Bruin Soccer Team Travels To Bay Area For WCC Matchups
Sept. 18, 2007
This Week -- For the fourth week in a row, the UCLA men's soccer team (2-2-1, ranked No. 5 by Soccer America and No. 13 by the NSCAA) will have matchups against Top 20 opponents. This week, UCLA will travel to San Francisco (4-1-0, ranked No. 12 by Soccer America) on Thursday, Sept. 20 and to Santa Clara (3-1-2, ranked No. 8 by the NSCAA and No. 14 by Soccer America) on Saturday, Sept. 22. Both games will kick off at 7 pm.
Live Coverage -- Gametracker for both games can be accessed via the UCLA website at UCLABruins.com. San Francisco will offer live streaming audio and video on USFDons.com, courtesy of Yahoo Broadcast. To access the broadcast, click on Audio/Video on the main page and then click on the UCLA game on the Yahoo schedule. Santa Clara will have a fee-based live video and audio broadcast on their website at SantaClaraBroncos.com.
In The Rankings -- UCLA leaps from No. 10 to No. 5 in Soccer America's poll. The NSCAA/adidas poll has the Bruins up from 17th to 13th, while the Soccer Times poll moves UCLA up one to No. 15. UCLA is up four in the College Soccer News poll to No. 19.
Strength Of Schedule -- After this weekend's games at San Francisco and Santa Clara, UCLA will have played six of its seven games against Top 20 opponents, with five of those six games on the road.
Scouting The Dons -- After dropping its first game of the season, San Francisco has won four straight and won the WCC/Pac-10 Classic last weekend with victories over then-No. 11 California (2-1) and Stanford (2-1 in double overtime). Sophomore forward Conor Chinn was named this week's WCC Player of the Year after recording three of USF's four goals over the weekend. Chinn leads the team in scoring with four goals and nine points. Jeremy Coupe and Eric Conner have been sharing goalkeeper duties. Coupe is 2-0-0 on the year with a 1.42 goals against average. Conner is 2-1-0 with a 1.26 GAA.
UCLA's History With San Francisco -- UCLA and San Francisco renew a long-standing rivalry that dates back to UCLA's first year of NCAA competition, 1967. That year, San Francisco issued the Bruins their only loss of the season, at the NCAA Regional Finals, 1-0. The two teams have met 10 times in the NCAA Tournament, with the Dons owning a 6-4 edge. UCLA leads the overall series. 22-18-5 and has not lost to USF in 10 matches since dropping a 2-1 decision at San Francisco in 1993. Last season, the Bruins handed San Francisco its first loss of the year, capturing a 2-0 victory over the eighth-ranked Dons in Los Angeles on Sept. 17. Maxwell Griffin and David Estrada scored goals for UCLA.
Familiar Faces -- UCLA will see two familiar faces on the opposite side Thursday night. San Francisco goalkeeper Eric Conner was on the UCLA squad in 2005 before transferring to USF at the beginning of the 2006 season. Goalkeeper coach Eric Reed was a three-year starter at UCLA from 2004-06 and captained the Bruins to the 2006 NCAA title game. In 2005, he earned second-team NSCAA All-Far West honors and first-team All-Pac-10 acclaim after ranking sixth in the nation with a 0.60 goals against average.
Scouting The Broncos -- Santa Clara was fit to be tied this past weekend at the WCC/Pac-10 Classic, salvaging a 1-1 tie with Stanford after Peter Lowry's game-tying free kick with 40 seconds remaining in regulation and playing a scoreless 110 minutes against then-No. 11 California. The Broncos enter the week with a 3-1-2 record, posting wins over Alabama A&M, Vermont and Boston. Jide Ogunbiyi leads the team with seven points off three goals and an assist.
UCLA's History With Santa Clara -- UCLA leads the all-time series with Santa Clara, 15-7-4. The Bruins won the last matchup in 2006 at Los Angeles, 2-1, on goals by Maxwell Griffin and Jason Leopoldo. The loss was Santa Clara's first of the season. The Broncos scored their only goal with six seconds remaining on a header by Keith DeVey off a corner kick. Santa Clara's last victory over UCLA came in 2005 at Cal State Fullerton, 3-2. Peter Lowry scored two first half goals on penalty kicks, but the Bruins came back with two second half goals to tie despite playing a man down from the 39th minute on. Griffin's first career goal tied the score in the 65th minute, but Santa Clara scored the game-winner with 2:08 to play in regulation. UCLA is 5-2-1 in games played at Santa Clara since 1980.
More Familiar Faces -- Santa Clara sophomore Stephen McCarthy and freshmen Jalil Anibaba and Kevin Klasila were teammates with UCLA's Greg Folk, Chance Myers and Michael Stephens at the 2007 Pan American Games this past summer.
Bruins Pick Up Two Against Big Ten -- UCLA got out of the winless column last weekend with a pair of big victories over Big Ten foes No. 12 Ohio State (3-1) and Penn State (4-1). The Bruins handed Ohio State its first loss of the year on Sept. 14 with a balanced scoring attack. Maxwell Griffin kicked off the scoring with a ninth-minute goal, Michael Stephens made the score 2-0 in the 20th minute on a penalty kick, and Jason Leopoldo added a goal in the second half as the Bruins scored three unanswered goals. Griffin stole the show on Sept. 16, recording his first career hat trick with three second-half goals. Mike Zaher scored the game's first goal in the seventh minute.
Griffin Honored -- After scoring four goals in two games and recording the first UCLA hat trick since Matt Taylor's in 2003, junior forward Maxwell Griffin has been raking in the honors, being named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the third time in his career and being selected to the Soccer America, College Soccer News and Top Drawer Soccer Teams of the Week. This is becoming a tradition for Griffin during this time of year. In 2006, for the week ending Sept. 17 (coincidentally, his birthday), Griffin was named the NSCAA and Soccer America National Player of the Week.
Assist Man -- Sophomore midfielder Kyle Nakazawa assisted on four of UCLA's seven goals this weekend, picking up two assists in each game. He now leads the Pac-10 in assists (4) and assist average (0.80) and is tied for seventh in the nation in assist average. Nakazawa already has accumulated 12 assists in his short career.
Bruins A Big Draw -- The Bruins are a hot-ticket item on the road. UCLA road games this year (two away, one neutral) have averaged 5,825 fans. School attendance records were set at Indiana (7,423) and at Creighton (5,812) in consecutive weeks.
Shades of 2006 -- Just like last season, the Bruins opened with a 0-2-1 record with a pair of losses to Top 10 opponents (Maryland and Virginia in 2006, Notre Dame and Indiana in 2007) and rebounded to win their next two games (vs. New Mexico and Oakland in 2006, vs. Ohio State and Penn State in 2007). This particular trend is not a bad one to follow; in 2006 UCLA went on to play in the NCAA Championship game.
Injury Updates -- David Estrada (fractured foot), Fernando De Alba (dislocated knee), Sean Alvarado (knee) and Edwige Ligonde (leg fractures) are making progress in their recoveries but are expected to remain out this week.
Blogging With The Bruins -- Get a behind-the-scenes look at UCLA soccer through the eyes of Bruin players Kyle Nakazawa and Tony Beltran. Nakazawa, a sophomore midfielder, is contributing to the 100 Percent Soccer blog at the Daily Breeze website (insidesocal.com/soccer), while Beltran, a junior midfielder/defender is blogging for UCLABruins.com.
Alumni Day Set For Oct. 14 -- UCLA will host an Alumni Day on Sunday, Oct. 14 to honor 40 years of UCLA Soccer. An alumni game will take place at 10 am at the North Athletic Field, and members of the 1967 UCLA team (UCLA's first NCAA-sanctioned team) will be recognized at halftime of the UCLA-Cal game, which will take place at Drake Stadium at 2:30 pm.
In Memory Of Dennis Storer -- Dennis Storer, UCLA's first varsity soccer coach and long-time rugby coach, passed away at his home on Sept. 8 after battling cancer. He was 75 years old. Storer, who was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006, was UCLA's first head coach at the NCAA level and led his team to a remarkable 103-10-10 record from 1967-73. Although his teams did not field any scholarship players, the Bruins had three NCAA runner-up finishes, three West Coast Championships and five All Cal titles. In rugby, Storer's teams compiled an outstanding 362-46-2 record against collegiate, major club and international teams during the period of 1966-82 and won National Championships in 1968, 1972 and 1975. While at UCLA, Storer also served as U.S. National Team coach in rugby from 1976-82.