UCLA Picks Up Road Win at UC Irvine, 1-0
IRVINE, Calif. – The UCLA men's soccer team opened its road slate with a 1-0 victory over UC Irvine on Friday night at Anteater Stadium.
A 20th minute own goal by the Anteaters (0-3-0) proved to be the difference in the contest, as the Bruins (2-1-0) recorded their first shutout of the campaign.
The victory marked UCLA's first clean sheet in a road game since topping San Diego State in final game of the 2019 season (Nov. 16).
The decisive goal came in the aftermath of a set piece for the Bruins, as a partial clearance from UCI allowed the Bruins to retake possession in the offensive third.
The ball ultimately made its way to sophomore forward Grayson Doody on the right wing, and a nice inside-out move from Doody allowed him to get in deep and send in a cross. Still upfield due to the set piece, freshman center back Pietro Grassi got his foot on the cross and redirected it towards goal. From there, a UCI defender tried to sweep the ball away but instead sent it into his own net for the own goal.
That goal proved to be enough for UCLA, which limited the hosts to just two shots on goal for the contest. Bruins' keeper Justin Garces stopped both to earn his seventh career shutout.
The Anteaters had their best chance at equalizing in the 76th minute when a ball came across the right wing to an open Ricard Ibarra at the far post, but he mishit his volley attempt and the ball went out of play for a UCLA goal kick.
Garces made his toughest save of the game in the 63rd minute after the Anteaters parlayed a turnover into an odd-man break, but Garces came out and made a save to his left to negate the 5-v-3 opportunity.
Six different players registered a shot attempt for the Bruins, including a pair of shots – both on frame – from junior forward Ollie de Visser.
UCLA – which opens the 2021 season with seven of eight games at home – returns to Wallis Annenberg Stadium on Monday to host another Big West foe in CSUN. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Follow @UCLAMSoccer on Twitter for all team updates.