UCLA Blanks Loyola Marymount, 2-0
LOS ANGELES – The UCLA men's soccer team used a pair of first-half goals to record a 2-0 win over Loyola Marymount on Friday night at Sullivan Field.
The two goals for the Bruins (7-4-1) came just over 10 minutes apart starting with a Kevin Diaz marker at the 27:10 mark of the opening stanza.
The result represented the first timed the road team recorded a win in the head-to-head series between UCLA and LMU (8-3-2) since 2012.
Though the Bruins only had two official shots on the box score during the first half, they capitalized on their scoring chances thanks to some clever passing in the offensive third.
Junior Tommy Silva started the sequence that led to UCLA's opening goal, playing a long cross from the left touchline towards the far post. From there, sophomore forward Jose Contell ran down the ball on the right side, and first-time a ball across the box just before it went out past the end line. Diaz made a perfectly-timed run to pounce on the Contell ball inside the six, and slipped a low left-footed shot past the keeper.
Ten minutes later, a long ball over the top from senior midfielder Riley Ferch started another scoring sequence for the Bruins. Contell tracked down the ball in the offensive third, and proceeded to move laterally across the top of the 18 before playing a ball inside for Diaz. Off the pass, Diaz back-heeled a ball towards the penalty spot, where junior forward Andre Ochoa slid and caused the ball to take a deflection off a couple Lions defenders and into the net.
With the hosts upping the ante in the second half while trying to get back in the game, UCLA absorbed the pressure to finish off the shutout.
LMU's best chance to score came in the 65th minute after a free kick resulted in a loose ball inside the 18, but the Bruins got a clearance off that play and then had Pietro Grassi clear a ball off the line on a second-chance shot from the Lions.
Sophomore keeper Nate Crockford was between the sticks to earn the shutout, his Pac-12-leading sixth of the year. He made a season-high six saves in the contest.
UCLA returns to Wallis Annenberg Stadium next week for its final two home games of the regular season, welcoming California on Oct. 20 and Stanford on Oct. 23.