This post was updated Oct. 21 at 9:51 p.m.
The Bruins took the lead five minutes in and never relinquished it.
No. 22 UCLA men’s soccer (9-4, 4-1 Pac-12) overwhelmed LMU (5-9, 2-1 WCC) 4-1 at home Saturday night. The victory was the Bruins’ largest this season in terms of goal difference since its 4-0 shutout in the season opener against Coastal Carolina on Aug. 24.
UCLA commanded throughout the game with 17 shots and 11 shots on target in the match, compared to 4 and 2 for LMU.
Senior midfielder Joab Santoyo opened his account for the season by tapping in a pass from sophomore forward Milan Iloski past Lions keeper Paul Lewis.
Freshman midfielder Matt Hundley doubled the lead for the Bruins in the 32nd minute with a curler from outside the box that ended up in the upper right corner of the goal off a slight deflection from an LMU defender.
“I got played a ball and was dribbling across,” Hundley said. “I thought, ‘Why not a take shot?’ and got lucky with the deflection. We have a lot of classy midfielders so it attracts a lot of defenders. They are able to play it to me quickly, which created space.”
UCLA seemingly stopped an LMU attack in the 35th minute, but the Bruins handed possession back to the Lions resulting in a close-range goal for Lion sophomore Kris Fourcand, the team’s leading goal scorer in 2018.
“We had a mental lapse,” said coach Jorge Salcedo. “It was a simple play to end that sequence and negate whatever chance they had in the box. Just a poor decision that led to a goal.”
LMU only attempted one shot prior to its goal. Bruin keeper Justin Garces recorded one save. Late in the first half, Garces deflected a long-range shot away from goal to maintain UCLA’s 2-1 lead. Salcedo said the team was unlucky not to maintain a clean sheet.
“It was a really good first half performance,” Salcedo said. “It was a performance where we could’ve been up by more than one goal. Our ball movement, pace on our passes and movement off the ball were good. We missed a couple of very clear chances that would’ve made it a more comfortable half-time scoreline.”
Junior forward Mohammed Kamara – playing his first game since Sept. 30 due to injury – brought the lead back to two on a counterattack in the 54th minute to carry the ball through the final third and slot it into the net.
“It was important to come back and score a goal,” Kamara said. “The pass from (sophomore defender Eric Iloski) was a real quality pass. I just needed to get on the scoresheet and I’m excited and happy to be back.”
Hundley dealt the final blow six minutes later, finessing a free kick into the top right corner.
Hundley started the first eight games off the season, but came off the bench in the past four matches. He was given the starting nod by Salcedo for the first time since Sept. 27.
“I just wanted to prove and show what I can do and hopefully get more starts,” said the two-goal scorer.
The Bruins will travel to Washington to take on the Huskies (8-6, 3-3 Pac-12) on Thursday night for a chance to extend its four-game winning streak.