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soccer-men-d1 flag | October 14, 2013

Golden Bears

No. 1 California 3, No. 6 UCLA 2 (OT) Box Score

LOS ANGELES -- No. 6 UCLA gave No. 1 Cal arguably its sternest test to date. After never trailing in a game until the SDSU match, Cal never led against the Bruins -- until the end. That’s when junior forward Stefano Bonomo stuck a golden goal past UCLA goalkeeper Earl Edwards in the 91st minute to give the Bears a 3-2, come-from-behind, overtime win.

With its second consecutive win, Cal remained unbeaten and improved its record to 9-0-2 (3-0-1 in the Pac-12). UCLA is 7-3-1 (2-1-0 Pac-12).

Cal had trailed 1-0, as Victor Chavez scored on a header at 12:41. But junior defender Christian Dean curved a free kick past Edwards to knot the game at 1-1. The Bears then trailed 2-1 on Jordon Vale’s header at 41:29, and the Bruins took the 2-1 lead into halftime.

Some 30 minutes into the second half, Cal still trailed 2-1 when the Bears earned a corner kick. The referee awarded a penalty kick to the Bears after appeared to handle the ensuing corner in the box. Senior defender Steve Birnbaum calmly converted the spot kick at 75:13 to tie the game at 2-2 with his team-high seventh goal of the year.

Still tied at 2-2 after regulation, Cal prepared for its fifth overtime match of the season. At 90:32, senior forward Luis Fuentes and junior midfielder Connor Hallisey combined well on the flank, Hallisey crossed into the UCLA box, and Bonomo slammed his fifth goal of the year past Edwards.

No. 4 Cal State Northridge 3, Cal Poly 1 Box Score

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -- Behind a pair of goals by Sagi Lev-Ari and two assists by David Turcios, No. 4 Cal State Northridge (11-2-0, 3-1-0 Big West) topped Cal Poly (8-6-0, 1-3-0 Big West) 3-1 on Sunday night at Matador Soccer Field. Northridge scored twice in the second half and goalkeeper Adam Hobbs tallied six saves to help the Matadors keep pace at the top of the standings in the Big West South Division.

The Mustangs had the first attempt on goal in the match in the fourth minute of play, but Hobbs was able to make an easy save. However, an ill-timed turnover in the 19th minute led to Cal Poly scoring the first goal of the contest.

As the Mustangs were putting heavy pressure on the defensive line of the Matadors, Cal Poly's Matt LaGrassa stole the ball inside the Northridge box and tactfully put it into the back of the net for the goal. The goal worked to add energy to the Cal Poly side, who had not scored a goal against Cal State Northridge since the 2010 season.

The excitement for Cal Poly was short lived, as Lev-Ari scored his first of two goals just four and a half minutes later. Carlos Benavides played a pass to Edwin Rivas in the left side of the box and Rivas centered a pass that Lev-Ari slammed home from a few yards out. With the assist, Benavides moved into the Top 10 for career assists in Big West Conference history (10th, 21).

Northridge nearly found itself in front in the 40th minute but an acrobatic bicycle kick by Brian Behrad was touched just over the crossbar by Cal Poly goalkeeper Wade Hamilton.

The half ended with the scoreline even at 1-1 thanks to three more saves by Hobbs, including a diving effort off the foot of George Malki. Cal Poly led in shots (8-6) and the Matadors had more corner kicks (5-0) at the break.

Things got interesting for Cal Poly in the 55th minute as the Mustangs won a foul at the very edge of the box, narrowly missing out on a potential penalty kick. The resulting shot by Kip Colvey went just over the crossbar.

Twelve minutes into the second half, Northridge found the net again after a long breakaway by Beto Velasquez. Lev-Ari started the play with a headed ball to Turcios after the Matadors cleared their defensive lines. Turcios then chipped ahead for Velasquez, who beat Hamilton 1-on-1 to the left side of the goal.

In the 65th minute, Lev-Ari extended the Northridge lead to 3-1 after another counter-attack involving Turcios. Mynor Giron started the play with a lob upfield that found Turcios alone with the goalkeeper. Turcios drew Hamilton off his line and slotted the ball to Lev-Ari who was running in support at the left post for a simple goal, his conference-best 11th of the season.

With the win, the Matadors have nine points in conference play and are tied on points with Cal State Fullerton after four matches.

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