Men's Soccer Team Travels To Wake Forest For Deacon Fall Classic
Sept. 2, 2008
This Week -- The No. 14/19 UCLA men's soccer team (1-1) will hit the road this weekend for a pair of matches against Top 15 opponents. The Bruins will travel to the Wake Forest campus in Winston-Salem, NC for the Deacon Fall Classic on Sept. 5 and 7. UCLA and top-ranked Wake Forest (2-0) meet up on Friday, Sept. 5 at 7:30 pm ET. On Sunday, Sept. 7, the Bruins will face 15th-ranked North Carolina (2-0) at 1 pm ET. The tournament field includes three teams who have won NCAA titles this decade - 2002 champion UCLA, 2007 champion Wake Forest and 2001 champion North Carolina. Also competing in the tournament is South Carolina (1-0 with a game to be played Tuesday).
Live Coverage -- Gametracker live stats will be available for both games this weekend at wakeforestsports.com.
In The Rankings -- UCLA is ranked No. 13 by Soccer America, No. 19 by the NSCAA, No. 18 by College Soccer News and No. 28 by Top Drawer Soccer. Wake Forest is the consensus No. 1. North Carolina is ranked No. 15 by the NSCAA, No. 18 by Soccer America, No. 19 by College Soccer News and No. 20 by Top Drawer Soccer.
Scouting The Demon Deacons -- Wake Forest is the defending NCAA champion and consensus No. 1. The Demon Deacons opened the 2008 season with a 2-1 win over Virginia Commonwealth and a 3-0 shutout win over Florida International. Senior forward and 2007 College Cup Offensive MVP Marcus Tracy scored the game-winning goals in both games and was selected as the College Soccer News National Player of the Week. Also back from Wake Forest's championship squad are Zack Schilawski, who scored the game-winner in the Championship match; team captain Sam Cronin; and forward Cody Arnoux, who scored 15 goals a year ago. Wake Forest outscored its opponents 67-14 last season.
UCLA's History With Wake Forest -- UCLA and Wake Forest have only faced each other once before - at the UCLA Classic in 1990, a 2-0 overtime victory for the Bruins. UCLA head coach Jorge Salcedo played in that game as a freshman.
Scouting The Tar Heels -- North Carolina also opened the season with a pair of wins, defeating Florida International (3-0) and Virginia Commonwealth (1-0, ot). Senior goalkeeper Jacob Wescoe, in his first collegiate game action, earned ACC Co-Player of the Week honors after the shutout wins. College Soccer News ranked the Tar Heels' freshman class No. 4 in the nation. Amongst the freshmen are U.S. Under-17 Residency players Billy Schuler, Kirk Urso and Sheanon Williams. Urso and Williams teamed with UCLA goalkeeper Brian Perk with the U.S. U-20s at last month's Milk Cup.
UCLA's History With North Carolina -- UCLA is 2-0 all-time against North Carolina, with victories in 1993 (5-3 at Cal State Fullerton) and 1979 (4-1).
Back To North Carolina -- UCLA's last trip to North Carolina was a memorable one, with a come-from-behind victory over Duke in the 2006 NCAA Quarterfinals that sent the Bruins into the College Cup. Down 2-0 after just 19 minutes, the Bruins chipped away at the lead, with Jason Leopoldo netting a goal in the 41st minute, and Sal Zizzo tying the game in the 78th minute. Kyle Nakazawa assisted on both of those goals. Zizzo ended the game with the golden goal just 30 seconds into the overtime, banging in a Leopoldo cross for the victory. Five starters in that game are still with the Bruin team - Leopoldo, Nakazawa, Brad Rusin, David Estrada and Michael Stephens.
Salcedo Gets Career Win No. 50 Against UCR -- UCLA head coach Jorge Salcedo earned his 50th career on Sunday after the Bruins shut out UC Riverside, 3-0. The Bruins got on the board early after senior defender Brad Rusin put in a header after a free kick in the 10th minute. Michael Stephens successfully converted a penalty kick in the 43rd minute to put UCLA ahead by two, and Maxwell Griffin scored his second goal in as many games, shooting from close range after a Kyle Nakazawa chip over the top. Nakazawa had two assists in the game. UCLA goalkeeper Brian Perk recorded the shutout and made two saves.
UCLA Drops Heartbreaker Against Maryland -- In the season opener at The Home Depot Center on Friday, the Bruins were less than a minute away from posting an upset win over eighth-ranked Maryland, but a relentless Terrapin attack scored the equalizer with 45 seconds remaining on a header off a corner kick to tie the score at 1-1, and Maryland ended the game with a goal in the 97th minute. Senior forward Maxwell Griffin scored UCLA's goal in the first half, with assists going to Jason Leopoldo and Eder Arreola.
First-Timers -- Seeing their first NCAA Division I action on Friday were starters Eder Arreola, Christian Vazquez, Chris Cummings and Luis Serrano and reserves Fernando Monge and Prince Lapnet. Other Bruin freshmen made their collegiate debuts on Sunday - Oscar Reyes, Andy Rose and Zack Zerrenner.
Goal-Scoring Griffin -- Senior forward Maxwell Griffin continues to put the goal in the back of the net, scoring two goals in two games this past weekend. Griffin has totaled 20 goals in 51 career games, including 16 in his last 31 games, and holds a career shot percentage of .299 (20 goals on 67 shots).
May I Assist You? -- Playmaker Kyle Nakazawa has been amongst UCLA's assist leaders since his freshman season. In 2006, he ranked second on the team with eight assists, and he led the team in 2007 with seven. Nakazawa added two more to his career total with a pair of assists in the 3-0 win against UC Riverside on Sunday. And although not credited with an assist, Nakazawa set up the goal that gave UCLA a 1-0 lead for most of the game against Maryland on Friday. Nakazawa, who has started all 47 games in his career, was named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List and is a first-team pre-season All-American by Soccer America.
Fresh Faces -- UCLA enters the season with 12 new players, including 11 true freshmen. The freshman class was rated the No. 9 recruiting class in the nation by College Soccer News and includes four players with U.S. Youth National Team experience - Eder Arreola, Chris Cummings, Oscar Reyes and Victor Yanez. In Bristol, England's Andy Rose, the Bruins have their first foreign player since Martin Bruno of Copenhagen, Denmark, by way of Terra Linda HS in the Bay Area, played on the team from 1996-99. The last UCLA player to come from a foreign school was Canadian Brad McAdams back in 1987.
Also new to the program are assistant coaches Kenny Arena and Ignacio Hernandez. Arena was an assistant coach at George Mason in 2007 and served as a volunteer assistant at his alma mater, the University of Virginia in 2006. Arena played with the Cavaliers from 1999-2002 and was an All-ACC performer during his senior season. He also played in Major League Soccer with the NY/NJ MetroStars and DC United. Hernandez, UCLA's new volunteer assistant coach, was the goalkeeper coach for El Salvador's National Team from 2006-07 and the goalkeeper coach and assistant coach for the LA Galaxy when it won the MLS Cup title in 2005.
Returning Starters -- The Bruins brought back eight players who started 12 or more games in 2007. Kyle Nakazawa started all 21 games, while Michael Stephens and Brian Perk started 20 apiece. Brad Rusin had 19 starts, Jason Leopoldo totaled 16, and Maxwell Griffin, David Estrada and Danny Suits had 12 each.
Off-Season Happenings -- Bruin players were busy in the off-season, with Brian Perk and Eder Arreola seeing regular action with the U.S. National Teams. The two played together on the Under-20 National Team in a friendly against Mexico in July. Perk earned the shutout, and Arreola came off the bench and played 11 minutes. Perk also joined the U-20s at the Milk Cup in Ireland in early August and shut out Belgium, 2-0, in the team's final game. Arreola also played with the U-18s at the Lisbon Tournament in May. Junior midfielder Michael Stephens helped the Chicago Fire Super-20 team capture the North American National Championship in August, assisting on the game-winning goal in the semifinals.
Bruins To Play Five Of Last Six NCAA Champions -- UCLA's 2008 schedule will pit the Bruins against five of the last six NCAA champions. UCLA opens with four of its first five games against prior champions - Maryland (2005), Wake Forest (2007), North Carolina (2001), and Indiana (2003, 2004). On Oct. 1, the Bruins will host 2006 champion UC Santa Barbara. The only two championship teams from this decade that UCLA will not face are itself (2002 champions) and 2000 champion Connecticut.
Looking Ahead -- The Bruins' schedule doesn't get much easier in the weeks ahead. On Friday, Sept. 12, UCLA hosts seven-time NCAA champion Indiana at 7 pm, and on Saturday, Sept. 20, the Bruins welcome pre-season No. 5 Santa Clara at 7 pm. Both games will be held on Marshall Field at Drake Stadium.