No. 1 UCLA Battles No. 2 Maryland Friday Night
Sept. 2, 2003
This Week - The UCLA men's soccer team (2-0-0, ranked No. 1 by the NSCAA/adidas and Soccer America) will travel to College Park, Md. for the Maryland Soccer Classic. The Bruins will face Maryland (2-0-0, ranked No. 2 in both polls) on Friday, Sept. 5 at 8:00 pm ET and Virginia (0-2-0) on Sunday, Sept. 7 at 12:00 pm ET. Both game will take place at Ludwig Field. The UCLA-Maryland game will be televised live on CN-8/Comcast Sports Net on the East Coast.
Top Two Teams Duke It Out - The UCLA-Maryland game is the highly anticipated rematch of the 2002 NCAA semifinals, which the Bruins won, 2-1. In that game, Matt Taylor put UCLA on the scoreboard first with a goal in the 75th minute. Maryland equalized in the 81st minute on a . Just one minute later, however, Cliff McKinley was taken down in the penalty box by Maryland keeper Noah Palmer, and Adolfo Gregorio scored the ensuing penalty kick and game-winning goal. The two teams have been ranked 1-2 in all of the polls so far this season.
Scouting the Terrapins - The Terrapins earned two shutouts on opening weekend, downing No. 15 Furman, 1-0 and Butler, 4-0. Maryland returns virtually its entire roster from 2002, including 2003 M.A.C. Hermann Trophy candidates Sumed Ibrahim and Abe Thompson. Ibrahim was an NSCAA first-team All-American a year ago, and Thompson led Maryland in scoring in 2002 with 36 points (14g, 8a)
Scouting the Cavaliers - Five-time NCAA Champion and pre-season No. 14 Virginia dropped its first two contests of the season at home, losing to Seton Hall, 1-0, and to then-ranked No. 11 Saint Louis, 3-2. Cavalier freshman Brian Yi is the younger brother of former Bruin All-American Alex Yi (2000-01). Virginia will face American on Friday, Sept. 5 prior to playing UCLA.
UCLA Wins Soccer Town Classic - The Bruins swept their Big Ten opponents Penn State and Ohio State to capture the Cal State Fullerton Soccer Town Classic. UCLA's 5-2 win over the Nittany Lions and 1-0 win over Ohio State gave UCLA the tournament team title based on a plus-four goal differential. UCLA's record at Cal State Fullerton's Tournament improves to a perfect 14-0-0. Senior forward Matt Taylor was named the Tournament's Offensive MVP.
Taylor named Pac-10 Player of the Week - Forward Matt Taylor was selected the first Pac-10 Player of the Week for 2003 after earning Offensive MVP honors at the Cal State Fullerton Soccer Town Classic. Taylor scored a hat trick against 16th-ranked Penn State in UCLA's 5-2 come-from-behind victory. It was his second consecutive hat trick against the Nittany Lions, having previously accomplished that feat in the 2002 NCAA Quarterfinals. Taylor has scored seven goals and added two assists in his last five games, dating back to last year
Barrett Makes Outstanding Freshman Debut - Freshman forward Chad Barrett made a splash in his collegiate debut, scoring a goal and three assists in the season opener against Penn State and then scoring the game-winning goal in UCLA's 1-0 win over Ohio State. He also assisted on the go-ahead and game-winning goals against the Nittany Lions. Barrett is a member of the U.S. Under-18 National Team and was the Oregon Gatorade Player of the Year after scoring 32 goals and 21 assists at Southridge HS last year.
Seven Players Make Bruin Debuts - Making their collegiate debuts this weekend were redshirt freshmen Eli Meschures and Eric Reed and true freshmen Chad Barrett (started against Ohio State), Kiel McClung (started both games), Brandon Owens, Taylor Canel and Benny Feilhaber.
Lopez Named To M.A.C. Hermann Watch List - Junior defender/midfielder Aaron Lopez has been selected to the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy 'Watch List' of players considered among the top candidates for the 2003 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann trophy. Lopez was UCLA's Team MVP in 2002 and the Offensive MVP of the 2002 College Cup after scoring the game-winning goal with 1:02 remaining in the title match.