Bruins Edged by No. 2 Washington, 2-1
SEATTLE, Wash. – Senior forward Kevin Diaz found the back of the net for the fourth time in the last five games, but it proved to be not enough as the No. 23-ranked UCLA men's soccer team dropped a 2-1 decision on the road at No. 2 Washington on Sunday afternoon at Husky Soccer Stadium.
Diaz took advantage of a Washington (9-0-0, 2-0-0 Pac-12) miscue to open the game's scoring in the 80th minute, but the hosts responded with a pair of goals in the final seven minutes to take the win. UCLA moved to 6-4-0, 2-2-0 with the result.
Senior keeper Justin Garces made a season-high seven saves in the contest. In fact, he recorded a new season-high in the first half alone with five stops before adding two further saves in the second half.
The two teams battled to a scoreless draw in the first half. Both teams had periods of sustained pressure in the second half, but neither team could get on the scoreboard until Diaz's opener.
The play that led to Diaz's goal started with a Washington throw-in deep in its own defensive territory. Off the throw-in, a Washington defender played a pass from near the right sideline back to his keeper, Sam Fowler. With just two UCLA players forward, Fowler took his time getting rid of the ball, which allowed redshirt freshman Jose Contell to step up to Fowler and pop the ball loose.
With Contell and Fowler both on the ground following the challenge, Diaz swarmed on the ball and tapped it into the open net for the score. The score extended his point-scoring streak to five games (4-2-10).
Jose Contell with the pressure, Kevin Diaz with the goal!
— UCLA Men's Soccer (@UCLAMSoccer) October 3, 2021
The Huskies answered with two goals over the remainder of the game. The first came via Ryan Sailor off a set piece, and the game-winner came off a right-footed strike from inside the 18 by Imanol Rosales.
UCLA returns to action next Friday, Oct. 8, by hosting San Diego State in a Pac-12 tilt at Wallis Annenberg Stadium at 7:00 p.m.