Pac-10 Men's Soccer Season Wrap-Up
Dec. 9, 2003
The UCLA Bruins won their second straight Pac-10 men's soccer title in 2003, becoming the first team to ever run the table in Conference play (10-0-0 Pac-10)... The No. 1 seed in the NCAA Championship, the defending national champion Bruins advanced as far as the NCAA Quarterfinals, before falling 2-1 to eighth-ranked Indiana... The Hoosiers snapped UCLA's 19-game unbeaten streak.
The OREGON STATE Beavers (13-7-0 overall, 7-3-0 Pac-10) finished second in the Pac-10 and made their second straight NCAA Championship appearance... OSU hosted postseason action for the first time in program history this season, falling 4-1 to in-state rival Portland in first round play.... The WASHINGTON Huskies (13-5-2, 5-4-1) tied for third with the CALIFORNIA Golden Bears (11-9-2, 5-4-1)... Cal reached the NCAA second round, losing 2-0 to UC Santa Barbara, while the Huskies reached the third round... UW fell at St. Louis, 3-2 in overtime... Washington made its eighth NCAA appearance in the last nine seasons, while Cal made its third straight NCAA Championship appearance... UCLA made its 21st consecutive NCAA appearance and 31st overall.
Four Pac-10 teams have been invited to the NCAA men's soccer championship in each of the last three seasons, while three teams comprised the field in 2000... The Conference had five men's soccer-playing members in 2000 and 2001, before expanding to a six-team league in 2002 with the addition of Fresno State... Pac-10 teams posted a 31-18-4 record (.623) record against Division I non-conference competition in the 2003 regular season.
2003 PAC-10 HONORS
PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Matt Taylor, SR F, UCLA
PAC-10 CO-FRESHMEN/NEWCOMERS OF THE YEAR: Robbie Findley, FR F, OSU; Chad Barrett, Fr F, UCLA
PAC-10 COACH OF THE YEAR: Tom Fitzgerald, UCLA
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS RESULTS
NCAA FIRST ROUND
Fri., Nov. 21
CALIFORNIA 2, San Jose State 0
Sat., Nov. 22
Portland 4, OREGON STATE 1
NCAA SECOND ROUND
Wed., Nov. 26
UCLA 3, Tulsa 2
UC Santa Barbara 2, CALIFORNIA 0
WASHINGTON 1, Portland 0
NCAA THIRD ROUND
Sun., Nov. 30
St. Louis 3, WASHINGTON 2 (OT)
UCLA 2, Florida International 0
Sat., Dec. 6
Indiana 2, UCLA 1
PAC-10 TEAM WRAP-UPS:
CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS: Expectations were high entering the season for the Golden Bears. The Bears returned four seniors and nine juniors from a team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen a year ago. The experience paid off as Cal finished the season with a 5-4-1 Conference record and a 11-9-2 overall mark. Four Bears were named All-Pac-10 Team, including three on first team selections: JR F Carl Acosta, JR MF Mike Munoz and JR D Troy Roberts. The Bears advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, but failed to make a repeat trip to the Sweet Sixteen as they were ousted by No. 23/20 UC Santa Barbara.
FRESNO STATE BULLDOGS: In just their second season in the Pacific-10 Conference, the Bulldogs were forced to play eight of their first 11 games on the road. A general theme to the Bulldog season was their inability to win close games, as they lost 11 games by just one goal. Sophomore GKEric Kronberg proved to me most valuable to the Bulldogs, as he finished as one of the top goalkeepers in the Conference. Kronberg finished with a 5.58 saves per game average, best in the league. With 106 saves on the year, he became the school's single-season saves leader.
OREGON STATE BEAVERS: Coming off of their first NCAA Tournament trip in school history, the Beavers looked to accomplish that feat again. They did just that, but unfortunately, bowed out in the first round to Northwest rival Portland, 4-1. The Beavers were ranked as high as 11th in the national polls and put together a school-best seven-game league winning streak. FR F Robbie Findley was rewarded for his excellent rookie campaign by sharing Pac-10 Co-Freshman/Newcomer of the year honors with UCLA' s Chad Barrett. After finishing the regular season 13-6, the Beavers hosted the first round of the NCAA Tournament, falling to the Pilots.
STANFORD CARDINAL: Stanford faced a difficult preseason schedule, playing eight of its first nine games away from The Farm, including three against ranked opponents. Pac-10 play was not kind to the Cardinal, as they failed to win a contest in 10 attempts. SO D Chad Marshall earned All-Pac-10 honors and was named a NSCAA Far West All-Region second team selection.
UCLA BRUINS: The Bruins won their second straight Pac-10 men's soccer crown and became the first team to ever run the table in Conference play, going 10-0-0. The No. 1 seed in the NCAA Championship, the defending national champion Bruins advanced as far as the quarterfinals, before falling 2-1 to eighth-ranked Indiana... The Hoosiers snapped UCLA's 19-game unbeaten streak. Ranked No. 1 in both polls from Oct. 7 through the end of the regular season, the Bruins earned the top-seed in the NCAA Championship, fitting for the defending national champion. SR F Matt Taylor was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year, while second-year head coach Tom Fitzgerald received league coach of the year honors. FR F Chad Barrett garnered Co-Pac-10 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year acclaim. The Bruins tied the school season record for goals against average (0.52).
WASHINGTON HUSKIES: The Huskies started the 2003 season on a tear as they were unbeaten in their first eight games, winning seven. Washington finished the season with an outstanding non-conference record of 8-1-1, leading to a 13-5-2 overall mark. The Huskies were led by JR MF CJ Klass, who was named first team All-Pac-10 for the second year in a row. After earning a bye in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the Huskies defeated Northwest rival Portland in Seattle, 1-0. The Huskies advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in school history, but suffered a 3-2 overtime loss at No. 8/4 St. Louis.
2003 PAC-10 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Sept. 2- Matt Taylor, Sr F, UCLA; Sept. 9- Casey Armstrong, Jr F, WASH; Sept. 16- Alan Gordon, Sr F, OSU; Sept. 23- Eric Kronberg, So GK, FSU; Sept. 30- Leo Totev, So MF, WASH; Oct. 7- Mike Munoz, Jr F, CAL; Oct. 14- Carlos Cornejo, Fr MF, OSU; Oct. 21- Matt Taylor, Sr F, UCLA; Oct. 28- Brett Wiesner, Jr F, WASH; Nov. 4- Robbie Findley, Fr F, OSU; Nov. 11- Aaron Lopez, Jr D/MF, UCLA Nov. 18- Ty Harden, Fr D, WASH.
PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE YEAR: MATT TAYLOR, SR F, UCLA
A senior forward from Irvine, Calif., Taylor, was the leading scorer on a balanced UCLA squad that claimed its second straight Pac-10 Championship with a perfect 10-0-0 league record. The No. 1-ranked Bruins (20-1-1 overall) went 2-1 in the postseason this year, reaching the NCAA Quarterfinals. Taylor paced the Conference in goals, with 14 in 22 games this year, and finished first in the league in points (36) and game-winning goals (6). He averaged a Pac-10 best 1.64 points per game to lead a high-powered offense that has scored 32 goals in its last 13 matches. His three career hat tricks, including two this season, set the new UCLA record. Taylor also tied the school record for most multliple-goal games in a season, with four on the year. A two-time honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection entering this season, Taylor was twice named Pac-10 Player of the Week this season (Sept. 2, Oct. 21) and the College Soccer News National Player of the Week (Oct. 19). He was a three-time Soccer America Team of the Week honoree in 2003.
PAC-10 CO-FRESHMAN/NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR:ROBBIE FINDLEY, FR F, OREGON STATE & CHAD BARRETT, FR F UCLA
Findley, a freshman forward from Phoenix, Ariz., helped lead the Beavers to a 13-7-0 overall record, a second-place finish in the Pac-10 (7-3-0) and Oregon State's second straight NCAA Championship berth. Emerging as one of the Pac-10's top scoring threats in just his rookie season, Findley finished second on the team and tied for third in the Pac-10 with 10 goals. His 0.53 goals per game average was tops among Pac-10 freshmen and third overall in the Conference. Findley finished tied for fourth in the Pac-10 in points (22) and fourth in points per game (1.16 avg). From Oct. 31 to Nov. 7, he put together a streak of four goals in three games. Findley received Pac-10 Player of the Week honors on Nov. 2, and was also named to the College Soccer News and Soccer America teams of the week for Nov. 2.
Barrett, a freshman forward from Beaverton, Ore., started 18 of 23 games for the Bruins and teamed with Pac-10 Player of the Year Matt Taylor to lead the league's most potent offense. Barrett finished second on the squad in goals (10), points (28) and tied for second in assists (8), a key component on a UCLA scoring offense that ranks fourth in the nation (2.45 gpg). Barrett led the Pac-10 in shots (66) and shots per game (2.87 avg), while his 1.22 points per game average is the league's third-best mark. His 26 points were the most for a Bruin freshman in 13 years, since Joe-Max Moore amassed 32 in 1990. He posted one three-assist, one-goal game (vs. Penn State in his collegiate debut) and one three-assist, two-goal game (vs Cal State Fullerton). Barrett was named to the Soccer America Team of the Week for Sept. 8-14 and made the College Soccer News Team of the Week for Sept. 14.
PAC-10 COACH OF THE YEAR - TOM FITZGERALD, UCLA
In Fitzgerald's second year leading the UCLA program, the Bruins captured their second straight Pac-10 title and reached the NCAA Quarterfinals. His 2003 squad became the first Pac-10 men's soccer team to run the table (10-0-0) in Conference play. The Bruins dominated the Pac-10, leading league in nine of 10 statistical categories, including goals (55), points (172), assists (62), goals allowed (12) and goals against average (0.52). UCLA is also the nation's co-leader in shutout percentage, with 16 shutouts in 23 games (0.73) this season. Under his watch, the Bruins put together a 15-game winning streak from Sept. 7 to Nov. 9, and were unbeaten in 19 of their last 20 matches, before falling to Indiana in the quarterfinals. His top-ranked Bruins also received the NCAA Tournament's No. 1-seed for the first time since the organization began seeding the field in 1994. The former head coach at the University of Tampa (1987-96), Fitzgerald served as head coach of the Columbus Crew of the MLS from 1996-2001. He guided Tampa to the 1994 Division II NCAA Championship. His career record stands at 170-37-15 (.780), while his two-year UCLA record is 38-5-4 (.851).