LOS ANGELES – Chandler Hoffman's three goals in a 20-minute span on Friday night powered the No. 16 UCLA Bruins past No. 6 UC Santa Barbara, 3-2, at Drake Stadium in a match-up labeled by one outlet as "The Game of the Year."
UCSB suffers its first defeat of the season, falling to 4-1-1. UCLA improves to 3-2-2.
Chandler Hoffman opened up his hat trick with a goal at 51:22 when he corralled a ball with his chest before sending a right-footed shot into the upper corner for the Bruins' first goal.
Knotted at 1-1, Hoffman struck again at 67:07 on the other end of a corner kick. Kelyn Rowe garnered the assist on both of Hoffman's first goals.
Yet again, Hoffman found the back of UCSB's net, scoring just over three minutes later after Victor Chavez lofted a ball over the Gaucho defense, allowing Hoffman to put it away.
Far from over, UCSB's Sam Garza buried a penalty kick conversion at 73:00 to cut the deficit to 3-2 and giving the Gauchos hope. Santa Barbara got on the board first at 34:43 when James Kiffe scored his first goal of the season when he converted Machael David's pass into a goal and a 1-0 Gaucho lead.
UCSB had eight of its 14 shots on frame, but the Bruins' Brian Rowe was game, making six saves.
Conversely, UCLA took 16 total shots, but only four were on goal. Hoffman converted three of those.
Keen at finding the back of the net, the three goals by Hoffman– his fifth, sixth and seventh of the year – counted as his 26th goal over his last 25 games, according to ESPN.com, the same outlet that labeled Friday's affair as "The Game of the Year."
Santa Barbara will surely have something to say about that. The Gauchos host a terrific home schedule that features defending national champ Akron on Oct. 5. For ticket information, click here, or call (805) 893-UCSB.
The Gauchos return home to host San Diego on Friday, Sept. 23 in a game that is part of UCSB's Faculty Free Fridays where all UCSB staff and faculty receive free admission to Gaucho athletic events.
That match will be broadcast live on AM 1290 and streaming live online through UCSBgauchos.com. Click here for a full list of our broadcasts.
And, speaking of broadcasts, Talk'n Gauchos returns to the airwaves on Tuesday, Sept. 20. UCSB Athletics' weekly radio show airs live from the Beachside Bar-Cafe from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1290 and also streaming live.
UCSB Athletics is also proud to support Hispanic Heritage Month, which takes place from Sept. 15-Oct. 15. Click here for more information.