SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Erik Hurtado and Mykell Bates scored for the host Broncos, as Santa Clara and No. 6/13 UCLA played to a 2-2 draw at Buck Shaw Stadium Friday night.
Hurtado opened the scoring in the first half, but the Broncos trailed 2-1 with seven minutes to play before Bates elevated and volleyed a shot into the back of the net, using a cross from senior classmate Connor Mitchell to tie the game at two apiece.
Santa Clara (1-0-1) began the season with a shutout victory over Stanford last weekend. The Broncos will continue their season-opening homestand Sunday night against New Mexico at 7 p.m.
UCLA (0-1-1) – ranked as high as No. 2 in the preseason polls – received goals from Chandler Hoffman and Eder Arreola, but were out-shot 17-12 on the night and were held scoreless over the last 40 minutes. The Bruins dropped their opener to No. 1 Louisville on the road last weekend.
"This was an early-season game against two teams that want to contend at the end," said SCU's four-time West Coast Conference Coach of the Year, Cameron Rast. "UCLA has everybody back from a team that went to the final eight last year; we have everybody back from a team that won the WCC championship and went to the NCAA's. So this was a test, to see if our guys can be as good as they need to be at this point."
The Broncos seemed up for the challenge immediately, with Hurtado blasting in his first goal of the season just seven minutes into the match.
UCLA was able counter moments later when Hoffman cleaned up a free ball in traffic. The two teams would head to the locker room tied 1-1 at the half.
Both teams had a number of chances during regulation time, combining for 22 shots during the first 90 minutes. Bruin midfielder Andy Rose nearly broke the 1-1 tie with a shot that richoceted off the post, before Arreola broke through with the go-ahead score for UCLA at the 69-minute mark.
Trailing 2-1 late in the game, Carlos Montes laid out a terrific feed for Mitchell, however the point-blank try that would have tied the game was fired over the cross bar and UCLA held the lead.
Mitchell bounced back to provide the equalizing assist, crossing a ball to Bates who fought off an in-game injury and was thrust into the frontline after beginning the game as a defender.
"This team has grown and matured quite a bit since last year," said Rast. "This was a big game and they are learning how to play in big games."