UCLA men’s soccer defeats Cal State Fullerton in fourth shutout of season
Senior forward Constantinos Michaelides escapes a defender on the field. Michaelides scored the Bruins’ sole goal in their shutout against Cal State Fullerton Saturday evening. (Jake Greenberg-Bell/Daily Bruin)
|Cal State Fullerton||0|
|No. 20 UCLA||1|
By Lexi Grimes
Sept. 25, 2022 1:45 p.m.
This post was updated Sept. 25 at 11:49 p.m.
Students returned to campus this week just in time to watch the Bruins secure another home victory.
No. 20 UCLA men’s soccer (5-2-1, 1-0-1 Pac-12) shut out Cal State Fullerton (5-3-2) in its first game back at Wallis Annenberg in almost three weeks. Senior forward Constantinos Michaelides said the team is appreciative of the students coming to support them in their first week of school.
“It was amazing to see so many people coming and supporting us,” Michaelides said. “We’re lucky to have them and very happy to have them and we hope that they are going to be here every home game and supporting us.”
The Bruins started off aggressive on the offensive side, getting off two shots in the first seven minutes of the game. At the eight minute mark, Michaelides found the back of the net in a set piece play to log what would be the only goal of the match. While UCLA notched seven more shots in the first 45 minutes of play, none of them put the Bruins on the board.
“I think coming into the game we had a lot of energy,” said junior defender Grayson Doody. “We put the first one away. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the next few, but we wanted to come out with intensity.”
In the second half of the matchup, the momentum shifted in the Titans’ favor. Cal State Fullerton, who recorded four shots in the first half of the game, pressured the Bruins’ defense with 11 shots in the second half.
The Titans came close to an equalizer in the 69th minute, when sophomore goalkeeper Nate Crockford left the net to defend against a shot and junior forward Andre Ochoa slid into a save.
Coach Ryan Jorden said that the reason why the Bruins had to be so defensively vigilant in the second half of the game is because they were unable to capitalize on additional chances in the first half.
“We probably should have scored two, three, four goals – and goals change games,” Jorden said. “We didn’t take those so we ended up having to suffer a lot and fend off a lot of stuff at the end because they felt like they had a chance to get something from the game.”
Despite the second-half intensity, UCLA still managed to record a shutout – its fourth in the first eight games of the season. In the 2021 season, the Bruins recorded four shutouts total.
UCLA resumes conference play on Thursday with a matchup against Oregon State. Michaelides said that this win is important for the blue and gold as it heads into a weekend of difficult opponents.
“It’s a very important win because the two games coming up next week are going to be tough ones,” said Michaelides. “We all know it and we have to keep our focus and keep working for the next games.”