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Tommy Silva’s golden goal helps men’s soccer secure win against San Francisco

Sophomore defender Tommy Silva scored the game-winning goal for UCLA men’s soccer in overtime Sunday against San Francisco to secure the team’s first win of the season. (Jack Stenzel/Daily Bruin)

Men's soccer

San Francisco1

By Jake Greenberg-Bell

Aug. 29, 2021 11:03 p.m.

For the second time in three games, Tommy Silva proved to be the hero in overtime.

Just three minutes into the golden goal period, redshirt freshman midfielder Tucker Lepley’s through ball was mishandled by the San Francisco keeper, and once again it was the sophomore defender Silva who pounced on the ball and capitalized on his opportunity.

“The biggest smile came across my face because I knew the goal was wide open,” Silva said. “Fortunately I’ve been in the right place at the right time on two occasions.”

Silva’s golden goal gave UCLA men’s soccer (1-1) a 2-1 win over visiting San Francisco (1-1) on Sunday afternoon at Wallis Annenberg Stadium for the Bruins’ first win of the season.

For much of the first half, the Bruins found themselves with the ball, attacking an organized Don defense that sat in deep and let UCLA command the tempo and possession. But at half, the Bruins were still level on the scoresheet despite outshooting San Francisco by a margin of 5-1.

“I think USF knew our game plan, and they sat a little and tried to let us play and get us on the counter,” said redshirt senior defender Ben Reveno. “But we were smart with how we built out, and I think (coach Ryan Jorden’s) tactics for this game were very good.”

In the 53rd minute, the Bruins finally found a breakthrough down the left flank as redshirt freshman forward Jose Contell was able to slot a pass sharply into the box. From there, junior midfielder Riley Ferch beat a crowd of players to the ball and smashed it into the roof of the net to give his team a 1-0 lead.

As the second half progressed, UCLA managed to record only two shots over the next 33 minutes between the goal and a San Francisco set piece, in which a curling cross fell kindly to senior defender Shayan Charalaghi who headed the ball home to tie the game at one goal apiece.

It was the second straight game where the Bruins had conceded a goal within the final ten minutes of regulation. Coach Ryan Jorden said he liked his team’s performance but felt they should’ve put the game to bed when they had the chance.

“If you got chances to go up 2-0, you got to take that, and then that starts sucking life out of the opponent’s belief that they can get back into the game,” Jorden said. “By and large, I was incredibly pleased with what we did. I don’t think we conceded much danger outside of set pieces, but we got caught because we conceded a set piece that we shouldn’t concede.”

Once overtime started, it took less than three minutes for Silva to find the back of the net for the Bruins and secure the victory. The win brings UCLA to 26-19-5 all time against USF.

“It’s a good start,” Reveno said. “I think we just need to take this, celebrate a little, and then move on to the next one.”

Next up for UCLA is a trip to UC Irvine on Friday to take on the Anteaters, who have yet to win a game this season.

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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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