[UCLA-CALIFORNIA: Men]No. 1 California remained unbeaten when it rallied for a 3-2 win at No. 5 UCLA on a golden goal from Stefano Bonomo30 seconds into overtime -- the third time this season the Golden Bears have won in overtime.
“It was a great game,” Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. “Both teams played very well today. You can’t ask for anything more than that: Playing in a match that was highly contest, with both teams giving everything they had. We took our chance early in overtime, and we’re pleased with the goal we scored in getting the victory.”
UCLA twice led on goals by senior Victor Chavezand sophomore Jordan Vale, but the Golden Bears came back, first on Christian Dean's free kick that deflected off of the UCLA wall and then on Steve Birnbaum's penalty kick.
In overtime, California scored on its first possession when Bonomo took a cross from midfielder Connor Hallisey in front of goalie Earl Edwards Jr. and scored to the near post to give the Golden Bears the win.
“Once you hit Pac-12s every team steps it up a notch,” Bonomo said. “Every game’s going to be tough, especially both these games down south. Today was really tough. Also we were kind of tired. We just kept believing, kept pushing and kept wanting that goal to tie it and also hopefully win it before overtime. We didn’t do that, but we still won.”
California improved to 9-0-2 with the win and 3-0-1 in Pac-12 play. The loss dropped UCLA’s record to 7-3-1 overall and 2-1-0 in Pac-12 play.
“We deserved more from the match today,” Bruins coach Jorge Salcedo said. “We were the dominant team with possession and they rarely broke us down. We were a bit unlucky in the first set piece from them with the deflection and a penalty kick that for me was questionable, but at the end of the day is at the referee’s discretion. We have to live by the decision, but I’m proud of our effort today. We played a good game and unfortunately didn’t get the result that was merited.”