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Chandler Hoffman's first collegiate hat trick couldn't have come at a more opportune time.
The junior forward from Alabama netted three goals in 20 minutes of the second half Friday night, carrying UCLA to a 3-2 triumph over No. 6 UC Santa Barbara in a nonconference showdown between big-time soccer rivals that drew 2,965 to the Bruins' Drake Stadium.
UCLA (3-2-1), which is ranked by Soccer America but is not in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America top 25, overcame a first-half deficit as Chandler scored in the 52nd, 68th and 71st minutes, the first two off assists by All-American Kelyn Rowe.
Hoffman, who has seven goals in the Bruins' first six games (after scoring 13 in 13 Premier Development League appearances for Orange County Blue Star this summer), tied a school record by tallying in his fifth successive game.
“It's been really good to find the back of the net,” Hoffman said in a video posted on UCLA's athletics web site. “My parents were here tonight, so it's always fun to score when they're here. It's always fun to beat UCSB.”
James Kiffe gave the Gauchos (4-1-1) a 35th-minute lead, but UCLA -- with Rowe and Ryan Hollingshead making the difference in midfield -- took command early in the second half. Sam Garza converted a 73rd-minute penalty to cut the deficit to a goal, but Santa Barbara couldn't create chances for an equalizer.
In other men´s action:
WOMEN: Fullerton rallies past New Mexico
Cal State Fullerton went to overtime for the fifth time in eight games this season, beating New Mexico, 3-2, in a UNM Nike Classic opener on a goal by freshman Rebecca Wilson.
Wilson (Placentia/El Dorado HS) scored six minutes into the extra period after the Titans (3-4-1) rallied twice from deficits en route to their second successive OT victory.
Nikki McCants (Corona/Santiago HS) answered Jennifer Williams' goal midway through the first half, and Kishi Smith (Chatsworth/Chatsworth HS) scored 71 seconds after Rachel Montoya gave the Lobos a 73rd-minute lead.
In other women´s action:
American 0, Cal State Fullerton 3 (Venegas 14, Escobedo 21, Escalante 37)
Cal Poly Pomona 0, Cal State San Bernardino 2 (Martinez 5, Nihanian 69)
Cal State Dominguez Hills 0, Chico State 5 (Celosmanovic 35, Guzman 48, 54, Akwaja 53, Paulo 82)
Cal State L.A. 2 (Schwar 23, Bras 99), Cal State Stanislaus 1 (Velazquez 50), OT
Florida Gulf Coast 1 (Navas 85), UC Irvine 2 (Santana 26, Ibarra 27)
Loyola Marymount 1 (Jozkowicz 89), San Jose State (Murphy 75, Sanchez 98), OT
Marymount 0, Point Loma Nazarene 1 (Fares 12)
Trinity (Texas) 4 (Hogsett 14, Adams 50, 60, Forsten 81), Redlands 1 (Carlson 18)
UC Irvine 1 (Goodson 6), St. Mary's 2 (Steele 18, Madden 66)
UC Riverside 2 (Reyes pen. 55, Diaz 67), UNLV 1 (Espinoza 41)
UCLA 3 (Hoffman 52, 68, 71), UC Santa Barbara 2 (Kiffe 35, Garza pen. 73)
La Sierra 0, Biola 2 (Kincade 17, Wingrove 62)
Cal Poly Pomona 2 (Barclay 31, Strawn 68), Cal State San Bernardino 1 (Hirsch 71)
Cal State Dominguez Hills 1 (Murphy pen. 75), Chico State 3 (own goal 6, Williams 19, Wall 21)
Cal State L.A. 1 (Pablo 83), Cal State Stanislaus 1 (Cervantes 79)
Long Beach State 1 (Link 14), San Diego 0
Marymount 0, Point Loma Nazarene 3 (Gregory 10, Shulte 50, Winklepleck 65)
The Master's 3 (Trevino 50, Coyle 56, 87), Corban (Ore.) 1 (Sullivan 15)
New Mexico 2 (Williams 19, Montoya 73), Cal State Fullerton 3 (McCants 27, Smith 74, Wilson 96), OT
North Texas 1 (Petty 36), UC Riverside 2 (Morales 37, Valencia 97), OT
UC Santa Barbara 0, Pepperdine 3 (Manning 15, pen. 59, Stockman 23)
Vanguard 2 (Valles 37, Cleary 67), Holy Names 1
Home teams listed first