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UCLA men’s soccer secures nonconference victory against Loyola Marymount

Sophomore goalkeeper Nate Crockford handles the ball. Crockford accomplished a season-high six saves Friday night against LMU. (Jake Greenberg-Bell/Daily Bruin)

men's soccer


UCLA2
Loyola Marymount0

By Lauryn Olina Wang

Oct. 15, 2022 12:00 p.m.

This post was updated Oct. 16 at 10:25 p.m.

Despite garnering three yellow cards in 22 minutes, the Bruins maintained an 11-man game and quieted the Lions on their home turf for the first time in 10 years.

UCLA men’s soccer (7-4-1, 2-2-1 Pac-12) logged two first-half goals in its 2-0 nonconference victory over Loyola Marymount (8-3-2, 2-0 WCC) on Friday evening at Sullivan Field. The Bruins notched five shots to the Lions’ 13 but capitalized when it counted to secure their fifth shutout of the season.

Senior midfielder Riley Ferch said the victory was especially important considering the Bruins – who are currently unranked for only the second week all season – dropped two straight conference games at home before besting San Diego State last week.

“Even though it’s nonconference, it does a lot for us,” Ferch said. “We’ve been down for a little while after two bad results at home, but this reminds us how good we can be and just brings us together.”

Just five minutes after UCLA’s third yellow card of the night, the Bruins commenced the scoring in the 27th minute. Junior defender Tommy Silva sent the ball across the pitch, and redshirt sophomore forward Jose Contell logged the assist when redshirt senior forward Kevin Diaz met Contell’s pass in the box.

The Lions attempted to find an equalizer five minutes after the Bruins’ first goal, but sophomore goalkeeper Nate Crockford managed the save. Crockford tallied a season-high six saves on the night, totaling 36 this season to tie for the Pac-12 lead in saves alongside San Diego State goalkeeper Jacob Castro.

Yet, Crockford praised his teammates’ contributions and attributed the shutout to the squad’s discipline on defense.

“I thought we were really organized tonight in the back line,” Crockford said. “We defended really well in the second half. We just threw everything they had at us, and we didn’t concede.”

But Contell put it bluntly despite Crockford’s modesty.

“He’s the best goalkeeper in the nation,” Contell said.

The blue and gold doubled the pressure in the 37th minute when a few deflections in the box resulted in the Bruins scoring off their own goal and sweeping the back of the net for the second time. UCLA headed into the locker room at the half with a 2-0 lead and would maintain the advantage for the remainder of the contest.

Coach Ryan Jorden said his squad kept LMU off the board by maintaining its composure amid yellow cards, physicality and stoppages throughout the game.

“We didn’t get embroiled in things that took us mentally away from focusing on the game,” Jorden said. “We were calm enough in confrontational moments, … so I was pleased.”

Ferch added that he’s proud of his teammates for believing in each other and what they can accomplish collectively in snapping LMU’s four-game winning streak.

“You never know when you’re going to have to get into a dogfight,” Ferch said. “That’s just how the game was today, and it shows that we’re a good team put together, and we’ll fight for each other.”

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Lauryn Olina Wang | Sports senior staff
Wang is currently a Sports senior staff writer on the women’s basketball, men’s basketball, NIL and football beats. She was previously an assistant Sports editor on the women’s basketball, men’s soccer, men’s golf and track and field beats, reporter on the women’s basketball beat and contributor on the men’s and women’s golf beats. Wang is also a fourth-year history major and community engagement and social change minor.
Wang is currently a Sports senior staff writer on the women’s basketball, men’s basketball, NIL and football beats. She was previously an assistant Sports editor on the women’s basketball, men’s soccer, men’s golf and track and field beats, reporter on the women’s basketball beat and contributor on the men’s and women’s golf beats. Wang is also a fourth-year history major and community engagement and social change minor.
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