Cal Knocks Off No. 2 UCLA 3-2 in OT Thriller

October 10, 2014

BERKELEY, Calif. – The No. 22 California Golden Bears (7-3-0, 1-2-0 Pac-12) knocked off the No. 2 UCLA Bruins (6-3-2, 1-1-0 Pac-12) at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley on the back of sophomore Christian Thierjung’s 99th minute golden goal. Senior forward Stefano Bonomo tallied his seventh goal of the season late in the first half to give Cal the one goal advantage. It seemed as though the Bears would take home the victory in regulation when Paul Salcedo scored in the 79th minute. But the Bruins were not done. A two-goal flurry in the final four minutes for UCLA, including a 90th minute equalizer by Javan Torre sent the match into overtime. That’s when Thierjung struck, just minutes from the conclusion of the first period of overtime, leading the Bears to their first Pac-12 win of the season.

Without question, it was an incredible response from last Sunday's game,” head coach Kevin Grimes said on Friday afternoon. “The players put a lot into this week of training and were able to put together a fantastic performance today. It took a little longer than we thought, but give credit to UCLA for scoring two goals at the end. Ultimately, we came through with a huge goal in overtime and got the great win.”

UCLA created the first quality chance of the match in the 15th minute, when senior midfielder Leo Stolz played the ball to freshman forward Abu Danladi, but his shot went just wide of goal. 10 minutes later the Bruins nearly opened the scoring when sophomore defender Nathan Smith crossed the ball to the near post where redshirt senior forward Andrew Tusaazamajjah took a shot from point blank range. Cal redshirt senior goalkeeper Justin Taillole made a gigantic save, deflecting the shot wide for a corner.

After a couple of chances, the Bears broke through in the 41st minute, ending Edwards, Jr’s 295 minute scoreless streak on the back of Bonomo’s goal. Cal took advantage of its set piece, when senior co-captain Seth Casiple played a ball into the far post that picked out Bonomo perfectly. His header evaded Edwards Jr.’s reach to stake the Bears to a 1-0 halftime lead.

UCLA applied a lot of pressure in the second half, but it was the Bears who tallied to double their lead. Freshman forward Paul Salcedo was the beneficiary of some nice passing by senior co-captain Seth Casiple and sophomore defender Nick Lima. Lima played a low, driven ball in to Salcedo’s feet. The Chivas USA academy product took one touch and buried his accurate shot into the bottom corner of the far post.

The Bruins would not go away, however, and rallied to level the match in the final moments. Freshman forward Seyi Adekoya sent a cross into heavy traffic in the box. Fellow freshman forward Larry Ndjock got a touch to it and directed it past a helpless Taillole. Torre equalized with just 30 seconds to play, picking up a loose ball just inside the area and finished low to tie the match at 2-2.

Cal responded to the adversity with the winner in the 99th minute of play. Senior midfielder Max Oldham played Thierjung into the box and a quick shot beat Edwards, Jr. low into the far corner. This marked Cal’s first Pac-12 win of the 2014 season.

“We tried to get the ball out wide and swing crosses, and the pass came through,” Thierjung said. “You always have to be ready to get the ball and I happened to be at the right place at the right time. It was a great feeling coming off two road losses against Washington and Oregon State. We knew we had to come out strong again. We had a great week of training, went through the film and we knew this was going to be a battle - it is always a battle against UCLA. We fought until the end and got the W.”

The Bears remain home on Sunday, Oct. 12 when they host the San Diego State Aztecs at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley at 2 p.m. PT. Fans are encouraged to interact with @CalMensSoccer on Twitter during the matches and can stay up to date on statistics and live updates during the games.

                       1  2 OT F
No. 2 UCLA    0  2  0  2
No. 22 Cal      1  1  1  3

Scoring Summary
Cal – 40:40 Bonomo, Stefano (Casiple, Seth)
Cal – 78:12 Salcedo, Paul (Lima, Nick and Casiple, Seth)
UCLA – 85:22 Ndjock, Larry (Adekoya, Seyi)
UCLA – 89:30 Javan Torre (unassisted)
Cal – 98:36 Thierjung, Christian (Oldham, Max)

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