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Bruins and Aztecs Draw, 1-1, in Pac-12 Opener

Feb 20, 2021
Cody Sundquist (photo: Jesus Ramirez)

LOS ANGELES – The UCLA men's soccer team battled to a 1-1 draw with San Diego State on Saturday night at Wallis Annenberg Stadium in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.

The Bruins moved to 1-1-1 overall with draw. San Diego State was playing its first game of the 2020-21 season.

Sophomore forward Ollie de Visser netted his first career goal in the contest, finding the back of the net in the 73rd minute.

De Visser's goal capped off a period of sustained pressure for the Bruins, with a trio of scoring chances all happening in quick succession.

Sophomore midfielder Riley Ferch had the first, chesting down a ball inside the 18 and nailing a shot off the crossbar. The carom off the woodwork came to de Visser inside the 18 and to the keeper's left. With a bit of open net, de Visser first tried to beat the keeper on the short side, but his first attempt was rebuffed by SDSU keeper Tetsuya Kadono.

The rebound came right back to de Visser, who collected himself and fired in a left-footed shot inside the far post to open the scoring.

Unfortunately for the Bruins, SDSU would equalize just over five minutes later, converting on a set piece from about 25 yards and to the keeper's left. The Aztecs' Inigo Villaldea hit an inswinging ball into the box, where it was re-directed in by Blake Bowen.

Both teams had Grade-A chances during the overtime period.

Senior defender Ruben Soria had the best look for UCLA in the 107th minute, cutting in from the left after receiving a pass from Luke Bone and uncorking a shot from the edge of the 18. However, his shot was slightly deflected by an SDSU defender and the attempt went off the crossbar.

With less than 60 seconds remaining in the game, the Aztecs looked to have scored a golden goal after Austin Wehner poked in a rebound at the goalmouth, but he was deemed offside by the assistant referee.

Junior keeper Justin Garces recorded three saves in the contest for UCLA.

The Bruins are next in action on Saturday, Feb. 27 at Oregon State. That Pac-12 competition is scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. start.