LOS ANGELES -- Victor Chavez got the Bruins on the board in the 19th minute and Gage Zerboni scored the game-winner in the 70th minute as fourth-ranked UCLA kept pace in a tight Pac-12 race with a 2-1 victory against No. 3 Washington on Sunday afternoon.
The Bruins moved to 8-3-4 with the win and are now 3-1-3 in Pac-12 play. Washington dropped to 11-1-4 with the loss and are now 4-1-2 in conference play. Before the match, UCLA honored its seven graduating seniors (Max Estrada, Ryan Lee, Victor Munoz, Patrick Matchett, Reed Williams, Joe Sofia and Chavez) with a short ceremony.
Washington saw two great chances in the third minute, when Michael Harris sent in a long ball to the box off a flip throw for the Huskies. Justin Schmidt was able to get a header on goal that looked to be going in, but Matchett made a terrific clearing header off the line to prevent the goal. Seconds later, Josh Heard attempted a volley that beat keeper Earl Edwards Jr., but again Matchett was in great position and headed the ball off the line to keep the match scoreless.
The Bruins struck first in the 19th minute, starting when Jordan Vale took the ball on the left side of the box. He was able to dribble around his defender and laid off a nice back pass to Chavez, who turned and buried the ball in the far post for his sixth of the year. The match slowed down a bit from there, as both teams traded possession in the midfield. But then just before the half, Washington tied the match when James Moberg flicked the ball past Edwards off a scramble in the box from a long throw-in, tying things at 1-1 going into the locker room.
The Huskies came out with more intensity at the start of the second half and almost went ahead in the 60th minute. Darwin Jones was able to get around his man and crossed the ball to the middle to Mason Robertson, who turned and sent a dribbler toward a wide-open net after Edwards came out. However, Michael Amick stopped the ball on the line, allowing Edwards to come over and scoop up the ball to end the play.
In the 66th minute, Zerboni entered the match for the Bruins and immediately made his presence felt, nearly scoring in the 69th minute with a long-range shot from the top of the box before finally putting the Bruins ahead by one in the 70th minute. The play started when Felix Vobejda outhustled the Washington defense to keep the ball in play on the end line. He then dropped it back to Leo Stolz, who one-timed a chip to the far post to Zerboni, who then headed the ball into an open net for the goal.