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UCLA Men’s Soccer Heads to Albuquerque to face New Mexico

The Bruins begin their final non-conference road trip tonight when they face the Lobos.

Eric Iloski celebrates after netting his first career goal as a Bruin.

The UCLA Bruins hits the road to face the #24 New Mexico Lobos as they look to extend their win streak to four games with a non-conference game.

After a successful trip to the Pacific Northwest, the Bruins returned home where they defeated both Oregon State and Washington for a game against San Diego State on Sunday.

For the majority of the night, the game was like all the Bruins’ others. UCLA created chance after chance but could not convert. Their defense worked overtime to prevent a goal and another loss. The way the game was going, it looked like it was going to end in a draw until the 83rd minute when Santiago Herrera sent a through ball to Anderson Asiedu who managed to break through the Aztec backline. Asiedu calmly shot the ball to the back of the net for his first career goal as a Bruin.

As the game was winding down in the final minutes, all UCLA had to do was hold off San Diego State for a few seconds in order to win the game. In the final two seconds of the game, the Aztecs took one final shot from Ilai Shvika who managed to shoot the ball out of the reach of Kevin Silva to take the game into overtime. Talk about late-game dramatics.

But, it only took five minutes of OT before UCLA scored the golden goal for their third straight win. And it was the Iloski brothers who made it happen. Brian took the ball up the field and sent it to Milan who then went straight to the end line in the Aztec box. That’s when Milan realized Eric was unguarded at the top of the box. Without hesitation, Eric shot it past the Aztec goalkeeper to win the game for the Bruins.

UCLA now heads to New Mexico for a non-conference game as they have a week break from conference play. While the Lobos are not part of the Pac-12, it doesn’t mean they aren’t going to pose a challenge. New Mexico is currently ranked #24 in the country. As I’ve written before, UCLA has not had a lot of success with ranked schools. Pulling off the win against a ranked Washington team was impressive all on its own.

UCLA puts their three-game winning streak on the line tonight in Albuquerque. All their defense has to do is stop the New Mexico offense by not allowing a goal in the last seconds of the game and the offense needs to convert their chances. Now that doesn’t seem like a hard plan, right? Well, we’ll find out tonight.

This is your UCLA men’s soccer vs. New Mexico open thread!

Go Bruins!