Los Angeles Soccer: Sarah McTigue
UCLA finally has a victory. Another might boost the Bruins back into the top 25.Chandler Hoffman scored his third goal of the season and All-American Kelyn Rowe added another to lift UCLA (1-2-1), one of the chief preseason NCAA title favorites, to a 2-1 triumph Friday night over St. Mary's at Drake Stadium.
The Bruins, ranked sixth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America preseason poll (and as high as No. 2 elsewhere), dropped out of the top 25 following losses to Louisville and UC Davis and a draw at Santa Clara.
Hoffman, who has eight goals in his last 10 games for the Bruins, finished a sequence from Shawn Singh and Eder Arreola (Chino Hills/Chino Hills HS) three minutes into the second half. Rowe's goal, a magnificent blast from just wide of the box to inside the far post, made it 2-0 in the 73rd minute.
UCLA takes on Loyola Marymount on Sunday at 5 p.m. on the Bruins' North Athletic Field.
In other men's action:
- Everett Pitts (Chino Hills/Ayala HS) volleyed home a rebound 16 minutes into overtime to lift No. 9 UC Irvine (5-0-0) to a 3-2 triumph at Wisconsin. The Badgers (2-2-0) rallied after Enrique Cardenas (Coachella/Coachella Valley HS) provided the Anteaters a 2-0 lead with a pair of yeoman's goals in the first six minutes of the second half.
- Kevin Venegas (Lakewood/Los Alamitos HS) sent Cal State Fullerton (3-0-1) to a 2-1 win over UW Green Bay at UNLV's tournament, converting a 73rd-minute penalty kick for the winner.
- Chris Smith (Palmdale/Quartz Hill HS) fed goals by Taylor Bowlin and Yarden Azulay as Cal State Northridge (2-2-0) romped, 3-0, over Missouri State at New Mexico's tournament.
Brittany Flanagan scored one goal and set up another Thursday as third-seeded Azusa Pacific romped into a semifinal showdown with two-time defending champion Lee University by dominating Golden State Athletic Conference rival Cal Baptist, 3-0, in the NAIA women's tournament in Decatur, Ala.
Flanagan fed Kelsey Walker in the 23rd minute, then scored off a free kick in the 70th for the Cougars (19-1-2), who are making their ninth trip to the final four and seeking their second national title. APU won the NAIA title in 1998 and was runner-up in 2002, 2006 and 2007.
Jacqueline Conforto also tallied for Azusa Pacific, which takes a nine-game winning streak -- seven by shutout -- into Friday's semifinal with second-seeded Lee (20-2-1), from Cleveland, Tenn. The Cougars won a Sept. 18 meeting in Tennessee, 2-1.
Cal Baptist, from Riverside, finishes 15-6-2.