#7/4 UCLA Travels To Creighton For Non-Conference Game
Oct. 29, 2009
This Week -- No. 7/4 UCLA (8-1-2, 3-0-2 in the Pac-10) will take a break from Pac-10 Conference action to travel to Omaha, Neb. for a Halloween game at Creighton (6-4-3). The game will take place on Saturday at 3 pm CT.
Live Coverage -- Gametracker live stats will be available at both team's websites. Creighton will offer on-demand video and audio as well at gocreighton.com
In The Rankings -- UCLA dropped to No. 4 in the Soccer America and College Soccer News polls, No. 6 in the Soccer Times poll, No. 7 in the NSCAA/adidas poll and No. 8 in Top Drawer Soccer's Tournament rankings.
Scouting The Bluejays -- Creighton began the season ranked as high as No. 2 in the preseason polls but has since dropped out of the rankings. The Jays have scored one goal or less in 10 of their 13 games this season, but they also have seven shutouts from goalkeeper Brian Holt, who has a 0.52 goals against average. Ethan Finlay leads the team in scoring with 15 points (6g, 3a).
The Series With Creighton -- UCLA and Creighton have only met each other four times total, and the Jays hold a 1-2-1 advantage in the series. The last time the teams met was in 2007 at Creighton, and the game ended in a 0-0 tie. UCLA outshot Creighton, 21-12, but hit the crossbar twice and the post twice. Bruin goalkeeper Brian Perk had the shutout and made three saves in the game.
Pac-10 Standings -- Entering the Bruins' conference bye week, UCLA leads all teams in the Pac-10 standings with 14 points and a 4-1-2 record. San Diego State sits in second place with 11 points (3-2-2), while Stanford is third with 10 points (3-3-1). With UCLA and San Diego State on byes this week, Stanford has an opportunity to leapfrog both teams with a pair of wins over Oregon State and Washington. The Bruins have all three remaining Pac-10 games at home, where they are 5-0-0 this year.
All Goals Lead Through Nakazawa -- Senior midfielder Kyle Nakazawa has been UCLA's go-to guy this season, leading the team with a career-high nine goals, five assists and 23 points. He has had a hand in 13 of UCLA's last 16 goals, and the Bruins are undefeated with a 7-0-2 record in games in which he has either scored a goal or assisted on a goal. He has contributed either a goal or assist on 61% (14-of-23) of UCLA's total goals this year.
Stephens, Perk Back In The Swing Of Things After FIFA U-20 World Cup -- Since returning from the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt after a five-game absence, seniors Brian Perk and Michael Stephens have quickly reasserted themselves into the lineup with solid play. The pair returned to the starting lineup for the Oct. 11 game at San Diego State and have made big contributions in their five games back. Perk has three shutouts in the last five games and has a 0.64 goals against average. Stephens has contributed an assist on UCLA's last three goals scored.
Bruins Amongst Pac-10, National Leaders -- Kyle Nakazawa leads the Pac-10 and ranks 10th in the nation in points per game (1.77). He is also tied for first in the Pac-10 and 11th in the nation in goals per game (0.69). David Estrada is tied for second in the Pac-10 in assists per game (0.46). 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 0.66 GAA and Rowe posting a 0.85 GAA. Perk ranks 25th nationally in goals against average and 27th in save percentage (0.839).
Newcomers Contributing 43% Of Bruins' Goal Scoring -- Freshmen Chandler Hoffman, Evan Raynr and Ryan Hollingshead and newcomer Shawn Singh have scored 43% 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 (9), 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 eight games, and three (Nakazawa, Estrada and Alvarado) have started in all 13.
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 13 games, while Hollingshead has played in all 13 with eight starts. Hoffman and newcomer Shawn Singh each have nine starts.
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.
Off-Season Happenings -- Bruin players were busy in the off-season, with Brian Perk and Michael Stephens seeing regular action with the U.S. Under-20 National Team. Perk was dominant as the starting goalkeeper on the Under-20 National Team, posting seven shutouts in eight games, with a 0.12 goals against average in 2009 prior to the World Cup. Stephens saw action in four games this year and scored two goals. Both players traveled to Egypt and Argentina this summer with the U.S. team.
Freshman Amobi Okugo traveled to Northern Ireland with the U.S. Under-18 National Team to participate in the Milk Cup and also played with the U-18s in the Lisbon International Tournament in Portugal.
Sophomore Eder Arreola led the Cherif Zein Elite 17-under boys' soccer team to the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship in late July, scoring the game-winning goal in a 3-2 victory over North Carolina's Triangle United to help his team capture the Don Greer Cup. Arreola's goal in the 26th minute gave his squad a 3-0 lead, and CZ Elite held on for the 3-2 win. Arreola dominated in the tournament, leading all goal scorers with five goals.
Alumni Game -- UCLA Soccer's annual alumni game will take place on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 9:30 am on the North Athletic Field. All UCLA men's soccer alumni are invited to participate, but in order to be admitted free to the social after the UCLA-Washington game, they must RSVP through UCLABruins.com before Nov. 2.
Looking Ahead -- UCLA will close out the regular season with three home conference games - Nov. 6 vs. Oregon State, Nov. 8 vs. Washington and Nov. 14 vs. San Diego State.
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