SEATTLE -- The local Seattle product, Seyi Adekoya, netted the game-winner for the Bruins who took down Washington 2-1 on Thursday night at Husky Soccer Stadium. The win caps a two-game season sweep of Washington and gives UCLA sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 conference.
Adekoya, the Lakeside High School alumnus, scored his third goal of the season after left back Chase Gasper lofted a brilliant pass into the penalty area. Adekoya controlled the ball and slipped it past Washington goalkeeper Spencer Richey to put the Bruins ahead for good in the 54th minute.
“First and foremost, it was a great result against a difficult Washington team,” said UCLA head coach Jorge Salcedo. “They force you to concentrate and focus on every set piece. We were able to do that for 87 minutes.”
It was Washington (10-3-1, 3-2-1 in the Pac-12) that got on the board first with a third minute goal from Ian Lange, his second of the season. Lange charged to the near post and head the ball into the net off of a corner from Justin Schmidt, putting the Huskies up 1-0 early on.
UCLA (9-3-3, 4-1-1 in the Pac-12) would answer the Washington tally on a set piece of their own later in the first half.Leo Stolz took a corner from right of goal and bent it into the penalty area where a soaring Aaron Simmons ¬directed it down off of his head and past the goal line to equalize for the Bruins. The goal was Simmons’ second of the year and ensured that the game entered the half tied 1-1, despite the fact that UCLA was out-shot 11-4.
The Bruins would get the go-ahead goal just nine minutes into the second frame when Adekoya finished with true class. The goal was the second in as many weekends for Adekoya, both coming against the Huskies and both serving as game-winners.
Coach Salcedo on the Adekoya goal, “Our game winning goal was a brilliant final pass and great finish.”
After getting the second goal, UCLA never looked back. The Bruin defense held strong and prevented the Huskies from garnering an equalizer. Washington out-shot the Bruins once again in the second half, 10-4, but could not solve the cohesive UCLA defensive unit anchored by senior goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr.
Coach Salcedo added, “We were gritty and resilient when we needed to be tonight.”
The win extends the Bruins streak of five consecutive matches without a defeat against Washington, including three consecutive wins, going 3-0-2 over that span. In addition, UCLA improves their all-time record over the Huskies to 26-12-4.