Bruins Return To Action With Pair Of Games In Pacific Northwest
Oct. 17, 2006
This Week -- The 10th-ranked UCLA men's soccer team (8-3-2, 3-1-1 in the Pac-10) will suit up for the first time in over a week, travelling to the Pacific Northwest for the final road trip of the regular season. UCLA will first play at Oregon State (5-9-1, 0-7-0) on Friday, Oct. 20 at 7 pm before facing Washington (9-5-0, 2-5-0) on Sunday, Oct. 22 in Seattle at 2:30 pm.
Live Coverage -- Live stats will be available for the Washington game at gohuskies.com.
In The Rankings -- UCLA ranks No. 10 in both the NSCAA and Soccer America polls. College Soccer News ranks the Bruins fifth, while Soccer Times has UCLA in sixth. Washington is tied for 23rd in the Soccer Times poll.
Pac-10 Race Tightens Up -- With the Bruins on a bye week, California moved into first place in the Pac-10 standings with 15 points, followed closely by Stanford with 13 points. UCLA is in third with 10 points, and San Diego State is fourth with nine. Both UCLA and San Diego State have an opportunity to gain six points in the standings with wins over Oregon State and Washington. The only action for Stanford and Cal is a game against each other on Friday, Oct. 20. A pair of UCLA wins and a Stanford win would put UCLA and Stanford in a tie for first. If UCLA wins both games and Stanford and Cal tie, UCLA and Cal would be tied for first place.
Scouting the Beavers -- After starting the year 5-2-1, the Beavers have lost seven straight games, all conference matchups. Oregon State has not scored a goal in its last four games, being outscored 10-0 in back-to-back weekends against Stanford and Cal. The Beavers are led by returning all-conference honoree Robbie Findley, who has scored five goals and four assists on the year.
Prior Matchups -- UCLA is 14-4-0 all-time against Oregon State and won the home contest on Oct. 1, 2-1. Kyle Nakazawa put UCLA ahead 1-0 with a ninth minute goal, but the Beavers equalized in the 42nd minute with a rebound goal by Nick Webb. Jason Leopoldo scored the game-winner for UCLA in the 54th minute, taking a backheel pass from David Estrada and striking it into the back of the net. Senior goalkeeper Eric Reed made a career-high tying seven saves in the contest. The two teams split the season series last year, with each winning by a 1-0 count at their respective home fields. Oregon State's only wins in the series have come in Corvallis, and the Beavers have beaten the Bruins in the last two games at Lorenz Field.
Scouting the Huskies -- Washington earned a 2-0 victory at Stanford on Oct. 13 to stop a four-game losing streak. The Huskies started the season 8-0-0 and were ranked as high as fourth in the nation before the Bruins halted the winning streak with a 2-1 double overtime victory in Westwood on Sept. 29. Kevin Forrest continues to lead the Pac-10 in scoring with 11 goals and 23 points. Raphael Cox is one of the conference's assist leaders with seven.
Prior Matchups -- UCLA is 14-9-2 all-time against Washington with victories in the last four matchups. Last month's matchup was a thriller, as a short-handed Husky squad scored the tying goal with less than two minutes to play in regulation. The Bruins, however, one-upped that by scoring the game-winning goal with just 18 seconds remaining in the second sudden death overtime. Freshman James Jaramillo scored his first collegiate goal on a rebound off a saved Kyle Nakazawa shot to end the game. The Bruins swept the season series in 2005 with a pair of 1-0 victories. Washingtonfs last victory in the series came in 2004, a 1-0 win in Westwood. The last 10 games between the two teams have resulted in one-goal decisions.
Bruins Overcome Injuries, Rough Start -- Since starting the season 0-2-1, UCLA has gone 8-1-1 with four consecutive victories. The Bruins have played arguably the toughest schedule in the nation, with 10 of 13 games against ranked opponents, and they have responded, handing three Top 10 teams (Santa Clara, San Francisco and Washington) their first losses of the season. UCLA is 3-3-1 in games against Top 10 opponents, with the three losses coming on the road and two coming against Top 3 squads Maryland and Virginia. All of the Bruins' success this season has come despite a bad rash of injuries that has plagued the team since the Spring. First, all-conference defender Brandon Owens went down with a torn ACL during the spring season. Then in pre-season training, defender Edwige Ligonde suffered a stress fracture in his left leg. Freshman forward Robert Georgiefski tore his left ACL and medial meniscus in an exhibition game on Aug. 20. Leading scorer Maxwell Griffin tore his left ACL in the third minute of action at Cal on Sept. 22. Starting midfielder Tony Beltran also went down in that game and underwent a right ankle arthroscopy on Sept. 29 that put him out 6-8 weeks. Freshman defender Chance Myers has been out of action since spraining an ankle in the Washington game on Sept. 29. The latest Bruin to go down was sophomore defender Brad Rusin, who separated his shoulder at San Diego State on Oct. 8. The week off has certainly benefitted the Bruins, who should have back the services of both Myers and Rusin.
Last Time Out -- UCLA had a bye last week, and in its last weekend of play on Oct. 5-8, the Bruins picked up two big road victories at UC Santa Barbara and San Diego State. On Oct. 5, in front of a UCSB record crowd of 5,475 and a national television audience, UCLA defeated the Gauchos, 3-1. Freshman Michael Stephens quieted the raucous crowd quickly with a goal at the 1:00 mark, his first of his collegiate career. UCSB tied the game in the 25th minute, but the Bruins regained the lead with just 45 seconds left in the first half on a Jason Leopoldo goal. Bruins goalkeeper Brian Perk held the Gauchos off for the remainder of the game, and freshman forward David Estrada sealed the game with a sharp-angled shot in the 88th minute. At San Diego State on Oct. 8, Estrada put UCLA ahead 1-0 with a goal in the 34th minute, and the Bruins benefited from not only a San Diego State red card in the 42nd minute but an own goal in the 52nd minute. The Aztecs added a goal of their own in the 56th minute but could not come up with the equalizer. Senior goalkeeper Eric Reed took the victory and made four saves.
Zizzo Honored -- Sophomore midfielder Sal Zizzo earned Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week honors after assisting on three of the four Bruin goals scored against UCSB and San Diego State. Zizzo assisted on the first two goals in the UCSB contest, including the game-winner just before halftime, and also assisted on the first goal of the game in the SDSU matchup. Zizzo leads the team and the Pac-10 with seven assists and is tied for 17th in the nation in assist average (0.54). He has also jumped into a tie with Maxwell Griffin for the team lead in scoring with 11 points. Zizzo, last year's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, is one of 25 student-athletes named to the M.A.C. Hermann trophy Watch List.
Freshmen Making Significant Contributions -- UCLA's 12-man freshman class has jumped into the fray with both feet this season. Midfielder Kyle Nakazawa has started in all 13 games and is tied for third on the team in scoring with eight points (2g, 4a). Midfielder Michael Stephens has started in the last 11 games and has seen action in all 13. He has recorded one goal and two assists on the year. Defender Chance Myers has played in 10 games with four starts and also has two assists. Midfielder James Jaramillo has broken into the starting lineup in the last five games and scored the game-winning goal in double overtime against Washington. Forward David Estrada has played in 12 games with two starts and is tied for second on the team in goals scored with three and tied for fourth with seven points. Midfielder Andrew Sinderhoff has logged three starts and played in 10 games, recording his first collegiate goal against Oakland. Goalkeeper Brian Perk has posted a 0.90 GAA in four starts with a record of 3-0-1. Defenders Ryan White, Patrick Rickards and Danny Suits have all played in three games apiece, and White made his first start against Oregon State on Oct. 1.
Perk Makes Second In-Season Trip With U-20s -- Freshman goalkeeper Brian Perk earned his second call-up to the U.S. Under-20 National Team this season, joining the squad for a four-day training camp in Florida from Oct. 8-12 and a game against Haiti on Oct. 11. Perk, the youngest player in the camp (just turned 17 on July 21), made the start in the Haiti game, playing 45 shutout minutes. He was previously called up to play with the U-20s at the Busan International Tournament in Korea from Aug. 25-Sept. 2. He recorded two caps when he got the start against both Korea and Argentina. Perk earned the victory against Argentina, allowing just one late goal while making five saves. Perk now has 20 career caps with the U-17s, U-18s and U-20s.