Men’s soccer ends match against Bruins in draw

Oct. 30, 2014, 11:50 p.m.

The top-ranked UCLA Bruins took on the 8th ranked men’s soccer team at UCLA on Friday night. The game was intense, wire to wire, with both teams throwing themselves at the ball and quick movement and attack from both sides. Stanford freshman midfielder Corey Baird scored his second goal of the season in the 14th minute on a ball that UCLA senior goalkeeper Earl Edwards couldn’t control and Baird slotted home. However, UCLA equalized just over 30 seconds later to make the game 1-1.

(The Stanford Daily)
Freshman midfielder Corey Baird (above) scored his second and third career goals in the tie with UCLA. (FRANK CHEN/The Stanford Daily)

Sophomore goalkeeper Andrew Epstein had a pair of impressive saves to keep the game tight, one coming off a free kick just outside the box in the 56th minute to keep the game tied, as he stretched to his left to stop a goal that was headed for the corner. Despite Epstein’s excellent effort, UCLA stole a goal only a minute later, when a chipped ball rattled around the box and a defensive miscommunication (and possibly a foul on UCLA’s freshman forward Seyi Adekoya) led to a collision that let Adekoya get a simple touch to the ball and Stanford’s defenders could only watch as the ball trickled into the goal. Both teams showed how much they wanted the game for the better part of 90 minutes; the match was full of fully committed tackles and excellent one-touch balls. After UCLA’s smash and grab, they seemed to relax and Stanford was on the front foot after that. They were almost rewarded when on a corner kick in the 71st minute, the Cardinal were denied an equalizer of their own as junior forward Eric Verso’s corner was headed back by sophomore defender Brian Nana-Sinkam to freshman midfielder Foster Langstorf arriving on the back post only to be denied by UCLA’s Edwards once again.

They would not be denied at the very start of the 77th minute when Baird, brimming with confidence from his first goal, took a half-volley to the left side of goal. Edwards got a touch to it, but Baird powered the ball past the keeper and into the bottom left corner to make it 2-2 with Baird’s third goal of the season.

Baird’s goal forced overtime and both teams were not simply content to stay back and take a draw. In the waning moments of the second period of overtime, the Cardinal almost went home with a victory when senior midfielder Austin Meyer’s corner fell to junior midfielder Ty Thompson, but his shot sailed high. Stanford, however disappointed they may be with the concession of the second goal, cannot be disappointed with the way they fought back for the draw. Baird had, undoubtedly, his best game of the season and the Cardinal played superbly, minus the momentary lapse. UCLA has been a difficult draw for the Cardinal and if they can replicate the intensity and work rate, they should be brimming with confidence heading into the home stretch of the season.

The Cardinal take on San Diego St. on the road on Sunday at noon.

Contact Nic Radoff at nradoff ‘at’

Nic Radoff '15 is now officially from Oakland and is a proud to be a history major and a Latin-American studies minor. Nic was a staff writer for women's soccer and follows football extensively, whether his editors let him write about it or not. He is a proud member of the men's club lacrosse team and invites you all to come watch most Saturdays, even though you might not see him on the field much. He enjoys spending time with his family, hiking with his husky Artoo, lamenting his A's and maintaining that things get better with age.

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