Men's Soccer 2014 NCAA Tournament #2 UCLA / #7 Clemson Region 3rd Round Game Breakdowns


#2 UCLA vs. #15 California

UCLA gets one more shot at California. The Bruins have lost twice to the Golden Bears already this season, but now there is so much more on the line. But UCLA had to get past San Diego in the second round first and the Toreros beat the Bruins back in late September 1-0. Once again San Diego gave UCLA fits, but Leo Stolz was ready this time. The All-Everything midfielder netted an equalizer in the 55th minute and scored the game winner in overtime. Cal meanwhile had some of their own trouble in the second round with SIUE. The Golden Bears controlled the game for the most part, but SIUE had their chances before Cal’s Bobby Sekine netted the game winner in the 71st minute.

The first time the Bruins and Bears met was on October 10th in Berkeley. That was a high scoring affair that went into overtime before Cal pulled out a 3-2 win. In that contest UCLA outshot Cal 14-9, but the play of Cal keeper Justin Taillole was the difference. In Westwood about three weeks later, it was a much different game. Both teams had chances, but it was a second half mistake by UCLA keeper Earl Edwards that led to the lone goal of the game by Connor Hallisey. This game could play out in a variety of ways, but since it is the NCAA Tournament with a berth in the quarterfinals on the line, expect both teams to come out with a more defensive mindset. There is not much either side can do to surprise the other since they know each so well and this one, like the last one, could come down to a mistake.


#7 Clemson vs. North Carolina

Once again Charlotte lost in the second round of the tournament. This time it was North Carolina that stopped Charlotte’s hopeful run. Tyler Engel scored a first half goal and netted the game winner with just over a minute left in the game to advance UNC to the third round. It was a close contest, but Engel was the difference. Engel, along with Andy Craven, will need big games to get past Clemson. The Tigers had to wait an extra day to host Coastal Carolina in the second round. Wet conditions caused the contest to be pushed back a day, but the Tigers were still ready to continue their strong play. Clemson held on for a 2-1 win over the Chanticleers and the Tigers have not lost since their 1-0 loss to Charlotte on October 7th.

Clemson would have had concerns no matter who their opponent would be in the third round. Right before that 1-0 loss to Charlotte, the Tigers lost 3-2 to North Carolina. The Tar Heels found offense in surprising places back on October 3rd, getting goals from Zach Wright, Walker Hume and an overtime penalty kick winner from Raby George. UNC outshot Clemson 19 to 5 and that is something Clemson cannot let happen in the tournament or they will lose once again to North Carolina.


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