It has been two weeks since UCLA men’s soccer (8-6-1, 3-4-0 Pac-12) won, but the Bruins were able to get out of their slump, nabbing a 3-1 victory against Coastal Carolina (6-6-3, 2-1-1 Sun Belt).
This midseason conference break and win over the Chanticleers was welcomed after a stretch of conferences matches.
“It was nice to win after a few tough results,” said coach Jorge Salcedo. “We scored three great goals tonight so I’m happy with our result and the victory.”
The Bruins stuck to their strategy, coming out aggressive from the start, dictating play by remaining strong in defense. Their only tweak was that tonight they used sophomore Eric Holt, who has been a central defender in their recent few games. His duty was to enable sophomore midfielders Jose Hernandez and Jackson Yueill to collect the ball and help create some stability in the middle of the field for the team.
Although the team was at a deadlock at 1-1 for the majority of the first half, junior forward Seyi Adekoya was able to hit the top left corner, accompanied by a backflip in the 58th minute to help the Bruins get in winning position.
However, Saturday’s game exposed more aspects in which UCLA can work at.
“We can improve upon our defensive organization. I think after we score we lose focus and aren’t really organized as well as we could be in the back,” Yueill said. “So I think if our defense stays as organized as possible (throughout the duration of the game) it’ll stop other teams from scoring as much,”
With a slim 2-1 lead, Hernandez was able to seal the win in the final 50 seconds of the game with a shot to the far corner.
“This a good restart of the season … going into the end of the season with a just a few games left I think we needed this game to get our little wins going,” Yueill said. “This performance will help the team both mentally and performancewise and keep us enjoying the game, and playing well.”
UCLA re-enters conference play with a game against No.16 Washington on Thursday night.