UCLA Men's Soccer: Bruins Face UC Berkeley in Final Game of Season
After losing to Washington, 5-1, last week, UCLA seeks its third win of the season this afternoon.
The UCLA men’s soccer team (2-7-2, 1-6-2 Pac-12) seeks its third win of the season today at Wallis Annenberg Stadium when it faces UC Berkeley (4-4-1, 4-4-1 Pac-12). With no postseason hopes, this will be UCLA’s final game of the delayed 2020 season. Kickoff is at 2:30 pm PT.
Last Time Out
After a stretch where it was playing better soccer and had gone 1-1-1 in its last three games, the Bruins traveled to Seattle last weekend to face the #7 ranked and Pac-12 leading Washington Huskies. It didn’t go well.
UW quickly and decisively mopped the floor with the Bruins, scoring four of its five goals in the first 25 minutes. The Huskies led 4-0 at the break and had out-shot UCLA 13 to 3.
The Bruins clawed one back in the 69th minute when sophomore Riley Ferch scored his second goal of the season, which tied him for the team lead with junior Kevin Diaz. The three-goal difference was short-lived though, as U-Dub extended the lead back to four and put a cherry on top of a dominant win with its final strike in the 77th minute.
Both Kendall Burks and Kendall Scardina had braces for the Huskies in the win. On th game, the Bruins were outshot by the Huskies 18 to 9, 9 to 3 on target.
Washington looked like a team bound for the postseason and UCLA did not. It is as simple as that.
UC Berkeley Golden Bears
The Golden Bears have had their ups and downs this season, as their record suggests. UC Berkeley didn’t schedule any games outside of the Pac-12 due to COVID-19, and hasn’t fared especially well in conference, with a .500 record to go with two draws, for a 1.4 points per game average. They sit in fourth place in the six-team Pac-12, above UCLA and SDSU, who are tied for fifth.
UC Berkeley has beaten the Aztecs twice, UCLA once, and Oregon State once, accounting for its four wins. It also drew Stanford 0-0 in Palo Alto in perhaps its best showing of the season.
The Golden Bears don’t score a lot of goals, netting 11 in its nine-game season for far. They also do not allow a lot of goals, with only 14 tallies against on the campaign.
Like the Bruins, the Golden Bears have spread their goals around, with eight different players scoring. The team scoring leader, junior forward Jonathan Estrada, has only three goals.
Freshman goalkeeper Collin Travasos has made 34 saves on the season, leading the Pac-12, and has recorded three clean sheets. He has done that while playing in all of UC Berkeley’s games this season, although only starting seven of those nine games.
UCLA is not going to the postseason and will be turning out the lights today on perhaps the worst season in program history. Will UCLA be motivated to send off its seniors on Senior Day? Or will they be looking forward to reinforcements in the fall of 2021 when Head Coach Ryan Jorden’s highly ranked recruiting class joins the mix?
The Bruins lost to the Golden Bears by the score of 2-0 in Berkeley back on March 20th. Both goals were scored in the first 16 minutes. That sounds a lot like the UW game last week. Does UCLA have an issue with getting off to slow starts or what? Despite the poor start, the Bruins ultimately out-shot UC Berkeley in that game 14 to 4. Was that because the Golden Bears sat on their early lead and defend or did UCLA legitimately outplay them? Probably a little of both.
I’ll go out on a bit of a limb today and predict that, if UCLA can avoid conceding a goal in he first 20 minutes of the game, they will get a positive result out of this game, probably a draw but maybe a win. If the Bruins allow UC Berkeley to score even one goal early on, I predict a loss.
UCLA Men’s Soccer (2-7-2, 1-6-2 Pac-12)
Opponent: UC Berkeley Golden Bears (4-4-1, 4-4-1 Pac-12)
Game Time: 2:30 pm PT, Saturday, April 17, 2021
Where: Wallis Annenberg Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Live TV: Pac-12 Networks National, Los Angeles and Bay Area with Brian Webber
Live Stream: Pac-12.com and the Pac-12 Now app
Live Audio: uclabruins.com with John Ramey
Live Stats: UCLA StatBroadcast
This is your UCLA men’s soccer versus UC Berkeley game thread.