It took seven goals and three blown leads from both teams for the game to be decided, but ultimately the Bruins came out on top Sunday afternoon at Oregon State’s Senior Day in Corvallis, Oregon.
The unranked UCLA men’s soccer team (9-7-1, 4-5-0 Pac-12) defeated unranked Oregon State (6-8-3, 2-5-2) by a score of 4-3 to avoid losing a fifth consecutive conference matchup in the waning days of the regular season.
The 2016 season has seen the Bruins go through many ups and downs, and Sunday was no different. UCLA went down early on an impressive solo goal scored by Oregon State junior forward Jordan Jones after dribbling past three Bruin defenders.
UCLA, however, quickly responded just two minutes later with a pass-heavy team goal that senior midfielder Felix Vobejda slotted past the Oregon State keeper. Then, just four minutes after that, junior forward Abu Danladi’s shot deflected off of a Beaver defender and into the bottom corner of the net to extend UCLA’s lead to 2-1.
Shortly into the second half, the Bruins gifted the Beavers an equalizer when a poor touch from Vobejda allowed junior forward Timmy Mueller to score an easy goal.
UCLA’s luck turned when redshirt junior midfielder Brian Iloski drew a penalty that sophomore midfielder Jackson Yueill confidently put into the net to put UCLA back on top 3-2. The lead, however, still did not hold.
A mere three minutes after the penalty, Oregon State responded when junior midfielder Jesse Garcia cleverly touched the ball over his head, onto his foot and into the goal to tie the game at three goals apiece.
UCLA had the last word, though, when the Bruins scored the winning goal with only 10 minutes left to play. Yueill played a short pass to Danladi, who skillfully curled the ball over the keeper’s head to put in the game-winner.
The Bruins improved their conference record to 4-5-0 , and will have a chance to end the season .500 in the Pac-12 Thursday at home against San Diego State.