Bruins Nip Cal With Golden Goal in OT
Monday, October 18, 2010
Category: Sports > Fall > Soccer (Men's)
The sheer surprise and elation expressed by the UCLA bench said it all. It doesn't matter who appears to be the better side, it only takes one great play to win the game.
Freshman sensation Kelyn Rowe's 25-yard wonder-strike in the 105th minute gave the Bruins a critical 1-0 victory over Cal, a heart-wrenching finish for a Bears team that controlled almost the entire second half and the opening overtime period.
The overtime loss ends Cal's four-game winning streak to start conference play and an eight-game unbeaten streak.
"That's soccer for you," senior Davis Paul said. "All it takes is one strike like it did today."
Led by Paul's three shots on goal and exemplary defense from left back Scot VanBuskirk, Cal (8-2-2, 4-1-0 in the Pac-10) looked like it would inevitably score after several chances on frame and applying constant pressure in UCLA (9-3-1 , 4-1-0) territory.
Cal goalie David Bingham made eight saves, but only two presented any real challenge to the junior until Rowe's laser hit the side netting in the second overtime period.
Paul started the Bears' first legitimate chance, streaking toward the middle and leaving a back-heel pass for midfielder Hector Jimenez, whose rocket from the top of the penalty box rang off the side post. Tony Salciccia blasted the ball into the back of the net off the rebound, but was whistled for being offside.
Paul and Jimenez teamed up for another gleaming chance with 1:25, playing give and go down the sideline, but Paul's shot was nicely snared by UCLA goalie Bryan Rowe, who made five saves on the afternoon.
"At that point in 90 minutes we were just trying to run as hard as we can," Paul said. "Hector slipped me back through and I lunged as far as I could and I hit it right where I want it, the goalie was just right on top of it."
The first half offered few chances for either side, with the wet, sloppy conditions creating heavy touches and difficult passing. UCLA created a series of chances in the air, but none of the resulting headers offered any particular challenge for Bingham.
Cal managed only three shots in the opening frame, but Servando Carrasco's diving header off of a Paul free kick with 5:45 remaining was the best chance for either side.
The loss comes on the heels of a dominating 3-0 victory over San Diego State on Friday, which was the Bears' first win over the Aztecs since 2007. Carrasco led Cal with one goal and one assist while Paul pitched in two assists.
Chris Ortega and A.J. Soares also scored for the Bears.
The Bears have no time to commiserate about Sunday's loss, as they trek down south to play San Diego State on Friday, a place where Cal coach Kevin Grimes has never won in 11 years at the helm.
Gabriel Baumgaertner covers men's soccer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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