Cal’s Late Screamer shocks UCLA men’s football, another blown lead


The Bruins can’t help but play close games, and they once again found themselves on the losing side of this one.

UCLA’s No.22 men’s football (8-5, 3-3 Pac-12) led late in the second half Thursday against California (3-8-2, 1-5), only to allow a few goals and lose 2-1 on the road. The Bruins have now played seven straight games decided by a goal or less, and 11 of their 13 games this season go into qualifying.

Now seated at 4-3 in that seven-game one-goal streak, UCLA blew up second-half leads in those three losses. It started when the Bruins took a 3-1 lead over Oregon State, but the Beavers scored three unanswered goals in three minutes, and continued when they let Washington score twice. in the last 10 minutes in a 2-1 loss later that same weekend.

Thursday’s morning against Cal can now be added to the mix, as UCLA’s 1-0 lead would be erased in the 74th minute before the Golden Bears scored the game-winning goal in the 89th. All three close games with blown Bruin leads were on the road, as the team now sits 1-3 outside Westwood and 7-2 in the comfort of Wallis Annenberg Stadium.

UCLA built their lead by a goal late in the first half, when senior forward Kevin Diaz crushed a defender before continuing to midfield and sending the ball to freshman midfielder. Tucker Lepley.

Lepley touched him from the right side of the box towards red-shirted first-year forward Jose Contell, who then sent a cross to the far post for second-year defenseman Tommy Silva. A defender from Cal walked past a slipping Silva, but the ball deflected into the net to score his own side.

Senior goaltender Justin Garces made three first-half saves – including two in the eighth minute – and the Bruins started the break with a lead. Garces would not find so much success in the last 45 minutes, however.

The Golden Bears didn’t register any more shots on goal until the 74th minute, although they did have a chance in the 56th which hit the right post. Luck in the 74th arose when Contell attempted to clear a ball over his head and Cal intercepted it. Contell and first-year forward Aaron Edwards collapsed towards the ball, leaving defender Ian Lonergan wide open to receive a pass and send it into the box for forward Fahmi Ibrahim.

Ibrahim rounded off the two UCLA defenders and Garces for the tying score.

Winning the match was an even more unlikely game, as midfielder Adrian Guzman got the ball back to goal outside the upper right corner of the box. He turned and took two hits before shooting one with his left foot 20 yards, narrowly squeezing it into the upper left corner of the goal in front of a diving Garces.

After allowing six goals in its first eight games, UCLA conceded nine in its next five games. Garces, who couldn’t have done much to save the Golden Bears’ two goals on Thursday afternoon, saw his goals against increase from 0.75 to 1.17 during that span.

Junior midfielder Riley Ferch is the only Bruin to score a shot on goal in the 88th minute. It was UCLA’s best attempt in a 90-second all-out attack that could have sealed the deal in the dying moments.

Instead, the Bruins couldn’t tune in on any of their three shots deep into Golden Bear’s territory, and they ended up losing to a team they had beaten 2-1 a month earlier in residence.

UCLA will remain on the road for a rematch with Stanford on Sunday afternoon, having already beaten the Cardinal earlier in the season at Wallis Annenberg Stadium. The kickoff of this match is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Follow Connon on Twitter at @SamConnon
Follow all the Bruins on Twitter at @SI_AllBruins
Like all the Bruins on Facebook at @ SI.AllBruins
Subscribe to All Bruins on Youtube

Read more stories from UCLA: UCLA Bruins on Sports Illustrated
Read more articles on UCLA Olympic sports: UCLA Olympic Sports on Sports Illustrated


About Author

Kehoe Young

Comments are closed.