Just 49 seconds into overtime, senior midfielder Victor Munoz sent a through pass into the right side of the penalty box to senior forward Victor Chavez.
Chavez and the Indiana goalkeeper collided over the ball, but Chavez stayed on his feet despite the contact, sidestepped the fallen goalkeeper and buried the game-winning golden goal.
Chavez’s goal clinched the 1-0 victory for No. 9 UCLA against No. 1 Indiana in the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington, Ind., on Sunday after playing to a scoreless draw on Friday with No. 7 Notre Dame.
“It was such a great feeling, having that record-breaking crowd and us going to man down (after a red card),” Chavez said. “As a team, it just felt great having accomplished that as the family that we are.”
Despite the record-breaking crowd of 7,720 and the home-field advantage, the defending national champion Indiana could not score against the swarming UCLA defense, anchored by redshirt junior goalkeeper Earl Edwards.
“At the end of the day, defending is about mentality and we had a great mentality the whole weekend,” said coach Jorge Salcedo. “Shutting out Notre Dame and shutting out Indiana just speaks volumes to the warrior-like mentality that our back four had the whole weekend.”
After making five saves against Notre Dame (1-0-1), Edwards continued his shutout performance with four against Indiana (1-1-0), including a critical diving save on a penalty kick at the 75th minute after a foul and red card issued to senior defender Joe Sofia. Edwards’ performance over the weekend earned him a spot on the College Soccer News Team of the Week.
“In a penalty kick situation I kind of feel that I got nothing to lose, and I’m pretty confident in my abilities to make the save,” Edwards said. “I was playing some mind games, kind of got in his head and was able to read him.”
For the last 15 minutes of regulation and the first minute of overtime against Indiana, UCLA played one man down as a result of the red card. Yet, the Bruins continued their attack and did not allow the Hoosiers to take advantage.
“I knew that if I did make the save, the momentum that I would bring to the team would kind of eliminate being a man down,” Edwards said. “The momentum carried us to overtime and eventually got us the win.”
Aside from the red card, the Bruins (1-0-1) committed 13 fouls and were issued three yellow cards, but Salcedo said that it is rare for there to be so many fouls called against one team and that it can be debated whether or not the yellow cards were warranted. Still, the physical play was what the coach was looking for out of his team.
“We want to be a team that’s the aggressor,” Salcedo said. “We want to be on the front foot and we want to dictate the game.”
After taking down the defending national champion in the second game of the season, the Bruins will travel back home to play the Cal Poly Mustangs on Thursday, but Salcedo said that he hopes to continue to see improvements from his team.
“It’s only been two games in a season that’s long, and it’s really important that we’re only going to get better and work harder to build from a weekend like this,” Salcedo said. “This has got to be a springboard to make us a better team.”