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No. 23 Bruins Drop Thriller in Corvallis, 4-3

Sep 30, 2021
Justin Garces (photo: Scobel Wiggins)

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State scored three goals in just over three minutes during the second half to record a 4-3 win over No. 23 UCLA on Thursday night at Paul Lorenz Field.

The Bruins (6-3-0, 2-1-0) scored three consecutive goals of their own earlier in the game to build a 3-1 lead by the 63rd minute, but the Beavers (5-1-1, 1-0-0) answered back with the three quick punches to go ahead for good in the 68th.

The result snapped a three-game winning streak for the Bruins. It was also the first time since the season-opener that UCLA allowed multiple goals.

Oregon State opened the game's scoring in the 23rd minute, with a cross from Jibril Rodet getting knocked down but not cleared in the box, allowing Adrian Molina-Diaz to punch in the loose ball.

The initial lead was short-lived however, as the Bruins responded with a pair of goals in quick succession to take the lead by halftime.

Senior forward Kevin Diaz was pivotal in both of those goals (he also picked up the primary assist on UCLA's third goal).

First in the 32nd minute, the Bruins got plenty of men forward during a build-up, which resulted in graduate midfielder Yoni Sorokin approaching the box from the left wing and looking to put in a cross. He ultimately sent in a grounded pass laterally across the box, Diaz froze the OSU defenders with a masterful dummy, and freshman forward Jose Contell hammered home a first-time left-footed strike when the ball came to him for the equalizer.

Just over four minutes later, Diaz got on the board himself, heading home a long Tommy Silva cross to put the Bruins ahead 2-1.

The Beavers came out of the halftime break and upped the pressure offensively, but the Bruins were able to extend their lead on the counterattack in the 63rd minute. The play started with a forced turnover near the UCLA defensive box, and a couple first-time passes allowed the Bruins to get moving the other way with numbers.

The ball ultimately ended up with freshman right back Aaron Edwards on the right side. Advancing on goal, Edwards hit Diaz with a pass centrally above the box. In a 2-v-1 situation, Diaz laid off a ball for Riley Ferch to his left, who first-timed a left-footed shot underneath the charging OSU keeper to make it 3-1. 

Oregon State's charge began to pay dividends shortly after Ferch's tally. Tyrone Mondi brought the Beavers within one on a 65th minute strike, Molina-Diaz notched a brace to tie it up at the 66:11 mark, and Sofianne Djeffal knocked home a rebound of a Mouhameth Thiam strike to pot the game-winner in the 68th minute.

UCLA's two best chances to equalize late in the game came off the left foot of Silva, as he redirected a ball just wide of the far post in 74th minute before shooting over the bar from inside the box in the 82nd minute.

Senior keeper Justin Garces made a season-high four saves in the contest. His most difficult save came in the 85th minute, as he pushed a close-range shot over the bar to keep it a one-goal game.

Oregon State out-shot UCLA 16-9 for the game, the first time this season a UCLA opponent has reached double-digit shot attempts.

The Bruins continue their Pacific Northwest trip with a game at No. 2 Washington on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. The Pac-12 Network will televise the contest.