LOS ANGELES, CA – The Rutgers men’s soccer team (9-5-3) put up a valiant fight against top-ranked UCLA on Friday night, but ended up on the short end of a 2-0 decision in Los Angeles, CA. The game was played in a driving rainstorm at Drake Stadium.
Rutgers had several scoring opportunities in the first half. In the 31st minute, midfielder Chris Karcz (Clifton, NJ) blasted a shot to the right side, causing UCLA goalkeeper Zach Wells to make an diving save. The Scarlet Knights had another good opportunity in the 34th minute when Karcz had a shot that went past Wells, but Ty Maurin cleared it off the line to keep the game scoreless.
The Bruins took a 1-0 lead with four minutes remaining before halftime on a goal from Mike Enfield, who scored from inside the box. It was Enfield third goal of the season.
UCLA took its 1-0 lead into the locker room, but Rutgers began the second half aggressively of offense. The Scarlet Knights could not sore the tying goal, however, and UCLA added an insurance score when Chad Barrett beat the RU defense and set a ball into an open goal.
“I thought we played a good match overall but couldn’t pull out the win,” said Rutgers head coach Bob Reasso. “They [UCLA] controlled play in the first half. We made two mistakes that really cost us. But I thought we controlled play in the second half. We need to build on our performance tonight and turn our focus to Cal State Northridge.”
Rutgers’ Scott Conway (Aston, PA) made five saves in goal. UCLA held a 16-13 advantage in shots.
The win improves UCLA to 15-1 and is the Bruins’ 13 consecutive victory.
Rutgers ends its regular season in Northridge, CA, on Sunday, to face Cal Sate Northridge on at 5 p.m. (EST).