LOS ANGELES, Calif. - A quartet of second-half goals propelled No. 9 UCLA (2-1-1) to a 6-1 victory over top-rated Akron (2-2-0) on Monday, Sept. 5.
Directed by a game-high four shots apiece from senior Adam Najem (Clifton, N.J.), redshirt sophomore Ezana Kahsay (Asmeras, Eritrea) and freshman Marcel Zajac (Mississauga, Ontario), the Zips outshot the Bruins on the evening, 19-13. UCLA bested Akron in shots on goal 8-5. Abu Danladi led the Bruins with a team-best three shots.
The Zips' offensive attack was able to push the ball into UCLA's defensive third on the evening posting an 11-3 margin in corner kicks, but UCLA goalkeeper Juan Cervantes proved up to the challenge making four saves. Sophomore Ben Lundt (Berlin, Germany) recorded two stops in goal for Akron.
The Zips carried the early momentum on the night outshooting the Bruins in the initial 15 minutes, 7-1, including three shots from Kahsay.
UCLA took the lead in the 20th minute (19:51) when Seyi Adekoya found the back of net off an assist from Felix Vobejda.
Redshirt junior Sam Gainford (Liverpool, England) had his shot at the 29:57 mark blocked.
Najem placed a shot on goal in the 35th minute (34:04) that was pulled in for a save by Cervantes.
The Bruins extended their advantage to 2-0 at the 42:37 mark after Brian Iloski registered his second goal of the season off a free kick.
The Zips bettered UCLA in first-half shots, 11-5, including 4-2 on net.
The Bruins took control of the affair early in the second half scoring three goals in 32 seconds to push their lead at 5-0 at the 53:00 mark.
Danladi netted tallies at the 52:28 and 52:39 marks, respectively, while Blayne Martinez connected for a goal at 53:00 mark.
Najem broke up the shutout in the 54th minute (53:38) delivering his first goal of the season and 29th of his career on a successful penalty kick.
Jose Hernandez pushed the margin to 6-1 with his tally at the 57:36 mark.
The Zips return to action on Friday, Sept. 9, hosting Oregon State at FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field as part of the University of Akron Tournament. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. UC Santa Barbara and Butler will open the tournament with a 4:30 p.m. tilt.