This wasn’t exactly the start that UCLA men’s soccer was looking for.
To close out their exhibition play, the No. 6 Bruins took on the No. 13 Indiana Hoosiers at Bishop D’Arcy Stadium in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
With a bright new season ahead, and a recent top-ranking in the Pac-12, UCLA’s hopes of heading into the season on a high note were crushed as the men’s soccer team fell 2-0.
The match started off relatively even; neither team took a shot in the first 15 minutes of play. Finally in the 16th minute, IU took the first strike at the goal, only for it to be saved by UCLA.
At the half, the Bruins had been outshot 6-2 but the score remained locked at zero apiece.
In the 52nd minute, Indiana sophomore midfielder Rees Wedderburn finally got the ball rolling and buried a ricocheted shot from eight yards out for a goal.
Then in the 81st minute, Hoosier junior forward Rashad Hyacenth scored. The Belmont transfer took a shot from about 20 yards and extended IU’s lead over UCLA to 2-0.
The Bruins’ first scoring threat came from freshman defender Reggie Cannon in the 29th minute. Cannon’s shot was blocked by IU goalkeeper redshirt sophomore Sean Caufield.
Then, down 1-0, senior midfielder Willie Raygoza blasted a low shot from 22 yards out but to no avail.
That lead would remain for the final minutes of the match, and UCLA will have ample material to work with as they fine-tune their play for the upcoming season.
The Bruins will open up their season against the Maryland Terrapins with a twist. The two teams will get a taste of the Major League Soccer lifestyle when they clash in the StubHub Center on Aug. 26th.