UCLA Men’s Soccer Loses to Washington, Road Comeback Falls Short
Thomas Raimbault scored a late goal to cut the deficit in half, but the Bruins were unable to tie things up before the end of the match.
The Bruins trailed for nearly the entire second half on Thursday, and they were ultimately unable to complete their late comeback efforts in Seattle.
No. 1 Washington (14-0-3, 6-0-2 Pac-12) held on to beat UCLA men’s soccer (9-6-1, 3-4-1 Pac-12) 3-2, scoring more goals than any Bruin opponent since Liberty on Sept. 5. The Huskies locked up the Pac-12 championship with the end result, an accomplishment the Bruins haven’t achieved since 2015.
It didn’t take long for the unbeaten top team in the country to go up, with Washington scoring its first goal just nine minutes into the contest.
The Huskies chipped a pass into the box, which one forward tried to bicycle into the back of the net. The attempt was deflected wide, but forward Ilijah Paul spun and one-timed it in for the goal.
The Bruins were able to knot things up before half, thanks to Husky goalkeeper Sam Fowler losing control of a wet loose ball high up in the air. Redshirt sophomore midfielder Tucker Lepley snuck in behind the keeper and tapped it in for the tie.
That converted attack in the 30th minute marked UCLA’s second shot of the night, and they would only get off two more before the end of the match.
Washington, on the other hand, kept the heat on all night.
After forcing sophomore goalkeeper Nate Crockford to make three saves in the first half, the Huskies opened up the second with another major chance. Forward Nick Scardina – who also sent in the entry pass that led to Washington’s first goal – sent a long ball to the far post in the 48th minute.
One Husky got a head on it, only for Crockford to deflect it away, but midfielder Lucas Meek headed in the rebound to put the Bruins down 2-1.
Washington made it a 3-1 contest in the 66th minute, after freshman defender JC Cortez got called for a foul in the box.
Defender Gio Miglietti fired a strike to the upper left corner of the goal on the penalty shot, sneaking it by Crockford to double his team’s lead.
The two sides spent the next 20 minutes locked at 3-1, with neither side putting together very many notable chances. The Bruins pinged around a few passes in the attacking third in the 80th, only for Fowler to get a hand on a low cross and allow his defense to clear it away.
UCLA’s fortunes changed, however, when freshman forward Thomas Raimbault subbed in in the 86th minute.
Lepley sent a pass into the middle from the right slot, and after sophomore midfielder Charlie Crockford dummied it in front of the right post, Raimbault one-timed it off his left foot for the goal.
Raimbault’s first career goal at the college level was all the Bruins could scrape across in the second half, though, and they were unable to overcome getting outshot 12-4.
UCLA will wrap up its Pacific Northwest road trip with a game against Oregon State on Sunday. That match will kick off at 2 p.m. and be televised on Pac-12 Insider.
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PHOTO COURTESY OF UCLA ATHLETICS