No. 1 Bruins Host California, Stanford
Oct. 13, 2003
This Week - The top-ranked UCLA men's soccer team (10-1-0, 3-0-0 in the Pac-10 Conference) will host two teams that it defeated in tournament play en route to the 2002 NCAA Championship - California (5-5-2, 1-1-1) and NCAA runner-up Stanford (2-8-2, 0-3-0). The Bruins will first play California on Friday, Oct. 17 at 7 pm at Drake Stadium in a rematch of the NCAA third round game that the Bruins won, 3-2. On Sunday, Oct. 19, NCAA Championship game participants UCLA and Stanford will meet up at 1 pm. UCLA won the championship game against Stanford last year, 1-0 on an 89th minute goal by Aaron Lopez.
Bruins, Cardinal On TV, Internet - The UCLA-Stanford match will be televised by College Sports TV (CSTV) on a tape-delayed basis on Monday, Sept. 20 at 4:30 pm PT. Marc Stout and 1999 U.S. Women's World Cup star Tisha (Venturini) Hoch will call the action. The game can also be heard live on the internet on www.uclabruins.com. Craig Dunkin will provide play-by-play, and former Bruin star Tayt Ianni, a member of the Bruins' 1990 NCAA Championship team, will do the color commentary.
Scouting the Golden Bears - The Golden Bears will be playing away from the Bay Area for the first time since the season opener at the Indiana Tournament. Cal's record in the Bay Area is 5-2-1, 0-2-0 out of their local area. Junior forward Carl Acosta leads Cal with seven goals for 14 points on the year.
The Series With Cal - UCLA leads the overall series with California, 26-7-3, and won the last matchup, 3-2, in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Early goals by Aaron Lopez, Cliff McKinley and Matt Taylor helped UCLA stave off a late Cal comeback. During the regular season, each team won a games at home, with UCLA winning 2-1 on Lopez and Taylor goals on Oct. 20 and Cal winning 1-0 in double overtime on Nov. 8.
Scouting the Cardinal - Stanford has struggled this season, winning just once in its last 11 games, a 4-1 victory over UC Irvine. The Cardinal has scored just 10 goals this season. Matt Janusz has three of those goals to lead the team. Goalkeeper Robby Fulton has moved into No. 1 on Stanford's all-time chart with a career goals against average of 0.52.
The Series With Stanford - UCLA leads the overall series, 28-2-4, and has won the last three in a row. The Bruins won all three games last year by a score of 1-0, the biggest win of course coming in the NCAA Championship game. Aaron Lopez scored the game's only goal with 1:02 remaining on the clock. In the first game between the two teams last year, Jimmy Frazelle scored the game-winner in overtime, and in the road game up at Stanford, Cliff McKinley scored the game-winning goal late in the game.
Last Week - Matt Taylor scored three goals and two assist on the weekend as UCLA defeated New Mexico, 1-0, at home and Fresno State, 5-0, on the road. Against the Lobos, UCLA had 10 of 19 shots saved by New Mexico keeper Andrew Weber and finally broke through with a 71st minute goal by Taylor. The Bruins got on the board early against Fresno State, scoring three first-half goals. Taylor scored the game-winner, his fourth of the year, in the ninth minute. Senior Cliff McKinley and freshman Brandon Owens scored their first goals of the year in the first half as well. Taylor increased his season point production in the second half by assisting on Chad Barrett's goal and scoring his 10th goal of the year.
Defense Earns Eighth Shutout - The Bruin defense, labeled by College Soccer News as one of the Top 5 in the nation, has been nearly impenetrable this season. UCLA has allowed just four goals this year for a team goals against average of 0.36 and has shut out a total of eight opponents, including seven of the last eight. Senior goalkeeper Zach Wells has six solo shutouts and a minuscule GAA of 0.29.
Wells Nearly Untouchable In 2003 - Senior goalkeeper Zach Wells is on pace to shatter UCLA's school record for single-season goals against average. Wells currently has compiled a 0.29 GAA with just three goals allowed and six solo shutouts in 920 minutes of action. All-American Anton Nistl set the school mark in 1989 and 1986 with a GAA of 0.53 and recorded a school-record 16 shutouts in 1989. Wells has moved into third on UCLA's career saves list with 232 and has a good chance of passing all-time leader Nistl, who totaled 261 saves from 1986-89. Wells also moved into a tie for fifth on the career shutouts list with 22, tying his former goalkeeping coach David Vanole (1981-85), and on the career victories list with 39 (tied with Nick Rimando and Steve Burnside).
Dynamic Duo - The dynamic duo of senior forward Matt Taylor and freshman forward Chad Barrett has combined to score 16 of UCLA's 28 goals this season. Taylor leads the team in goals scored with 10 and in points with 21. Barrett has scored six goals with a team-best seven assists for a total of 19 points.
Deep Bench - One of the biggest reasons why UCLA has been so hard to stop this year is the depth of its roster. A total of 20 players have started at least one game this season, including 13 who have started at least six games. Only three players - goalkeeper Zach Wells, defender Leonard Griffin and defensive midfielder Aaron Lopez - have started in all 11 games. Although Matt Taylor has scored over half of the team's goals (10 out of 28), a total of 10 different players have scored, making UCLA's attack more than just one-pronged. In the 5-0 victory over Fresno State last Sunday, all 25 suited players saw action.
Gregorio, Lopez Named To M.A.C. Hermann Watch List - Senior midfielder Adolfo Gregorio and junior defender/midfielder Aaron Lopez have 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. Gregorio is a two-time first-team All-Pac-10 selection and a Soccer America pre-season All-American. 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.
Head Coach Tom Fitzgerald - NSCAA National Coach of the Year Tom Fitzgerald enters his second year as UCLA head coach. Fitzgerald has established lofty standards for himself at UCLA, becoming the first NCAA Division I coach to win an undisputed national championship in his first year with the program. He also became just the third coach to win NCAA titles in both Division I and Division II. Fitzgerald coached the University of Tampa to the NCAA Division II title in 1994 and was the head coach for Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew from 1996-2001.
Looking Ahead - The Bruins will turn right back around and face the same two teams next week. UCLA will play Stanford again on Friday, Oct. 24 at Stanford at 7 pm and then will face California for the second time in a week on Sunday, Oct. 26 at 2 pm.