Men's Soccer Team Hosts #23 Washington, Oregon State
Oct. 14, 2008
This Week -- The UCLA men's soccer team (3-4-5, 1-1-1 in the Pac-10) host Pac-10 Conference leader Washington (7-3-1, 2-0-1, ranked No. 23 by Soccer America) on Friday, Oct. 17 at 7 pm before facing Oregon State (3-6-3, 0-2-1) on Sunday, Oct. 19 at 1 pm.
Live Coverage -- Free audio broadcasts and Gametracker live stats will be available for both games at uclabruins.com.
Alumni Game Scheduled For Oct. 19 -- All UCLA Soccer alumni are invited to participate in the annual alumni game on 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.
Assessing The Pac-10 Race -- Washington currently ranks No. 1 in the Pac-10 with seven points (2-0-1). San Diego State and California are tied for second with five points (1-0-2), and UCLA is close behind with four points (1-1-1). A Bruin win on Friday over Washington would put the two teams in a tie.
Scouting The Huskies -- Washington, which ranks 23rd in the nation in the latest Soccer America poll, is riding a six-game unbeaten streak with a 7-3-1 overall record. The Huskies have five victories during their unbeaten streak. Rafael Cox and Brent Richards are tied for the team lead in goals scored with five. Rylan Hawkins and Stephen Fung have split time in goal, with Fung getting the start in the Huskies' last four games.
UCLA's History With Washington -- UCLA is 15-11-2 all-time against Washington.Last season, the two teams split the season series, with each winning on the road. The Bruins won the first one, 3-2 in Seattle on Oct. 21. Kyle Nakazawa one-timed a cross from Jason Leopoldo into the back of the net for the game-winner with just 53 seconds left in regulation. Michael Stephens also scored in the game. Washington returned the favor a week later in Los Angeles, winning 1-0 despite being outshot, 15-4.
Scouting The Beavers -- Stanford snapped a four-game losing streak on Sunday with a 1-1 tie at Oregon State. The Cardinal has allowed just nine goals on the year to rank second in the Pac-10, but the offense has not cooperated, scoring just six goals in nine games. Last season's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Bobby Warshaw has scored half of the team's goals. Tom Montgomery has two goals, and Cullen Wilson one. Goalkeeper John Moore holds a 0.95 goals against average.
UCLA's History With Oregon State -- UCLA is 17-4-0 all-time against Oregon State and has won the last five meetings with the Beavers, including both contests last year by a combined score of 6-2. The Bruins won 4-1 on the road on Oct. 19, 2007 behind goals by Mike Zaher, Jason Leopoldo, Maxwell Griffin and David Estrada. In Los Angeles on Oct. 26, Estrada and Griffin scored first-half goals to lead UCLA to a 2-1 win. Leopoldo and Estrada, in particular, have been thorns in Oregon State's side the last two seasons. Leopoldo has recorded four goals and one assist in the last four matchups, while Estrada has three goals and two assists.
Stephens Selected Pac-10 Player Of The Week For Second Time -- Junior midfielder Michael Stephens has been selected the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the second time in the last three weeks. Stephens scored the game-winning goal in overtime to lead UCLA to a 3-2 upset victory over sixth-ranked California. Stephens had previously won Player of the Week honors two weeks ago after scoring a pair of goals in ties against Cal State Northridge and San Diego. Stephens has been on an offensive tear in the last three weeks, scoring five goals with one assist in his last six games. He is tied with Maxwell Griffin for the team lead in goals scored with six.
Extra Time -- Of its 12 games played this season, UCLA has gone to overtime seven times. Five have gone the distance, resulting in ties, while two others have ended in the first overtime. The Bruins, who are 1-1-5 in overtime games, have played the equivalent of nearly one full game with two overtimes - 109 extra minutes. Three Bruins have logged over 1,100 minutes already this season - Michael Stephens with 1,171, Danny Suits with 1,132, and Jason Leopoldo with 1,113.
The Bruins' five ties this season match the school record set by the 1986 squad that finished 16-1-5. UCLA's last three ties have come while overcoming deficits. Against Cal State Northridge, the Bruins trailed 1-0 after 70 minutes before twice rallying to tie. UC Santa Barbara held a 1-0 halftime lead before UCLA scored twice in the second half, and the Bruins overcame a 2-0 halftime deficit against San Diego State and rallied twice to eventually tie 3-3.
Comeback Kids -- No lead is safe around this 2008 Bruin squad, who have scored goals in the final five minutes of regulation three times to send games to overtime. Brad Rusin did it against North Carolina with a goal to tie in the 86th minute. Against Cal State Northridge, it was Michael Stephens tying things up with a goal in the 85th minute, and Maxwell Griffin scored in the 88th minute against San Diego State to force extra time. Four of UCLA's five ties have come after opponents drew first blood.
Deceiving Record -- The Bruins' record of 3-4-5 is deceiving, as three of UCLA's losses have come against Top 20 opponents, including top-ranked and defending NCAA champion Wake Forest, No. 8 Maryland and No. 19 Indiana. The Bruins also have a road win against No. 6 California and ties against No. 15 North Carolina and No. 19 UC Santa Barbara.
Bruins Faced Five Of Last Six NCAA Champions -- UCLA's 2008 schedule pitted 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), and on Oct. 1, the Bruins hosted 2006 champion UC Santa Barbara. The only two championship teams from this decade that UCLA did not face are itself (2002 champions) and 2000 champion Connecticut.
Griffin Nominated For Lowe's Senior CLASS Award -- UCLA forward Maxwell Griffin is amongst 30 players nominated for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for men's soccer. The award is presented annually in nine NCAA Division I sports to a senior who excels both on and off the field. The areas of excellence are identified under classroom, community, character and competition. Griffin is a top student-athlete, earning Pac-10 All-Academic honors and boasting a cumulative GPA over 3.0. He has been active in the community, particularly with youth mentorship programs. He is an avid volunteer of The Mentorship Program at UCLA, which pairs UCLA students with underprivileged children from North Hollywood. He is also a member of the UCLA Bruin Buddy Volunteer Program, showing hopeful high school students what it is like to be a student at UCLA. On the soccer field, Griffin has been one of UCLA's most consistent goal scorers. During his sophomore season, he was leading the team in scoring with five goals before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the eighth game of the season. He came back in 2007 to lead the team again with nine goals and 18 points, and he is currently the team leader once again with six goals and 14 points.
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 50 games in his career 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.
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.
Fresh Faces -- UCLA entered 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.
Looking Ahead -- The Bruins play Washington and Oregon State again next week on the road. UCLA and Washington will play in Seattle on Fri., Oct. 24 at 7 pm, and the Bruins and Beavers play in Corvallis on Sunday, Oct. 26 at 2 pm.