This Week In Pac-10 Men's Soccer
Nov. 26, 2002
UCLA, CAL, STANFORD HOST NCAA SECOND ROUND ACTION
The OREGON STATE Beavers (13-8-0, 4-6-0 Pac-10) fell to Portland in first-round NCAA action last week, leaving three Pac-10 teams alive in the hunt for the NCAA Championship... Pac-10 Champion UCLA hosts crosstown rival Loyola Marymount (15-3-2), CALIFORNIA plays host to UC Santa Barbara (18-2-1) and STANFORD (14-4-2) hosts Portland (13-5-1)... The Bruins, Bears and Cardinal are three of 16 teams to receive first-round byes in the 48-team field... UCLA earned the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Championship, capturing its first-ever Pac-10 title and first Conference crown since 1997... In just its third year of existence, the Pacific-10 Conference has emerged as one of the nation's premier men's soccer leagues, as at least half its teams have been ranked among the Top-25 for the majority of the season... Pac-10 teams have combined for a stellar 36-13-10 record (.695) against non-conference competition this season.
THIS WEEK'S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
NCAA SECOND ROUND
Wed., Nov. 27
UC Santa Barbara at CALIFORNIA, 1:30 p.m.
Portland winner at STANFORD, 7 p.m.
Loyola Marymount at UCLA, 7 p.m.
NCAA THIRD ROUND
Sat., Nov. 30
Portland-STANFORD winner vs. Furman-Virginia Commonwealth winner, TBA
Loyola Marymount-UCLA winner vs. UC Santa Barbara-CALIFORNIA winner, TBA
All times are local to site.
2002 HAT TRICKS
Tim Pierce, Sr F, UCLA, 9-29-02
Alan Gordon, Jr F, OSU, 11-10-02
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS
NCAA First Round - Sat., Nov. 23
Portland 2, OREGON STATE 0
CALIFORNIA: The 12th-ranked Bears received their second consecutive NCAA bid and ninth overall, after falling 1-0 (3OT) to Santa Clara in first-round action last year. This marks the first time Cal has reached the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back years since 1985 and 1986. For the first time ever, Cal received a first-round bye, and the Bears host No. 23 UC Santa Barbara (18-2-1) Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. California looks to post the first NCAA Tournament win in program history, as the Bears are 0-8 all-time in postseason play. The Bears finished the regular season with an impressive 9-1-0 home record, their only loss to then-No. 7 Southern Methodist on Sept. 8. SR GK Josh Saunders, the 2002 Pac-10 Player of the Year, paces the league with 10 shutouts on the season. In his third year at the helm of the Cal program, head coach Kevin Grimes was named Co-Pac-10 Coach of the Year, along with Oregon State's Dana Taylor.
STANFORD: The Cardinal makes its ninth NCAA Championship appearance this week and is 9-8-1 in postseason play. Stanford earned a first-round bye and will host the Portland Wednesday at 7 p.m. Stanford reached the College Cup semifinals last year, falling 3-2 in quadruple overtime to eventual national champion North Carolina. The Cardinal reached the national championship game in 1998, but lost a 3-1 decision to Indiana. Stanford faced Portland in its third match of the 2002 season (Sept. 8), defeating the Pilots 2-0. So GK Robby Fulton started his first game of the season in goal and recorded the shutout along with four saves. SR F Roger Levesque, the 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year, paces the Conference in assists (13) and ranks fourth in points (23). Fulton paces the Pac-10 with a 0.41 goals-against-average and ranks second with seven shutouts on the year. Stanford is 8-2-1 at Maloney Field this year
UCLA: The Bruins earned the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament, their highest since receiving a the same seed in 1995, and host Loyola Marymount (15-3-2) Wednesday at 7 p.m. UCLA, which has advanced to the NCAA Championship in 20 consecutive seasons, received the Pac-10's automatic NCAA bid after capturing its first-ever Pac-10 title and its first Conference crown since 1997. UCLA and LMU met earlier this year as the Lions handed UCLA its first loss on the year (2-0) in Westchester on Sept. 22. Wednesday's match marks the second consecutive NCAA matchup for the neighboring schools. Last season, the Bruins defeated the Lions 2-1 in double overtime in a first-round match. SR F Tim Pierce ranks second in the Pac-10 in points (27 ) and goals (10), third in assists (7) and is tied for the league lead with four game-winning goals. JR GK Zach Wells ranks second with a 0.68 goals-against-average.
2002 PAC-10 HONORS
PLAYER OF THE YEAR - JOSH SAUNDERS, GK, CALSaunders, a senior from Lake Forest, Calif., was tremendous in front of the net this season, helping the Golden Bears to a 13-5-2 (6-3-1 in Pac-10) marker and a second-straight NCAA Tournament bid. He leads the Pac-10 in shutouts (10) and is ranked 14th in NCAA and third in the Conference in goals against average (0.78 per game). Saunders is the first goalkeeper to be voted Pac-10 Player of the Year, in the league's third season sponsoring men's soccer.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR - JOE ZAHER, MF, OSU
Zaher, a midfielder from Las Vegas, Nev., helped the Beavers to a 13-8 record (4-6 Pac-10) and the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament berth. Zaher is tied for the Conference lead in game-winning goals (4). He also ranks second in the Pac-10 in goals scored (10), and is third in points (25), goals per game (0.53), shots (51) and shots per game (2.68).
CO-COACH OF THE YEAR - KEVIN GRIMES, CALGrimes, in his third year at the helm for the Bears, guided Cal to a 13-5-2 (6-3-1 in Pac-10) record, a second-place Pac-10 finish and second consecutive NCAA Tournament bid. The Bears have allowed the second-least amount of goals scored against them (15), and are tied for the Conference lead in shutouts (11). Grimes has amassed a 29-27-4 marker during his tenure in Berkeley. Prior to working at Cal, he spent three seasons as an assistant at Southern Methodist, where he helped guide the Mustangs to the three NCAA Tournament appearances.
CO-COACH OF THE YEAR - DANA TAYLOR, OSUTaylor, in his fourth year as head coach for the Beavers, led OSU to a 13-8 (4-6 Pac-10) record and the program's first NCAA Tournament berth. Taylor's squad currently leads the Pac-10 in five offensive categories, including shots (297), goals (47), points (133), assists (39), and goals per game average (2.24). Oregon State also leads the Conference in saves (102). Taylor has put together a 30-43-1 ledger at OSU, after spending four years as an assistant at Creighton, where he helped the Bluejays reach the NCAA Tournament four times, including one trip to the NCAA Final Four in 1996.