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Setback on the Road

Sep 16, 2021

LOS ANGELES - No. 23 Stanford had its chances early, but second-half mistakes doomed the Cardinal, who fell 2-0 to UCLA on Thursday night.

The loss is Stanford's first to the Bruins since 2013, who scored their first goal against the Cardinal since 2017 in the victory.

"Very disappointing result, but really a fantastic game of soccer," said The Knowles Family Director of Men's Soccer Jeremy Gunn. "Felt we were bright in the first half ... could have had a penalty in the first 10 minutes, had a couple of other chances, but at halftime I believed we'd been the better team and were in a pretty good position."

Ousseni Bouda nearly dented the twine twice in the opening period, forcing a miraculous save from the UCLA goalkeeper on a free kick in the 27th minute, before firing off another shot on goal that forced a save in the 30th. 

"The second half started a bit more even, and then a crucial moment that changes the complexion of the game - UCLA awarded a penalty. A wonderful, tight soccer match after that," said Gunn.

A foul was called in the box against Stanford and UCLA's Yoni Sorokin capitalized from the spot in the 50th minute. The Bruins upped their game from their, and Stanford continued to press its attack seeking the equalizer.

"UCLA certainly grew after its goal, got more confident. We were trying to chase the game, and unfortunately gave away a really poor goal on a defensive mix-up. From then on, we couldn't find a way back into the game."

The Bruins were given an empty-net opportunity in the 79th minute after Stanford's Matt Frank came out to try and disrupt a play, doubling their lead. Frank finished the night with four saves.

Stanford threatened from beginning to end, finishing the night with 11 corner kick opportunities to UCLA's two. Only two of Stanford's nine total shots ended up on goal however - the two early strikes from Bouda.

"We now just move onto Sunday. Looking forward to a great response."

The Cardinal will travel further south for a Pac-12 matchup with No. 21 San Diego State Sunday at 3 p.m.