Clash Of The Titans In Elite Eight As UCLA Hosts Indiana
Dec. 1, 2003
UCLA vs. Indiana - The No. 1 seed, top-ranked and defending NCAA champion UCLA men's soccer team (20-1-1) is one win away from a repeat appearance in the NCAA College Cup and will host eighth-seeded Indiana (14-3-5) in the quarterfinals on Saturday, Dec. 6. The game will take place at UCLA's Drake Stadium at 7 pm. Tickets are $9 for adults/$7 for youth/students. Two of the top college soccer programs in the nation year after year, UCLA and Indiana have nine NCAA Championships between them - UCLA with four and Indiana with five.
Internet Broadcast - UCLA will broadcast Saturday's game live on the internet at www.uclabruins.com. Craig Dunkin will call the action.
Fitzgerald Seeks Return Trip To Columbus - The winner of Saturday's quarterfinal game moves on to the NCAA College Cup in Columbus, Ohio, where it will face the winner of the Santa Clara-Michigan quarterfinal game. The College Cup games will take place at Columbus Crew Stadium on Dec. 12 and 14. Bruin head coach Tom Fitzgerald would like nothing better than to return to his old stomping grounds and a stadium he helped build as the head coach of the Columbus Crew from 1996-2001.
Nation's Two Hottest Teams Meet - Saturday's UCLA-Indiana matchup pits the two hottest teams in the tournament in a head-to-head battle. UCLA, which has been ranked No. 1 for nine-straight weeks since Oct. 6, is on a 19-game unbeaten streak and have not lost a game since a 1-0 decision against Maryland on Sept. 5. The Bruins won 15 straight games from Sept. 7-Nov. 9, the second-longest winning streak in school history. The Bruins' unbeaten streak is the third-longest in school history. Indiana, which started the season 2-3-4, is on a lengthy unbeaten streak of its own, having won or tied 15 straight games since dropping a 1-0 double overtime decision at Notre Dame on Sept. 18.
A Look At The Hoosiers - Indiana advanced to the quarterfinals after a 2-1 double overtime win over Kentucky in the second round and a 5-0 drubbing of Virginia Commonwealth in the third round. The Hoosiers are on a 15-game unbeaten streak and are trying to win one final NCAA championship for retiring head coach and soccer legend Jerry Yeagley. Indiana has won five NCAA Championships (1982, 1983, 1988, 1998, 1999) and made 15 College Cup appearances.
The Series Between UCLA-Indiana - A quarterfinal matchup between UCLA and Indiana seems to be one round too early. The two teams have met in the NCAA semifinals three times since 1994, and if history is any indication, expect to see a long, drawn-out battle between the two powerhouses. Indiana is 2-1 against UCLA in the tournament, winning 4-1 in 1994 and 3-2 in four overtimes in an epic 1999 battle. UCLA's victory came in 1997, 1-0 in triple overtime en route to the NCAA Championship. Overall, UCLA leads the all-time series, 7-6, and won the last matchup in 2000, 2-1 in Bloomington. Three starters from that match are still starting for UCLA - midfielder Adolfo Gregorio, who had three shots in the game, forward Matt Taylor and defender Leonard Griffin. Ty Maurin, Cliff McKinley and Tony Lawson also saw action in that game. Only one current Indiana player played in that game - midfielder Vijay Dias.
Statistical Comparison - UCLA holds a statistical advantage over the Hoosiers, having outscored Indiana on the year, 54-40, and given up less goals by a 10-15 margin. UCLA's goals against average is 0.45, while Indiana's is 0.64. The two teams have four common opponents this year - California (UCLA defeated Cal twice, 4-2 and 1-0; Indiana defeated Cal 3-0), Fresno State (UCLA won both games, 5-0 and 1-0, while Indiana won its game 3-1), Ohio State (UCLA won 1-0, Indiana won 3-0) and Penn State (UCLA won 5-2, Indiana won 3-2 and then tied 1-1 in the Big Ten championship game before claiming the conference title in a shootout).
U-20 World Youth Championships Affecting NCAA Quarterfinals - Both UCLA and Indiana are impacted by the U.S. U-20 National Team's participation in the World Youth Championships. The Bruins are without defender Jordan Harvey (4g, 2a), while the Hoosiers are playing without Player of the Year candidate and leading scorer Ned Grabavoy (10g, 11a) and defender Drew Moor (1g, 0a). The Championships end on Dec. 19, and the U.S. team has a 3-1 win in the bag over Paraguay and faces Germany on Tuesday, Dec. 2. Other quarterfinal teams missing key players are Michigan (Knox Cameron) and Santa Clara (Steve Cronin and Ryan Cochrane).
Bruins, Corey Defeat FIU, 2-0 - Sophomore reserve forward Evan Corey came off the bench to score his first two career goals to down Florida International, 2-0. Corey's first strike came just 51 seconds into the second half, and he added an insurance goal with a little over five minutes to play.
UCLA Downs Tulsa, 3-2 In Second Round - After falling behind 1-0 at the half, UCLA came back to score three second-half goals to win its second round matchup against Tulsa, 3-2. UCLA equalized in the 53rd minute on a Matt Taylor goal from an Adolfo Gregorio free kick, and Ryan Valdez scored the go-ahead goal in the 56th minute. Tulsa came back to tie in the 67th minute, but UCLA regained the lead for good in the 81st minute on a Dru Hoshimiya header from a Gregorio corner kick.
Bruins Reach Tournament For 21st Straight Year - UCLA's selection to the NCAA Tournament is its 21st consecutive and 31st overall. UCLA's NCAA streak is the second-longest active streak in the nation, and the 31 NCAA appearances are second only to Saint Louis' 42. UCLA has won national championships in 1985, 1990, 1997 and 2002 and made 11 College Cup appearances. The Bruins' all-time NCAA record is 54-27.
UCLA vs. Tournament Field - The Bruins hold a 12-1-1 record versus the 48-team tournament field in 2003. UCLA's victories came against No. 10 seed Washington (twice), No. 13 seed Loyola Marymount, Oregon State (twice), California (twice), Portland, Virginia and Rutgers and the two tournament wins against Tulsa and Florida International. The Bruins also have a tie against 14th-seeded San Diego, and their lone loss came against No. 2 seed Maryland on Sept. 5.
UCLA Posts 37th Consecutive Winning Record - With another winning season in the books, the Bruins have tied the NCAA record for consecutive winning seasons, held by Saint Louis (37 consecutive from 1959-1996). UCLA has posted 37 straight from 1967-present. The Bruins have 14 more years of winning seasons from 1953-1966, but soccer was not an NCAA sport at UCLA at the time.
Bruins Capture Second Straight Pac-10 Title - UCLA breezed through Pac-10 Conference play, recording the first perfect conference mark in the Pac-10's history. The Bruins clinched their second straight Pac-10 Conference title after a 5-0 victory over second-place Oregon State on Nov. 9.
Bruin Depth Being Tested - Now more than ever, UCLA's depth is paying dividends. With two starters going down prior to Sunday's third round game and another two going down during the game, the Bruins dug deep into their bench and received solid contributions from its reserves, including Evan Corey, who was the hero of the game after scoring the first two goals of his collegiate career; John Carson, who was making only his third start of the year; and Taylor Canel, who was playing in just his fourth game of the season. UCLA received major contributions from its highly-touted freshman class, particularly in the backfield after sweeper Dru Hoshimiya went down in the 60th minute with an injury. Patrick Ianni replaced Hoshimiya for the remainder of the game, joining Brandon Owens, the only freshman selected to the All-Pac-10 first-team, and senior Leonard Griffin in the back, as well as Canel, who was playing the defensive midfield position. For most of the second half, four freshmen were in the game - Ianni, Owens, Canel and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Chad Barrett.
A total of 20 players have started at least one game this season for UCLA, including 14 who have started at least six games. Only two players - goalkeeper Zach Wells and defender Leonard Griffin - have started in all 22 games. Although Matt Taylor and Chad Barrett have 23 goals between them, UCLA's offensive attack has been more than just two-pronged. A total of 15 different players have scored, and 12 have scored two goals or more.
Injury Update - Senior sweeper Dru Hoshimiya and junior defensive midfielder Aaron Lopez are questionable for Saturday's game after suffering left knee injuries in the third round game Sunday. Senior midfielder Ty Maurin, sophomore midfielder Ryan Valdez and senior defender Tony Lawson are probable after sitting out Sunday's game with injuries.
Wells On His Way To The Record Books - With the school records for career saves (266) and single-season victories (20) already in hand, senior goalkeeper Zach Wells is looking to claim the school record for single-season goals against average. With a 0.45 GAA this year, he is still on pace to break the school record of 0.53 set by All-American Anton Nistl in 1989 and 1986. With four saves against Tulsa in the NCAA second round, Wells set the record for career saves. Wells also moved into fifth on the career shutouts list with 27 and second on the career victories list with 49. With his career goals against average now at 0.69, Wells is currently tied for fourth on the UCLA career list with Chris Snitko. Brad Friedel holds the school record with 0.60.
More Shutouts For the Defense - The Bruin defense, labeled by College Soccer News as one of the Top 5 in the nation, earned its school record-tying 16th shutout of the season in the NCAA third round win over Florida International. The 1989 Bruin team also recorded 16 shutouts. UCLA has allowed just 10 goals this year for a team goals against average of 0.45 (lowest in school history) and has shut 15 of the last 18 opponents.
High-Powered Offense - UCLA has scored 54 goals this season to rank first in the Pac-10 in scoring offense. In their last 12 games alone, the Bruins have scored 31 goals. Leading the charge is senior Matt Taylor, who ranks amongst the nation's leaders with 14 goals and 36 points in 21 games played. Freshman Chad Barrett has scored nine goals with eight assists, and senior Adolfo Gregorio has provided a team-high 13 assists to go along with four goals. Junior midfielder Mike Enfield has established career-high numbers with three goals and seven assists for 13 points.
Bruins Sweep Pac-10 Awards - Pac-10 champions UCLA swept the conference awards and placed nine players on the all-conference team, as senior forward Matt Taylor earned Player of the Year honors, forward Chad Barrett shared Co-Freshman of the Year acclaim, and Tom Fitzgerald was chosen the Coach of the Year. Taylor becomes UCLA's first conference player of the year since Sasha Victorine in 1999. Barrett is the Bruins' first Freshman of the Year since Alex Yi in 2000, and Fitzgerald becomes UCLA's first conference coach of the year since 1997. In addition to Taylor, Adolfo Gregorio (for the third consecutive year), Leonard Griffin, Brandon Owens and Zach Wells were named to the All-Pac-10 first team. Barrett, Aaron Lopez and Ty Maurin were selected to the second team, and Dru Hoshimiya earned honorable mention acclaim.
Gregorio, Lopez Chosen As M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Candidates - Senior midfielder Adolfo Gregorio and junior defensive midfielder Aaron Lopez are among 15 candidates for the 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 who ranks amongst the nation's leaders in assists per game with 13 assists in 21 games. Lopez's defensive efforts have enabled UCLA to rank amongst the stingiest backlines of all-time, recording a team goals against average of 0.45. 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.
Wells, Hoshimiya Earn Academic Honors - Seniors Zach Wells and Dru Hoshimiya have proven themselves to be winners on and off the pitch. The duo was selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII and the Pac-10 All-Academic first teams. In addition, Wells was announced as a second team Academic All-American, becoming only the second Bruin soccer player ever to earn this honor. Wells has compiled a cumulative GPA of 3.22 in American Literature & Culture, while Hoshimiya has a 3.46 GPA in Sociology. On the field, they have been key components to UCLA's second-ranked defense. Wells has allowed only nine goals in 1807 minutes. Hoshimiya, who moved from central midfielder to sweeper after an injury to team captain Tony Lawson, has been outstanding in the back and has contributed well offensively, scoring three goals, including the game-winner against Tulsa in the NCAA second round. Matt Taylor and Ryan Valdez also earned honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic acclaim.
A Barrett Balanced Attack - Freshman forward Chad Barrett, the Pac-10 Co-Freshman of the Year, has not only scored the goals for UCLA, but set up the goals as well. Barrett has scored nine goals and recorded eight assists for a total of 26 points, the most by a Bruin freshman since Joe-Max Moore had 32 in 1990. The Beaverton, Ore. native ranks second on the team in all three scoring categories.
National Team Duty Pulls Harvey During Post-Season - Sophomore defender Jordan Harvey will miss most of the post-season while playing for the U.S. Under-20 National Team at the World Youth Championships in the United Arab Emirates. The Championships, which were postponed in the Spring due to the war in the Middle East, run from Nov. 27-Dec. 19. Harvey has come on strong as of late, scoring two goals in his last three games. He is tied for third on the team with four goals and ranks fifth in scoring with 10 points.