No. 17 UCLA men’s soccer (7-3-1, 3-1-0 Pac-12) clinched a big victory this afternoon against California (4-5-2, 0-3-1), winning 4-3.
With two minutes left in the game, the Bruins had a penalty kick that could have broken the tie to give them the outright lead. Sophomore Cal goalie Jonathan Klinsmann, however, was there for the save.
The Bruins could count the seconds they had left in regulation, and utilized every second by scoring not only in the 90th minute, but the last 10 seconds. After the corner kick dropped to the ground right in front of the cage, freshman forward Blayne Martinez calmly tapped it once to control it, and the second time shot it right at Klinsmann, who ricocheted the ball into the right side of the net.
“We did a great job keeping the ball, moving it around, waiting for the right opportunity to capitalize on,” Martinez said. “We executed in the final third. … (Scoring the final goal) was one of the best moments in my life.”
It was the second time this year they made a game-changing play with less than five seconds on the clock – against UC Santa Barbara, UCLA tied the game with three seconds left.
Although it ended a high-scoring game, it was at a 1-1 deadlock after 45 minutes of play. It wasn’t until junior forward Seyi Adekoya was able to make an inside-out cut to give him enough space that he hit the upper-right corner of the goal and got the momentum moving in the Bruins’ direction.
“Even though we started off down, we stuck to our style and kept finding ways to score a variety of goals,” Adekoya said. “We know our role, we make sure that everyone has space, everyone knows what they should do, where they should be at a given time and we didn’t give into Cal’s style.”
The Bruins will next face No. 16 Stanford (6-2-3, 3-0-0) Sunday evening in Palo Alto.