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UCLA men’s soccer defeats No. 23 Stanford for 1st time since 2013

Senior forward Kevin Diaz scored his first goal of the season to help push UCLA men’s soccer past No. 23 Stanford for the first time in eight years. (Ariana Fadel/Daily Bruin)

Men's soccer


No. 23 Stanford0
UCLA2

By Nick Darrow

Sept. 17, 2021 2:34 p.m.

For the first time since 2018, the Bruins have won their Pac-12 opener.

UCLA men’s soccer (4-2, 1-0 Pac-12) defeated No. 23 Stanford (2-2-1, 0-1) by a score of 2-0 at Wallis Annenberg Stadium on Thursday night, the Bruins’ first win over the Cardinal since 2013. Graduate student midfielder Yoni Sorokin scored the first goal from the penalty spot in the 50th minute, and senior forward Kevin Diaz put the game away with a goal in the 79th minute to double the Bruins’ lead.

After a foul drawn by sophomore forward Grayson Doody, Sorokin struck the ball in the bottom right corner while Stanford goalkeeper Matt Frank dove left, giving UCLA its first goal to take a 1-0 lead.

Sorokin said he was happy with the team’s performance as a whole while noting the impact of having a large home crowd.

“We had a great night as a team,” Sorokin said. “The stadium was full, and it was just a perfect night for the beautiful game.”

The goal was Sorokin’s second of the season and was one of the eight shots the Bruins had as a team that night, with six of them being on goal. Diaz’s goal was his first of the season and the third of his career.

Alongside the offensive production for the Bruins, senior goalkeeper Justin Garces was able to keep his third clean sheet of the season. Garces said the entire team brought a great amount of effort from start to finish.

“The energy and grit from the guys was amazing and they showed that throughout the entire 90 minutes,” Garces said. “It was a fantastic performance – even the guys on the bench brought energy and it was great to see.”

Garces finished the game with two saves, as the Bruins were able to keep the ball for most of the second half.

Coach Ryan Jorden said getting the second goal was vital in the win.

“It was great we could get the second goal because it takes a bit of the pressure off,” Jorden said. “It puts you in a situation where you can see the game out and understand the nature of what’s coming on against you.”

With the win, UCLA moved to two games over .500 for the second time this season. Next up for the Bruins is a matchup against California on Sunday.

“I hope that we can back this up and come out on Sunday with a great performance to support what we have done tonight and prove who we are as a team,” Jorden said.

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Nick Darrow | Sports contributor
Darrow is currently a Sports contributor on the men's soccer beat. He was previously a contributor on the women's tennis and men's volleyball beats.
Darrow is currently a Sports contributor on the men's soccer beat. He was previously a contributor on the women's tennis and men's volleyball beats.
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