UCLA men’s soccer shuts out San Diego State with two second-half goals
Redshirt senior midfielder Jose Sosa readies to strike the ball. Sosa scored the Bruins’ first goal in the 65th minute against San Diego State on Friday evening. (Jake Greenberg-Bell/Daily Bruin)
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By Nick Darrow
Oct. 10, 2022 6:37 p.m.
After shutting out the Aztecs on Friday, the Bruins are second in the conference halfway through Pac-12 play.
UCLA men’s soccer (6-4-1, 2-2-1 Pac-12) won 2-0 against San Diego State (4-6-2, 1-2-1) on Friday night at Wallis Annenberg Stadium. The blue and gold recorded two goals in the second half to claim the win, starting with a score from redshirt senior midfielder Jose Sosa in the 65th minute, followed by a left-footed deflection from junior defender Tommy Silva in the 85th minute.
The first half was stagnant on the offensive end, as each keeper made two saves during the first 45 minutes, but neither team was able to record a goal. Less than 20 minutes into the second half, junior defender Grayson Doody won a penalty kick, and Sosa stepped up and put it into the back of the net, giving him his first goal of the season and his second as a Bruin.
Coach Ryan Jorden said he was impressed with the team’s ability to defend and prevent any strong opportunities for the Aztec offense.
“When you pitch a shutout, you feel good about it,” Jorden said. “We limited them to a few chances throughout most of the match, until the end when they launched some shots from distance. We also were able to handle pressure very well as a team and got the result we wanted.”
Defense has been a decisive factor for the Bruins, as they have only conceded three goals in their last six games. With a 3-2-1 record in those games and 2-2-1 in the five conference games, the blue and gold sits at second place in the conference standings, two points behind first-place Washington.
Sophomore goalkeeper Nate Crockford said the team’s ability to stay focused and honed in on its training prior to the contest made a difference.
“I think the key has been preparation,” Crockford said. “We have had a lot of sessions where we have worked on clearing the ball and being a solid unit, so all of that preparation has definitely helped us.”
On the offensive side of the ball, the game was relatively even. The Bruins had 12 shots and four shots on goal, compared to the Aztecs’ 16 shots and five on goal. Along with that, the Bruins had five corner kicks compared to the Aztecs’ four but ultimately notched 10 less fouls throughout the contest.
Silva said the Bruins need to stay connected in all facets of the game in order to be successful.
“We have had some really good performances, and obviously some that we aren’t very proud of,” Silva said. “But I think our most important goal and mission is to stay consistent on both ends of the ball.”
Silva’s 85th-minute goal marked his first of the season, as he continued his success against the Aztecs, with his fourth career goal in five games against them.
The Bruins next take the pitch Friday in a road matchup against Loyola Marymount at 7 p.m.