Bruins Fill the Net in 4-0 Win Over CSUN
LOS ANGELES – The UCLA men's soccer team scored four goals in the first half – including a brace from sophomore winger Tommy Silva – and never looked back in a 4-0 victory over CSUN on Monday night at Wallis Annenberg Stadium.
The four-goal lead at the break was UCLA's (3-1-0) largest halftime lead in over 20 years, with the Bruins also netting four times in the first half of a 5-0 win against San Diego State on Sept. 6, 2000. It was UCLA's first time scoring four goals in a single half since Sept. 5, 2015 against Akron.
In addition, the 4-0 win represents the largest margin of victory for UCLA under third-year head coach Ryan Jorden. Paired with Friday's 1-0 blanking of UC Irvine, the Bruins have notched clean sheets in consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 4 and 7, 2018.
"I think our guys were trying to be a step better than we were last time out," said Jorden. "Our attention to detail continues to be very good. Obviously, scoring four goals in the first half is a reward for adhering to the things we've been trying to accomplish on the field. Really pleased with the guys, and then obviously pleased that we had other guys come on and have some good performances. Overall, a fantastic night for us."
Silva headlined UCLA's offensive production on Monday, figuring in the scoring of the team's first three goals en route to a career-high five points. The Tucson, Ariz. native has three goals over his last three games, including a pair of game-winners.
After back-to-back goals from Silva, freshman forward Jose Contell and graduate midfielder Yoni Sorokin both scored their first goals as Bruins to extend the lead before the halftime whistle.
Silva opened the game's scoring in the 25th minute, slamming home a rebound from inside the six-yard box after freshman defender Pietro Grassi's header off a corner was blocked at the goal line.
Ten minutes later, Silva was in the right place at the right time once again. A sequence of nifty passes by the Bruins allowed Grayson Doody to get in deep on the right side, where he sent in a cross towards the 18. A CSUN defender tried to clear out the cross, but he mishit the ball which came to a stop right by the penalty spot, allowing Silva to pounce on the loose ball and slip it under the charging keeper.
2️⃣ for Tommy.
— UCLA Men's Soccer (@UCLAMSoccer) September 7, 2021
Another goal off a rebound allowed the Bruins to push the lead to 3-0 in the 39th minute. Silva earned the secondary assist on the play, sending a short pass along the top of the 18 that led to a first-time shot from Jose Sosa. His initial drive was stopped by CSUN keeper David Preys, but Contell was waiting nearby to jump on the rebound and poke it in from inside the six for his first official collegiate goal (he also scored against Westmont in UCLA's exhibition opener).
A pair of newcomers teamed up in the 44th minute to notch the Bruins' final goal, with freshman Brandon Zelaya absorbing contact inside the box to draw a penalty, and Sorokin stepping up and nailing the PK to make it 4-0.
UCLA nearly made it 5-0 in the final seconds of the first half after slipping in another rebound past Preys, but the play was whistled offside.
Senior keeper Justin Garces made his only two saves of the night in relatively quick succession during the second half, turning aside free kick drives in the 59th and 63rd minutes. The shutout was the ninth of his career. Sophomore keeper Tyler Kirberg played the final 20 minutes of the contest.
Kirberg was one of five Bruins to make their 2021 debuts on Monday. Freshmen Charlie Crockford and Kasper Strom both made their NCAA debuts, while returners Pablo Greenlee and Luke Bone both made their first appearances of the new campaign.
CSUN (0-4-0) was led by forward Jamar Ricketts, the lone Matador with multiple shot attempts. He hit the post with a hard-hit shot in the 33rd minute that represented his team's most dangerous scoring opportunity.
UCLA continues a home-heavy start to the 2021 season with a non-conference battle against Portland at Wallis Annenberg Stadium on Friday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and the game will be streamed on Pac-12.com/live.