Nov. 22, 2009

Courtesy of UCLA Athletics

Los Angeles, CA - Freshman forward Chandler Hoffman scored the game-winning goal in the 80th minute to lead sixth-seeded UCLA to a 2-1 victory over Sacramento State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday night. The Bruins (11-3-4) advance to the third round and will host UC Santa Barbara on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 5 pm at Drake Stadium.

UCLA took a 1-0 lead in the first half when Kyle Nakazawa converted a penalty kick at 30:30 for his team-leading 12th goal of the year. The penalty kick was earned when David Estrada was taken down by a defender in the box.

Just two minutes later, a big defensive effort by senior defender Sean Alvarado kept the Bruins ahead. After drawing UCLA goalkeeper Brian Perk out of the box, Fernando Cabadas took a hard-angled shot that was on its way into the goal, but Alvarado was there to clear it off the line.

After taking the lead, the Bruins dominated play the rest of the half and outshot Sacramento State 11-4, with a few near-misses by Nakazawa, Estrada, Michael Roman and Amobi Okugo.

Sacramento State put the pressure on in the second half. Cabadas missed wide by mere inches on a shot in the 63rd minute, and in the 71st minute he put a free kick on frame that Perk had to make a diving save on. Hornet forward Max Alvarez got ahead on a breakaway on a counter-attack in the 75th minute but Perk once again came up big to make the save.

There was nothing Perk could do on Alvarez's next shot just 30 seconds later. Alvarez curled a long-distance shot into the upper left corner to tie the match at 1-1 with 15:38 left in the game.

The Bruins answered five minutes later after Michael Stephens sent a pass to Fernando Monge on the left side. Monge crossed to Hoffman right in front of the goal, and the freshman slipped in the shot to the left corner for the go-ahead goal at the 79:21 mark. The goal was Hoffman's fifth of the season.

Both Perk and Sacramento State goalkeeper Bryan Oliver had three saves in the game.

The Hornets, which were making their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, end their season with a 12-6-3 record.

UCLA's third-round matchup with UC Santa Barbara will be a rematch of the 2006 NCAA Championship game, which UCSB won, 2-1. The Gauchos advanced to the third round with a 1-0 win tonight at San Diego.