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10-Man Bruins Edged by Grand Canyon, 3-2

Sep 5, 2022
Jose Contell (photo: Jesus Ramirez)

LOS ANGELES – The No. 4-ranked UCLA men's soccer team fought hard after playing a man down for nearly 60 minutes, but ultimately absorbed a 3-2 loss to No. 24 Grand Canyon on Monday night at Wallis Annenberg Stadium.

The Bruins (3-1-0) dropped a result for the first time in 2022, outshooting the visiting Lopes (2-2-0) 14-13 despite the man-disadvantage.

UCLA endured a 1-2 punch midway through the first half, having a penalty kick saved in the 15th minute before Alec LaBarge put GCU ahead with the first of his two goals at the 22:26 mark.

The Bruins' comeback path was made all the more difficult when junior defender Grayson Doody was assessed a red card for a sliding challenge in the 37th minute.

The 10-man Bruins were able to break through for an equalizer early on in the second half, as junior forward Andre Ochoa picked out senior winger Constantinos Michaelides with a perfect through ball between GCU's center backs to set up a 1 v 1 with the keeper. Once inside the box, he dribbled to his right, re-collected the ball after a slight deflection by the keeper, and calmly finished into the open net. 

That deadlock turned out to be short-lived however, as the Lopes responded with a go-ahead score from Zion Long in the 68th. LaBarge found the back of the net again in the 80th minute to clinch a brace and push GCU's lead to two goals.

The Bruins were able to make it interesting with an 85th minute marker from Pietro Grassi off a long throw-in from the right touch line, but couldn't generate another quality scoring chance in the final minutes of the game.

Grassi's goal was the first of his collegiate career. With his goal, Michaelides recorded multiple points in consecutive games for the first time as a Bruin.

UCLA, which played its first four games of the year at home, is next in action on Saturday at Portland starting at 7:00 p.m. PT. The game will be streamed live on the WCC Network.