UCLA and UNLV together could only manage a paltry five shots combined when the first half came to an end Monday.
By the time the match was over, that number swelled to 22 total. Though just one found the back of the net, it was enough to give the Bruins their second win of the year – a 1-0 victory over the Rebels.
After several close calls for the Bruin offense – all countered by saves from UNLV’s keeper – freshman Santiago Herrera was fouled in the penalty box with just three minutes left in the match.
Redshirt senior Brian Iloski found the back of the net off the penalty kick to create the only scoring play of the match.
“I think we deserved to win,” Herrera said. “We got a little bit lucky there, but oh well.”
Iloski disagreed with his younger teammate.
“It was not luck. We had two or three chances before (the penalty) to finish them off,” Illoski said. “It was definitely coming at some point I think … (Herrera) had a great touch in the box and drew the penalty kick.”
Luck or not, the Bruins would close out the game and take home their second win of the season – and their first shutout victory.
“Good teams find a way to win games even if it’s not the best performance,” said coach Jorge Salcedo. “It kind of seemed like one of those nights where we weren’t going to get the goal to win the game.”
The Bruins also had 10 corner kicks throughout the match – more than double the amount they had had in any other match so far this season – but were unable to capitalize on them.
Salcedo, Iloski and Herrera all said the Bruins need to do a better job of creating chances in the offensive half of the field.
“I think we can get the ball in the final third of the field a little bit quicker and keep the ball there and be patient with it,” Iloski said. “For us, it’s not our best performance, but we’re happy with the result.”