Greenlee.

Ferch sealed the win in the 88th minute after receiving a pass on the left flank from Sosa and picking out the top left corner. It was the second career goal for Ferch, who had a Pac-12-leading nine assists last season.

Several newcomers made their Bruin debuts on Monday. Longmire, Doody, Diaz, and Silva were all in the Starting XI while Sosa and Greenlee both played over 50 minutes off the bench. Freshman midfielder Andrew Valverde also made his collegiate debut.  

UCLA returns to action on Friday night, heading across town for a battle at local rival Loyola Marymount. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.