Second-Ranked Bruins To Face Cal, Stanford Again
Oct. 21, 2009
This Week -- No. 2 UCLA (8-1-2, 3-0-2 in the Pac-10) will face No. 20/25 California (8-5-0, 2-3-0) and No. 21 Stanford (8-3-1, 2-2-1) for the second-straight week, this time in the Bay Area. The Bruins, who are riding a nine-game unbeaten streak, play at California on Friday, Oct. 23 at 4 pm and at Stanford on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 1 pm.
Live Coverage -- Gametracker live stats will be available for both games. A link can be found at UCLABruins.com. In addition, the Stanford game will be webcast at gostanford.com for a fee.
In The Rankings -- For the fourth straight week, UCLA remained No. 2 in the Soccer America poll, and the Bruins also moved up to No. 2 in the NSCAA/adidas and College Soccer News polls and No. 3 in the Top Drawer Soccer and Soccer Times polls.
Play It Again -- Just a week after facing Cal and Stanford at home, UCLA goes to their home turf as the second half of Pac-10 play begins. The Bruins earned a weekend sweep last week, both via shutout, downing Cal on Friday, 1-0, behind a David Estrada goal, and defeating Stanford on Sunday, 2-0, thanks to goals by Chandler Hoffman and Sean Alvarado. Bruin goalkeeper Brian Perk had the shutout in both games and lowered his season goals against average to a Pac-10 leading 0.54.
Scouting The Golden Bears -- California has lost three of its last four games and lost one-goal decisions on the road last weekend at UCLA (0-1) and San Diego State (1-2 in overtime). Junior forward Andrew Wiedeman continues to lead the Pac-10 in points (23), goals (10) and goals per game (0.77). Wiedeman's mark in goals per game ranks ninth in the nation. Junior midfielder Hector Jimenez ranks seventh in the NCAA in assists per game (0.62).
The Series With California -- UCLA holds a 34-10-5 advantage over California and is undefeated against the Golden Bears in the last three contests (2 wins, 1 tie). The Bruins came out on top in the season series last year, going 1-0-1 against the Golden Bears with a 3-2 overtime win at Berkeley and a 0-0 tie at Los Angeles. Michael Stephens was the hero in the overtime win, scoring on a penalty kick in the 93rd minute. UCLA had led in the game, 2-0, on goals by David Estrada and Maxwell Griffin before Cal tied it up with two unanswered goals in the second half. The two goalkeepers were the stars in the scoreless tie at UCLA, with both Brian Perk and Cal's Stefan Frei making seven saves in 110 shutout minutes.
Scouting The Cardinal -- Stanford split last weekend, defeating San Diego State in overtime, 2-1 before losing to UCLA, 2-0. The Cardinal has held opponents to two goals or less in its last 30 matches. Junior Bobby Warshaw leads the team in scoring with five goals and 11 points. He also has three game-winning goals. Senior goalkeeper John Moore leads the Pac-10 in shutouts (5).
The Series With Stanford -- UCLA holds a 36-4-7 advantage over Stanford. The teams split last season, with each winning at home - Stanford by a 2-1 score and UCLA by a 2-0 count. The Bruins' last win at Stanford came in 2005, 1-0 in overtime.
Perk Ties Pac-10 Record With Fourth POW Honor -- Senior goalkeeper Brian Perk was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for a Pac-10 record-tying fourth time in his career. Perk tied the record held by former Bruin Tim Pierce. Perk's accolades this week were earned after shutting out a pair of Top 20 opponents in No. 10 California (1-0) and No. 18 Stanford (2-0). The shutouts, which came a week after suffering an eye injury that required a hospital visit during the Bruins' game at San Diego State, were Perk's second and third of the season in six games played. In his three games back since returning to Westwood from the FIFA U-20 World Cup, he has posted a 0.38 goals against average with two shutouts. His overall season goals against average is 0.54.
Alvarado Named To Top Drawer Soccer's Team Of The Week -- Senior defender Sean Alvarado was named to TopDrawerSoccer.com's Team of the Week after scoring a goal in the 2-0 win over Stanford and leading the Bruin defense to a pair of shutouts. Alvarado, who played in all 180 minutes over the weekend, led a Bruin defense that kept each opponent to single-digit shot totals. No. 10 California, which entered the game ranked first in most Pac-10 offensive categories was held to just one shot in the first half and eight shots overall. Alvarado and the Bruin defense also held Pac-10 leading scorer Andrew Wiedeman to zero shots in the game. In the win over No. 18 Stanford, Alvarado netted his second goal of the season, doubling UCLA's lead in the 75th minute. Alvarado received a cross from Shawn Singh at the right post, controlled the ball with his knee, and then headed it past the 'keeper for the goal. Defensively, he and his teammates held the Cardinal to just six shots in the game and just one in the first half. Alvarado nearly had two goals on the weekend. He had an apparent goal against California called off due to an offsides call.
Nakazawa Streaks End -- All good things eventually have to come to an end, as senior midfielder Kyle Nakazawa's scoring streaks did this past weekend. Nakazawa's five-game goal-scoring streak was snapped in Friday's game against California, although he did increase his point-scoring streak to eight games with an assist on the Bruins' lone goal. The point-scoring streak ended on Sunday, however, when he failed to record a goal or assist for the first time since Sept. 6. Regardless, Nakazawa continues to lead UCLA in scoring with eight goals and 21 points, and he has contributed either a goal or assist on 60% (13-of-22) of UCLA's total goals.
Bruins Amongst Pac-10, National Leaders -- Kyle Nakazawa leads the Pac-10 and ranks ninth in the nation in points per game (1.91). He is also ranked second in the Pac-10 in points (21) and second in the Pac-10 and 13th in the nation in goals per game (0.73). David Estrada ranks second in the Pac-10 and 17th in the NCAA in assists per game (0.55). UCLA's goalkeepers Brian Perk and Brian Rowe rank 1-2, respectively, in the Pac-10 in goals against average, with Perk holding down a 0.54 GAA and Rowe posting a 0.85 GAA. Rowe ranks 25th nationally in save percentage (0.839). As a team, the Bruins rank 14th nationally in scoring offense (2.0), 16th in save percentage (0.852) and 20th in team goals against average (0.70).
Perk, Stephens Back With UCLA After U-20 World Cup -- Seniors Brian Perk and Michael Stephens returned to the team last week and started at San Diego State after missing five games while playing with the U.S. National Team at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt. The U.S. finished in 17th place in the tournament after going 1-2-0 with a 4-1 win over Cameroon and 3-0 losses to Germany and Korea Republic. Perk started in all three games. Stephens did not play.
Newcomers Contributing 45% Of Bruins' Goal Scoring -- Freshmen Chandler Hoffman, Evan Raynr and Ryan Hollingshead and newcomer Shawn Singh have scored 45% of the Bruins' goals this season. Hoffman ranks second on the squad in goals (four) and points (10) and already has scored the most goals by a Bruin freshman since David Estrada set the school freshman record with 12 in 2006. Hollingshead is close behind with three goals and seven points. Also on the stat sheet are Raynr with two goals and Singh with one goal and two assists. The only other Bruins with goals are seniors Kyle Nakazawa (8), David Estrada (2) and Sean Alvarado (2).
Senior Leadership -- For the first time in Jorge Salcedo's tenure as head coach, the Bruins can truly call themselves a veteran team, with a substantially large senior class of eight, the largest senior class at UCLA since 2003. Leading the way are six returning senior starters - midfielder Michael Stephens, goalkeeper Brian Perk, midfielder Kyle Nakazawa, forward David Estrada, and defenders Danny Suits and Luis Serrano - as well as defender Sean Alvarado and midfielder Andrew Sinderhoff. Stephens is the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year, while Perk, Estrada and Suits were all-conference selections. Nakazawa was a preseason All-America selection before injuries limited him to just 10 games last season. Seven seniors (Stephens, Perk, Nakazawa, Estrada, Suits, Serrano and Alvarado) have started for the Bruins in at least six games, and three (Nakazawa, Estrada and Alvarado) have started in all 11.
Fresh Faces -- A year after bringing in 12 new players, the Bruins welcome eight new faces to the squad in the form of seven freshmen and a junior walk-on. This year's freshman class was rated the No. 3 recruiting class in the nation by both Soccer America and College Soccer News. Leading the class is Top Drawer Soccer's No. 1 recruit in the nation, Amobi Okugo, who is also a member of the U.S. U-20 and U-18 National Teams. Also joining the Bruins are U.S. U-18 National Team player Michael Roman and ESPN/Rise All-Americans Dakota Collins, Chandler Hoffman and Evan Raynr. Three of the freshmen (Collins, Hoffman and Okugo) were singled out as '100 Freshmen To Keep An Eye On' by College Soccer News. Okugo has started in all 11 games, while Hollingshead has played in all 11 with seven starts. Hoffman has seven starts as well.
Preseason Honors -- Senior midfielders Michael Stephens and Kyle Nakazawa were named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List. Soccer America named Stephens and Brian Perk preseason All-Americans (Stephens 1st team, Perk 2nd team), and College Soccer News picked Stephens as a first-team preseason All-American.
Stephens is the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year and a member of Soccer America's 2008 MVPs Second Team. Last season, he led the Pac-10 in points scored (23) and tied for the league lead in assists with nine, including a school record tying four at San Diego State. Nakazawa, a midfielder from Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., was also on the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List a year ago but had his 2008 season cut short due to injuries, playing in 10 games yet still ranking fourth on the team in assists with four. Nakazawa was UCLA's Team MVP in 2007 and was selected to Soccer America's All-Freshman team in 2006. Perk was a second-team All-Pac-10 honoree last season after posting a 0.45 goals against average and five shutouts in nine conference games.