Bruins Host Broncos Saturday Night At Drake Stadium
Sept. 16, 2008
This Week -- The UCLA men's soccer team (1-3-1) hosts Santa Clara (1-3-1) on Saturday, Sept. 20 in a non-conference matchup at Drake Stadium at 7 pm. This game is a rematch of last season's NCAA second round playoff match, which Santa Clara won at home, 3-1.
Tickets -- Tickets for Saturday's game can be purchased at the gate for $7 (adults)/$5 (students/youth). UCLA students are admitted free with valid student ID.
Live Coverage -- Gametracker live stats and a free audio broadcast will be available at UCLABruins.com.
Scouting The Broncos -- Santa Clara opened the season ranked No. 5 in the preseason polls but dropped out of the rankings after losing its first three games. The Broncos have rebounded, however, in their last two games, defeating Milwaukee, 2-1, and tying sixth-ranked California this weekend, 1-1. Santa Clara is led in scoring by junior midfielder Jeff Cosgriff with two goals and two assists.
UCLA's History With Santa Clara -- UCLA leads the all-time series with Santa Clara, 15-9-4, but has lost the last two. Those two losses both came in 2007 in Santa Clara. In the regular season meeting on Sept. 22, the Bruins took a 1-0 lead on a Mike Zaher goal, but a red card in the second half left the Bruins a man down for the final 23 minutes of regulation. Santa Clara tied the score with four and a half minutes to play and then won the game just 39 seconds into overtime on a Jeff Cosgriff goal. In the NCAA second round game on Nov. 28, Zaher evened the game at 1-1 with a goal in the 37th minute, but in the second half, the Broncos scored twice in just over a minute span to win, 3-1. Goalkeeper Trevor Hunter made his first career start in the playoff game after regular starter Brian Perk injured his shoulder in the final minute of the NCAA first round game against New Mexico. Hunter made four saves in the contest, while Bronco goalkeeper Kevin Klasila had five saves.
The Bruins and Broncos last met in Los Angeles in 2006. UCLA's Maxwell Griffin and Jason Leopoldo scored 19 seconds apart in the second half to give UCLA a 2-0 advantage. Santa Clara scored as time expired to make the final margin 2-1 Bruins, which gave the seventh-ranked Broncos its first loss of the season.
Bruins Fall To Hoosiers -- No. 15/19 Indiana scored three goals in seven and a half minutes to turn a scoreless tie into a 3-0 Hoosier victory. Two of the goals were scored off free kicks, and the other goal was scored after two rebounded shots. The Bruins had chances to take the lead earlier in the game, but Maxwell Griffin hit the right post in the first half, and Indiana goalkeeper Chay Cain made a leaping save on a header in the box by Fernando Monge in the 54th minute.
Deceiving Record -- The Bruins' record of 1-3-1 is deceiving, as the team has played four out of five games against ranked opponents. In fact, all of UCLA's non-wins have come against Top 20 teams, including top-ranked and defending NCAA champion Wake Forest. All four of those teams are currently ranked in the Top 15 in the Soccer America rankings - No. 1 Wake Forest, No. 6 Maryland, No. 8 North Carolina and No. 13 Indiana.
Rusin Doubles Offensive Output -- With two goals this season, senior Brad Rusin has already doubled his previous career goal-scoring output. The central defender entered the 2008 campaign with just one career goal, in 2005, but he has scored goals in two of his last four games to tie forward Maxwell Griffin for the team lead in goals scored with two.
First-Timers -- Seeing their first NCAA Division I action on opening day against Maryland 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 two days later against UC Riverside - Oscar Reyes, Zack Zerrenner and Andy Rose. Monge and Lapnet made their first career starts at Wake Forest, and Zerrenner and Rose started for the first time against North Carolina.
Nakazawa Named To M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List -- Junior midfielder Kyle Nakazawa was named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List. Nakazawa, UCLA's 2007 Team MVP, has started every game of his collegiate career (50 starts and counting) and compiled a total of seven goals and 17 assists. In 2007, he led the Bruins with seven assists and was second on the team in scoring with 13 points and two game-winning goals, both of which were scored in the final two minutes of the game, at Washington and against New Mexico in the NCAA first round. Nakazawa was a second-team All-Pac-10 selection in 2007 and a Soccer America All-Freshman honoree in 2006. The former youth international totaled 21 career caps with the U.S. Under-17 National Team and was a starter on the U-17 team that placed fifth at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championships. Nakazawa was also named to Soccer America's Pre-Season All-America first team.
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.
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.
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 opened 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.
Alumni Game Scheduled For Oct. 19 -- All UCLA Soccer alumni are invited to participate in the annual alumni game, which is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 19 at 9:30 am on the North Athletic Field. A reception will take place at Noon under the scoreboard at Drake Stadium, and following the 1 pm UCLA-Oregon State game, a postgame social will be held at the J.D. Morgan Center Press Room. An online RSVP form will be posted on the UCLA Soccer website in the near future.
Looking Ahead -- The Bruins play two games next week, traveling to San Diego on Thursday, Sept. 25 to take on the University of San Diego at 7 pm and then hosting Cal State Northridge on Sunday, Sept. 28 at Drake Stadium at 2:30 pm.