Stanford Comes Up Short, Losing 1-0 To UCLA In NCAA Title Game
Dec. 15, 2002
Dallas, TX - UCLA scored with two minutes left Sunday and again beat Stanford 1-0, this time to win the men's NCAA soccer championship.
Defenseman Aaron Lopez knocked in a free kick from midfielder Ryan Futagaki with one touch into the right corner of the goal in the 88th minute of the NCAA College Cup.
This was the third meeting between UCLA (18-3-3) and Stanford (18-5-2) this season. The Bruins won all three meetings by 1-0 scores.
Most of Sunday's game with played without one team clearly dominating the other.
The championship game closely mirrored their two regular-season matchups between the Bruins and Stanford, when the games weren't decided until the final moments.
In the first game, UCLA won on Jimmy Frazelle's goal in overtime. In the second game, UCLA won on Cliff McKinley's goal in the 77th minute.
Both teams played strong defense Sunday, denying several scoring chances for both the Bruins and the Cardinal.
Futagaki rocketed off a strong shot from 25 yards out in the 31st minute that ricocheted off the left goalpost.
Stanford also had several chances, most notably Taylor Graham's header in the sixth minute of the game.
UCLA coach Tom Fitzgerald knew his team would struggle against the bigger Stanford players.
'Stanford is very dangerous on set pieces and crossing balls. It will be difficult to match up with them due to size, but our athleticism will make up for that,' he said Saturday.
Graham almost headed in the corner kick from midfielder Johanes Maliza. At 6-foot-4, Graham had a height advantage over shorter Bruin defenders.
Graham's header was knocked down and kicked away by Frazelle, who was guarding the right post.
By ANITA CHANG
Associated Press Writer
Stanford ended the season 18-5-2 ... The Cardinal recorded winning streaks of seven and six games during the course of the 2002 season ... Stanford's defense recorded 13 shutouts ... In nine other games, Stanford gave up only one goal ... Stanford's defense gave up only 16 goals in 25 games ... Senior defender Todd Dunivant played in 80 games during his four-year career, fifth-best in school history ... Another senior, Johanes Maliza, played in 78 games, sixth all-time at Stanford ... Senior forward Roger Levesque scored 86 points in his four-year career, sixth-best in school history ... Levesque also finished with 28 career goals, seventh-best in school history ... Levesque's 30 assists is third best in the record book at Stanford ... Senior Andrew Terris collected 87 saves in his four-year career, eighth-best in school history ... Dunivant has just been named a first team All-America by the NSCAA/adidas, while Levesque was named a third team All-American.
Bret Simon quotes
'I'm really proud of the team. We gave it our best effort against UCLA. I thought both teams played great on defense. Give credit to UCLA's defenders. If we had gotten around their defenders, it might have been different. UCLA bent but never broke. In the three games we played against UCLA this year, we had a number of good chances to score. This year we had a great group of seniors. I'm proud of their hard work and leadership. I told the team to hold their heads up. We had a great season.'
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