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Rutgers men's soccer falls to UCLA in poor defensive performance

The Rutgers men's soccer team fell to UCLA by 3 goals this weekend. – Photo by Izzie Alvarez /

The Rutgers men's soccer team fell to UCLA on the West Coast by a score of 4-0 yesterday. The Scarlet Knights (1-3-1, 0-0-0) conceded 3 goals in the second half and were shut out by the Bruins (2-1-1, 0-0-0).

Rutgers started the game with early scoring chances from senior midfielder Jason Bouregy, senior forward Ola Maeland and junior midfielder Curt Calov, but Sam Joseph remained strong between the posts to keep the game scoreless. The Knights attempted five shots in the game's opening 25 minutes but were unable to take the lead.

UCLA swung the momentum of the game to its side when it opened the scoring in the 30th minute. Jack Sarkos found the back of the net to put the Bruins in the lead.

Despite the active start to the game, Rutgers trailed 1-0 heading into halftime.

UCLA would score 3 goals and defend soundly to extend its lead in the second half. 

The Bruins scored their 2nd goal of the game when Cam Wilkerson shot the ball past sophomore goalkeeper Ciaran Dalton in the 52nd minute. 

UCLA would score again and put the game out of reach in the 72nd minute. Sean Karani found space on the left-hand side of the pitch and took a shot that was saved by Dalton, but the ball rebounded right back to Karani, who slotted the ball home with Dalton still on the ground.

Sarkos scored his 2nd goal of the night in the 84th minute with an assist from Tommy Silva. Silva received the ball on the edge of the box and played it right across the goal to Sarkos, who put the ball into the open net to give the Bruins a 4-0 lead.

With 5 minutes left in the game, UCLA sat back on defense and let the clock run down to claim the 4-0 victory.

The Knights attempted some more shots in the second half, but strong goalkeeping from Joseph ultimately kept Rutgers scoreless. Joseph finished the game with four saves.

The Bruins took control of the game after the first 25 minutes and ended the game with an 18-10 lead in shots and led by three shots on goal. UCLA also had five corners, while the Knights only had one corner kick opportunity.

Rutgers will look to get back into the win column when it returns to Yurcak Field on Busch campus to face off against Columbia on Wednesday. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on Big Ten Plus and 88.7 WRSU-FM.

For more updates on the Rutgers men's soccer team, follow @TargumSports on X.

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