Tuesday, January 25

UCLA men’s soccer looks to gain season’s 1st Pac-12 win in Oregon State matchup

Junior midfielder Cody Sundquist put his first shot on frame of the season in UCLA men's soccer's loss Sunday to then-No. 7 Stanford. (Jeremy Chen/Daily Bruin)

Men's Soccer

No. 3 Oregon State
Saturday, 3 p.m.

Wallis Annenberg Stadium
Pac-12 Los Angeles

Despite a recent uptick in scoring chances – more shots have not led to more wins for the Bruins.

UCLA men’s soccer (1-6-2, 0-5-2 Pac-12) will host No. 3 Oregon State (7-3, 4-3) at Wallis Annenberg Stadium on Saturday for the teams’ second Pac-12 matchup of the season as the Bruins remain without a conference victory.

Last time the two teams faced off Feb. 27, UCLA was on the verge of upsetting Oregon State for more than 60 minutes, before eventually succumbing to the Beavers’ pressure and conceding two late goals, leaving Corvallis empty-handed.

“We know that they’re a great team, great players and they can be very dangerous, and we kind of learned from going up 1-0 early,” said senior defender Ben Reveno. “We kind of just sat back and that trapped us, but I think going into the game we will have a different insight on what to do and that’ll help a lot.”

While the Bruins have yet to notch a victory in Pac-12 play, there have been signs of improving offense in recent games. Compared to the 15 shots UCLA took in its first three Pac-12 matches, it has totaled 43 shots in its three most recent conference matches.

Those early-season offensive struggles were highlighted in the first matchup between the two teams earlier in the season, as the Bruins mustered two shots over the course of the match.

Stopping Oregon State on the other side of the ball may require limiting forward Gloire Amanda – whose 11 goals on the season outpaces the Bruins as a whole – and the rest of his squad, which leads the Pac-12 conference in goals scored and averages more than two goals per game.

“We’ve got to continue to get more clinical and some of those things, they get developed over the course of time, but we are continuing to find ourselves in better positions from an attacking standpoint,” said coach Ryan Jorden. “We’ve got to continue to focus on the defending side too because if you’re not going to score on them, you’ve got to be able to prevent the opponent from getting those as well.”

With three matches left in the season, the team won’t be fighting for a Pac-12 title, but junior midfielder Cody Sundquist said a bright point of the season has been the growth he has seen from the younger players and the immediate contributions they have brought to the team.

“All the young guys who have come into the team have been really engaged and have had really good attitudes and have been ready to go, so as far as their development, I’m sure that a lot of them have developed,” Sundquist said. “But we’ve had a lot of young guys come in and be in the starting 11 and help the team right away. So I think that all the young guys who have come in the games that play the game have done really well.”

Historically, the Bruins are 13-1-2 when hosting the Beavers and have a chance to continue their winning matchup record starting at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Sports reporter

Greenberg-Bell is currently a Sports reporter on the men's soccer beat. He was previously a contributor on the women's soccer and men's volleyball beats.

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