JCG Brace Leads Bears to 4-3 Win Over UCLA
BERKELEY, Calif. – California (7-5-2, 2-3-2 Pac-12) picked up its second straight win, defeating the UCLA Bruins (7-7-1, 3-3-1 Pac-12) 4-3 in a wild match on Sunday afternoon at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley. Redshirt sophomore midfielder Jose Carrera-Garcia scored a pair of goals and tallied an assist in the win for the Bears, who were also buoyed by goals from junior midfielder Trevor Haberkorn and freshman forward Spencer Held. Cal trailed 2-1 at the break, but battled back after UCLA goalkeeper Juan Cervantes was sent off for denying a goal-scoring opportunity in the 57th minute. Cal then converted the penalty and tacked on two more goals, and held on despite conceding an 87th penalty of their own to the Bruins. The win moved the Bears to an impressive 7-1-2 mark at Edwards Stadium to conclude the home portion of their regular season schedule.
“Only great players with amazing character can come back with a response like we did this weekend,” head coach Kevin Grimes said following the win. “All of the credit goes to the guys for their belief in each other and belief in their season.”
It took just three minutes for the Bears to open the scoring, as Haberkorn executed a well-conceived takeover from junior forward Christian Thierjung and let fly from about 35-yards out. His long-range effort caught Cervantes off of his line and found its way into the top corner to open things for the Bears. Thierjung’s assist registered as his seventh point in his last two matches, after his hat trick on Friday in another 4-3 win over San Diego State. Haberkorn’s goal was his first on the campaign, and second in a Blue and Gold shirt.
UCLA was back on level terms in the 10th minute, when freshman midfielder Jose Hernandez finished beautifully on the volley after a deft chip over the top of the defense by fellow freshman midfielder Jackson Yueill found him in space. His first-time finish found the side netting of the far post to bring the Bruins level at 1-1.
The Bruins took the lead on the stroke of halftime, when sophomore forward Abu Danladi netted his fifth goal in his last four games, collecting a Jordan Vale cross off of his chest and lashing it into the back of the net to lift UCLA to the 2-1 advantage.
The match turned on its head in the 57th minute of play, when Haberkorn played a ball through to a streaking Paul Salcedo. The sophomore beat Cervantes to the ball and touched it past him, drawing the foul that led to a penalty kick and the aforementioned red card for the UCLA goalkeeper. Carrera-Garcia calmly stepped to the spot and finished well into the side netting to equalize for the Bears, who now carried the man advantage for the final 33 minutes.
Cal took control from that point on, and was back in the lead just four minutes later. Carrera-Garcia’s inch-perfect cross off of a set piece found a loosely-marked Held, who finished with a glancing header into the bottom corner of the near post. Held’s second collegiate goal pushed the Bears in front, 3-2.
The name at the center of seemingly everything offensively for the Bears had one more arrow left. Carrera-Garcia was played through on goal by sophomore midfielder Aravind Sivakumar and finished with a cheeky chip over the top of the onrushing UCLA goalkeeper, freshman Cole Martinez for the highlight reel goal to extend the Bears lead to 4-2. Carrera-Garcia now has five goals and eight assists on the campaign, and is tied for the team lead in points with Thierjung at 18 apiece.
“This kind of result is big-time for us,” Carrera-Garcia said on Sunday afternoon. “We learned a huge lesson last week, but that didn’t bring us down. A loss by a score of 1-0 counts the same as one at 6-0, so we knew we had to focus even more. We are taking things one game at a time; we focused on San Diego State on Friday and UCLA today and we knew it would take 90 minutes to get those results and we pushed harder than ever to get them.”
Despite being down a man, UCLA was able to still create some chances against the run of play and on the counter attack. As they pressed desperately late, the Bruins were granted a penalty in the 87th minute. Hernandez collected his second goal of the match and ninth of the season, sending Cal goalkeeper Jonathan Klinsmann the wrong way to pull UCLA back within a goal, but that is where things finished, as the Bears picked up the much-needed home victory, 4-3.
The Golden Bears now shift their focus to a Pacific Northwest trip, when they travel to battle No. 17 Washington at 6 pm PT on Friday, Oct. 30 in Seattle and Oregon State at 1:30 pm on Sunday, Nov. 1 in Corvallis, Oregon. Both matches will be broadcast live on Pac-12 Networks. Fans are encouraged to interact with @CalMensSoccer on Twitter and Instagram and CalMensSoccer on Facebook for the most up to date news and content.
Cal – 3:00 Haberkorn, Trevor (Thierjung, Christian)
UCLA – 9:01 Hernandez, Jose (Yueill, Jackson)
UCLA – 42:54 Danladi, Abu (Vale, Jordan)
Cal – 56:02 Carrera-Garcia, Jose (penalty)
Cal – 60:11 Held, Spencer (Carrera-Garcia, Jose)
Cal – 82:28 Carrera-Garcia, Jose (Sivakumar, Aravind)
UCLA – 86:48 Hernandez, Jose (penalty)
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