SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – No. 7 UCLA scored an equalizer with three seconds left in regulation and then added a golden goal seven minutes into overtime to snatch a 2-1 win over No. 13 UC Santa Barbara on Saturday night at Harder Stadium in a matchup of the two of the top teams on the west coast.
UCLA's first goal, scored at the 89:57 mark by midfielder Brian Iloski off a free kick from about 20 yards out, came just after a controversial decision by the center referee.
With the Bruins (4-1-1) in full-attack mode and trailing by a goal, the Gauchos (4-3-0) committed a foul just outside the 18-yard box with about five seconds left on the clock.
UCLA scrambled to get the ensuing free kick off in time, but the clock hit zero before they could do so. However, it turned out the referee had signaled for the clock to be stopped despite not issuing a card, and after a short meeting with his assistants, five seconds were put back on the board.
Down to their last chance, Iloski stepped up for the Bruins and stung a free kick off the bottom of the bar and in, stunning the crowd of 4,100.
With both teams tired after 90 minutes of hard-fought action, neither team was able to generate much in overtime until Jackson Yueill teamed up with Abu Danladi on a 1-2 to get behind the Gaucho defense before dinging a shot off the far post and in for the winner.
It was the first shot by either team in overtime.
The result spoiled what had been a solid defensive effort for UCSB, which held one of the hottest offenses in the country to just six shots (two on frame) over the first 89 minutes and 57 seconds of the game.
Freshman goalkeeper Titouan Le Roux did his part as well, making a pair of huge stops in the first half to preserve the squad's 1-0 lead.
His best stop came in the 23rd minute, when midfielder Jose Hernandez got free in the box and sent in a left-footed, goal-bound shot from about 15 yards before the French national leapt to his right and made a full-length dive to deflect the ball out.
Junior midfielder Kevin Feucht was a ball-winning force in the midfield all day for UCSB, and he was also responsible for the team's lone goal.
In the 14th minute, UCSB strung together four quick passes starting with a ball out of the back by Daniel Amo to Ahinga Selemani on the left wing, who immediately found freshman midfielder Noah Billingsley in the middle.
Off the pass, Billingsley made a nice turn to his right and drilled a perfect through ball down the left side for a streaking Feucht, who found himself alone with UCLA keeper Juan Cervantes before calmly finishing with a left-footed shot.
Up by a goal, the Gauchos did a good job of limiting the Bruins' opportunities up until Iloski's equalizer, with a curled shot from Danladi that went wide their only decent look at goal.
On the night, UCSB outshot UCLA 9-7 with a 6-2 edge in corners.
The Gauchos will continue a three-game homestand next week with contests against Loyola Marymount on Wednesday, Sept. 21 and against Cal on Saturday, Sept. 24. Both games are scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PDT starts. To get your tickets, called 805-893-UCSB or shop online here.