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UCLA men’s soccer ends season with double overtime victory over California

Freshman defender Tommy Silva netted a game-winning goal late in the second overtime of Saturday’s victory for UCLA men’s soccer over California. (David Rimer/Daily Bruin staff)

Men's Soccer


California3
UCLA4

By Jake Greenberg-Bell

April 18, 2021 3:23 p.m.

First, a shot hit the post, then the second was blocked by a defender before a third was stopped by the goalie.

Then, Tommy Silva’s one-time putback ricocheted off the post and found the back of the net to win the game for the Bruins in the golden goal.

“I just remember it hitting two posts, a little scramble with the keeper,” the freshman defender said. “And then I was just sitting in the box and my only thought was ‘Smash it,’ and that’s what I did.”

With a final score of 4-3, UCLA men’s soccer (3-7-2, 2-6-2 Pac-12) defeated California (4-5-1, 3-5-1) at Wallis Annenberg Stadium on Saturday in double overtime to win its final game of the season in dramatic fashion.

But even before Silva pushed the team through to victory, the Bruins had to overcome being behind twice. First, in the 28th minute, UCLA erased a one-goal deficit when sophomore midfielder Riley Ferch tapped in a cross to bring the teams level at 1-1.

Then, in the waning minutes of the game, it took a score from a different freshman, forward Grayson Doody, who scored in the 86th minute to send the game to overtime at 3-3 and complete his first career brace.

The four goals for the Bruins came amid a season that saw the team break many of the wrong records. Even with its goals Saturday, the team scored the fewest total goals in a season since 1998.

Nonetheless, the Bruins saw upward trends throughout the season in many statistical categories. After starting 1-5-1 in its first seven games, the team finished the season with a 2-2-1 record in its last five games, having outshot five of its last seven opponents.

“We tried our hardest every day and sometimes the results don’t come our way, but knowing that every day of the season we put in 100% effort, that’s what stands out truly with these guys,” Ferch said. “Ending the season with a win was super big for us, I mean it set us off on the right foot to go into next season and know how good we can be. … If it takes this effort every time to get a win, that’s what we’ll do.”

The win also meant UCLA finished the season having maintained a winning record at home – something the team was unable to do last season during coach Ryan Jorden’s first year in Westwood.

In his second season, Jorden’s team finished with an identical Pac-12 record – tying its program-worst conference record of 2-6-2 – but on Saturday, the coach said he was happy to see that the score of the game reflected recent stellar performances his team has put out, which have not always translated to the final score.

“Our guys deserve to have a little bit of luck, we’ve played a lot of games where we’ve controlled, dictated, outshot the opponent in the last six and just not gotten much out of it, and so for us to have to do it from behind, multiple times today, (I am) incredibly proud of the group of guys,” Jorden said. “We’re capable of playing with anybody in the country and we’ve grown into that as this year has gone on and that’s exciting – I wouldn’t want to play us right now.”

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Jake Greenberg-Bell | Sports reporter
Greenberg-Bell is currently a Sports reporter. He was previously a contributor on the men's soccer, women's soccer and men's volleyball beats.
Greenberg-Bell is currently a Sports reporter. He was previously a contributor on the men's soccer, women's soccer and men's volleyball beats.
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