COLLEGE NEWS: No. 9 UCLA Soccer Down No. 1 Akron on Monday Night
A dominating performance by UCLA Men’s Soccer pushed the Bruins past No. 1 Akron on Monday after scoring a NCAA record three goals in 32 seconds. UCLA start the season off 2-1-1 as they prepare to host Cal State Northridge next Monday at 7 pm P.T.
College Soccer News: No. 9 UCLA had a record-setting night against No. 1 Akron on Monday, scoring a NCAA record three goals in a 32-second span while handing the Zips a thorough 6-1 loss. Sophomore midfielder Jackson Yueill and junior forward Abu Danladi, who had first entered the game at the start of the second half, keyed the scoring explosion. Danladi scored twice in 11 seconds to record the third-fastest consecutive goals in NCAA history. Yueill tied the UCLA school record with four assists in the game.
The Bruins (2-1-1) started the scoring in the 20th minute on Seyi Adekoya’s first goal of the season, a shot from about 10 yards out on the left side. Felix Vobejda earned the assist with a tenacious play to maintain possession before passing to Adekoya for the goal.
Brian Iloski, on the day after his 21st birthday, gave all Bruins reason to celebrate with a stunning free kick goal in the 43rd minute that bent over the wall and froze 6-7 Akron goalkeeper Ben Lundt. The goal was Iloski’s second of the year and gave the Bruins a 2-0 halftime lead.
That was just the beginning for UCLA, however. With Danladi and Yueill making their first appearances of the game at the start of the second half, the Bruin offense exploded with an unprecedented goal-scoring outburst. Yueill and Danladi executed a perfect give-and-go in front of the box at 52:28 for the first goal of the half, then on the ensuing kickoff, Yueill made a steal after the third touch and passed to Danladi, who tore down the field and scored past Lund from the top of the box for his second goal in 11 seconds. Yueill set up the third goal of the half soon after when he hit Blayne Martinez with a long pass. Martinez beat the Akron defender to the ball and rocketed a shot past Lund for his first career goal at the 53:00 mark, giving UCLA a commanding 5-0 lead.
Akron (2-2-0) got one back less than a minute later on an Adam Najem penalty kick after the Bruins were called for a handball in the box, but in fitting fashion for the night, UCLA didn’t take long to score another goal to bring the lead back up to five goals. Jose Hernandez scored UCLA’s sixth goal at 57:36 on a fancy give-and-go with Yueill. The goal was Hernandez’s first of the year.
“Our attacking group showed the potential that they have,” said UCLA head coach Jorge Salcedo. “Unfortunately, Abu has been injured for the first few games of the season, and his ability to come in and change the game and be dynamic really increases what we do as an entire team offensively. Not only is it his goal-scoring ability, but it’s his intelligence. It really raises the level of the whole team.”
The game could have easily taken a different turn at the start if not for the cat-like reflexes of UCLA goalkeeper Juan Cervantes. Just 10 seconds into the match, Najem had a shot in front of goal, but Cervantes got a hand on the ball to make the save. Najem kicked it back up to teammate Ezana Kahsay, but Cervantes scrambled back up in time to make the stop on Kahsay’s close-range shot.
Akron outshot UCLA in the game, 19-13, but the Bruins were by far the more efficient team, scoring six times on eight shots on goal. The Zips totaled five shots on goal in the contest. Cervantes had four saves for the Bruins.
UCLA will next host Cal State Northridge on Monday, Sept. 12 at 7 pm.
Source: UCLA Athletics. Photo Credit: Jose Lopez