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Storm washes out Bruins’ rematch hopes in canceled Oregon State game

Redshirt sophomore midfielder Tucker Lepley beats out a defender for possession of the ball. The 2021 team MVP garnered three points in the Washington matchup with one goal and one assist. (Vivian Xu/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Ethan Ng

Nov. 7, 2022 11:49 a.m.

Rainy conditions washed away a chance for the Bruins to come home with a win and move up the rankings this week.

UCLA men’s soccer (9-6-1, 3-4-1 Pac-12) suffered a 3-2 defeat against No. 1 Washington (15-0-3, 7-0-2) at Husky Soccer Stadium last Thursday. The Bruins could only watch as the Huskies celebrated their fourth conference championship in program history.

The blue and gold were then scheduled to face off against Oregon State in Corvallis on Sunday. The game was canceled hours before the scheduled kick-off as the pitch was deemed unsuitable for play due to sustained heavy rain. The game will not be rescheduled.

Coach Ryan Jorden said the Bruins were disappointed that they weren’t able to take the field.

“The team wanted to play,” Jorden said. “Their field was not able to support the rain over the last 24 hours and it was basically underwater. Unfortunately, we lose out on a chance to perform and get a result.”

Redshirt sophomore midfielder Tucker Lepley said having undergone the away game routine and preparation, the team was upset it ultimately didn’t have a chance to avenge its loss to the Beavers earlier in the season.

“We’ve been in Corvallis since Friday – we’ve watched all the game film, we’d already had our pregame meal,” Lepley said. “I don’t want to use the word heartbreaking, but this was a game we were really excited to play and we knew what a result here could do for our season.”

The rain did yield some positives for the Bruins. Lepley was able to secure his first goal of the season against Washington after a deflected cross slipped out of the fingers of Huskies goalkeeper Sam Fowler in the 30th minute. The ball bounced towards the goal and Lepley was able to tap it into the net past Fowler, who returned to action after a month of nursing a broken arm sustained in the two teams’ last matchup.

Lepley later provided an assist to freshman forward Thomas Raimbault. Raimbault scored his first collegiate goal to give the Bruins a glimmer of hope in the 89th minute, but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation.

Speaking of his goal, Lepley said his instincts told him such an opportunity would arise.

“Coach has always taught us to run through and follow the play,” Lepley said. “I remember last year the same keeper had a slip up against us as well, so something within just said that he might drop it so I went in there to clean it up.”

The Bruins’ final match of the regular season will be Friday at San Diego State. Graduate student defender Nicolas Blassou, who has started seven games this season, said he is looking forward to what could be the last match of his collegiate career.

“We definitely want to use this game to make a statement and put us in a position to make the postseason,” Blassou said. “I’ve enjoyed my time at UCLA and I just want to make the most of the last couple of games that I have.”

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Ethan Ng
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