Saturday Soccer: UCLA’s NCAA Tournament run ends & more

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Blushing Rose: UCLA midfielder Andy Rose missed UCLA’s first penalty kick in a shootout Friday and North Carolina marched into the College Cup final Sunday (AP Photo).

*It was a noble effort, but after twice taking the lead against top-ranked North Carolina Friday UCLA lost their nerve and the semifinal, yielding to the Tar Heels in the crap shoot of penalty kicks and denying them the chance to meet similar underdogs Charlotte Sunday in the championship game.

UCLA never really gave themselves a chance in the shootout, missing their first two PK’s and sealing their fate.

I watched the game in my local watering hole with a couple of fellow soccer fans (there’s something to be said for sitting there watching a game with an excellent porter in your hand rather than a laptop in a press box) and I’ll say this much: I agree with UCLA Coach Jorge Salcedo that it was an fun game to see, even if the result wasn’t what he wanted.

And I very much doubt we’ve seen the last of UCLA goalkeeper Brian Rowe who kept the Bruins in the game on several occasions with supurb stops. He was credited with nine saves.

*The other must-see game this weekend is the biggest one of the European season so far: Real Madrid-Barcelona at 1 p.m. on ESPND, ESPN Deportes and GolTV. There’s a nasty subtext to this game.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Studs

    For college soccer that wasn’t a bad game but it’s idiotic that Salcedo kept his best player, Kelyn Rowe, on the bench because of some early season attitude adjustment. Lesson was learned and Rowe should have started and played every minute of this game.

    With the exception of Akron’s Porter, the college soccer coaches still insist on excessive substitutions thus denying the players any opportunity to learn how to solve problems on the field not to mention anything about match fitness and game management. Helter Skelter soccer is still with us and our game is no better for it.

  • UCLABZ

    got the kids to bed and flipped on the tube just in time to see Rowe’s second goal. It was a thing of beauty and shows he is ready for prime time.

    Brian Rowe made a crazy save to put the game into overtime, though NC’s keeper was a monster in the penalty shoot-out.