Despite some early struggles (losing to Louisville and UC Davis, while only tying Santa Clara), the men's soccer team, ranked #16, has put together a 3 game winning streak, capping it with a major victory over #6 UC Santa Barbara. In a wide-open game, the Bruins found themselves down at half by a score of 1-0.
With Brian Rowe making key saves, the Bruins found back via junior striker Chandler Hoffman's impressive hat-trick, burying his third in the 70th minute to give UCLA the lead at 3-1. UCSB made it tight by striking back late in the game, but with Rowe in goal, the Bruins were able to hold on to pick up a major win over a top-10 program and get their season back on track.
As ESPN noted, Hoffman has been on fire in front of the net:
Hoffman, who has seven goals in the Bruins' first six games (after scoring 13 in 13 Premier Development League appearances for Orange County Blue Star this summer), tied a school record by tallying in his fifth successive game.
"It's been really good to find the back of the net," Hoffman said in a video posted on UCLA's athletics web site. "My parents were here tonight, so it's always fun to score when they're here. It's always fun to beat UCSB."
For a full recap of yesterday's action against the Gauchos, you can check out the official site's recap here. The official box score is here.
UCLA gets back at it against the San Diego Torenos on Sunday evening in San Diego, looking to extend their current winning streak.