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Bruins Rally for 2-2 Draw at SDSU

Mar 24, 2021
Kevin Diaz (photo: Don Liebig)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The UCLA men's soccer team rallied back from an early two-goal deficit to secure a 2-2 draw with San Diego State on Wednesday night at the SDSU Sports Deck.

The Bruins (1-5-2, 0-4-2 Pac-12) notched 25 shots in the game, a single-game high under second-year head coach Ryan Jorden and the most for the program since Oct. 18, 2013 (also 25, against Oregon State). UCLA also had a 16-0 advantage in corner kicks to heavily out-chance the host Aztecs (0-4-2, 0-4-2).

Freshman defender Tommy Silva and junior forward Kevin Diaz both scored their first goals as Bruins in the tie, with Silva getting UCLA on the board near the end of the first half then setting up Diaz's equalizer in the 79th minute. Silva became the first Bruin this season to notch a three-point game.

SDSU got on the board early on Wednesday, potting a goal in just the third minute as Inigo Villaldea scored off a direct free kick to the keeper's right.

The Bruins responded immediately after that early tally, recording a pair of high-quality scoring opportunities following the Villaldea opener.

In the fourth minute, Silva came close to scoring on a set piece of his own, curling a shot into the upper right corner that was swatted away by SDSU keeper Tetsuya Kadono. Moments later, UCLA earned a penalty kick, but the low shot was swallowed up by Kadono.

Despite UCLA controlling the run of play for the most part, SDSU was able to double its lead on a 31st minute strike from Andre Ochoa, who hit a perfectly-placed shot from above the box into the upper left corner of the net.

The Bruins got a goal back before the whistle break, with Ferch finding Silva at the near post on a 40th minute corner kick for the score.

UCLA had a golden chance to equalize in the 73rd after sophomore Constantinos Michaelides sent in a cross from the left wing that found an open Grayson Doody near the goalmouth, but his header went over the bar.

The Bruins were undeterred after that, netting the game-tying score just over five minutes later.

That goal came off another corner attempt. Silva took the corner, and his initial outswinging ball was deflected back to him near the corner flag. Silva sent in another ball, and this one found Diaz close to the near post, who headed it low and past Kadono.

Neither team had a grade-A opportunity in the overtime session. UCLA arguably had its best looks near the end of double overtime, with Riley Ferch taking a shot from the right side of box that was nearly deflected in at the far post. After a sequence off the ensuing corner, junior forward Cody Sundquist was able to take a shot from the keeper's right that went high and wide.

Besides matching the program's best overall shot production since 2013, UCLA also took 22 shots in regulation alone, the program's most since Nov. 6, 2015.

UCLA junior keeper Justin Garces made three saves in the contest, including a critical stop on a Villaldea strike in the first overtime period.

The Bruins return to action on Sunday afternoon, facing Stanford at 2:00 p.m. in a Pac-12 Networks-televised showdown.