On the East Coast for the second time this season after a winless trip last time out, the UCLA Bruins (2-3) faced off against the No. 8 Clemson Tigers (6-1).
UCLA lost 3-0, the second shutout of its season.
Coming into the contest, the Tigers allowed just 0.66 goals per game over their first six games. The Bruins averaged two goals per game over its previous four; however, UCLA tallied five scores in its season-opener against the University of San Francisco.
Early on, the Bruins were on their heels. In the third minute, Clemson forward Diego Campos drilled a penalty kick into the left side of the net, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead after midfielder Harrison Kurtz was tripped up by a pair of UCLA defenders just inside the 18-yard box.
“Tonight was the perfect recipe for disaster,” said coach Jorge Salcedo. “We gave up an early penalty on the road to a good team. We were always chasing the game for the next 87 minutes.”
That goal would go on to be the lone score of the first half. Both sides generated positive momentum on offense as the Bruins logged seven shots compared to the Tigers’ six.
Despite the similar number of shots, UCLA was not able to place enough pressure on Clemson goalkeeper Ximo Miralles because many shots went wide and not on frame.
In the 59th minute, Clemson doubled its lead off a free kick when Tigers defender Patrick Bunk-Andersen banged in a header off a lob pass from left midfield. The Bruins failed to account for him as he was left completely unmarked in the far post.
UCLA’s best opportunity to score came in the 67th minute, when Bruin redshirt sophomore forward Blayne Martinez broke past the stingy Clemson defense following a well-timed through pass from junior midfielder Anderson Asiedu. Martinez, however, pulled the shot wide left of the frame.
In the 81st minute, Tigers forward Kimarni Smith made it 3-0, with a well-timed strike coming off midfielder Grayson Raynor’s low cross into the penalty box.
The Bruins are now 0-2 against ranked opponents, having suffered a 3-2 overtime loss earlier in the season to then-No. 6 Maryland.
They are also winless in their past three games away from Drake Stadium.
UCLA will return home with a chance to even its record against Cal State Northridge before heading into conference play.
“Our three road losses were to high-quality opponents,” Salcedo said. “I know we will be better from the two road trips and look forward to seeing how we react to this tough result.”