Sixth-Seeded UCLA Travels To Third-Seeded Wake Forest For NCAA Quarterfinals
Dec. 3, 2009
This Week -- Sixth-seeded UCLA (12-3-4) will travel to Winston-Salem, NC to take on third-seeded Wake Forest (17-4-2) in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 7 pm. The game will take place at Spry Stadium. Tickets are $7 for adults/$5 for students, youth & senior citizens.
Live Coverage -- Gametracker plus an in-game live blog will be available at wakeforestsports.com.
How They Got Here: UCLA -- The Bruins received an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament by virtue of winning the Pac-10 Championship, UCLA's second in a row. They advanced to the quarterfinals after a 2-1 second round win over Sacramento State and a 2-1 third round comeback win over UC Santa Barbara.
How They Got Here: Wake Forest -- The Demon Deacons earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament and a No. 3 seed. Wake Forest defeated UNC-Wilmington 2-1 in the second round, taking a 3-0 halftime lead on Duke before recording a 4-2 third round victory.
Bruins Reach Tournament For 27th Consecutive Year -- UCLA earned its 27th consecutive and 37th overall NCAA Tournament berth after claiming the Pac-10 title on Nov. 8. UCLA's NCAA streak is the second-longest active streak in the nation, and the 37 NCAA appearances are second only to Saint Louis' 46. UCLA has an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 62-33 with national championships in 1985, 1990, 1997 and 2002.
UCLA vs. Tournament Field -- The Bruins played four games against NCAA Tournament teams during the regular season, going 3-1 with a 2-0 win at Maryland, a 2-1 win at San Diego and a 2-0 win over Stanford. The lone loss came at Stanford, 2-0.
Back-To-Back Pac-10 Champions -- UCLA won its sixth Pac-10 title in the 10 years that the Pac-10 has sponsored men's soccer after finishing with a 5-1-4 league record. The Bruins hold a 12-2-6 record in Pac-10 play the last two seasons.
In The Rankings -- UCLA ended regular season play ranked fifth in Soccer America's poll and eighth in the NSCAA/adidas poll. Wake Forest finished the regular season ranked 2nd in the Soccer America poll and 3rd in the NSCAA/adidas poll.
UCLA's History With Wake Forest -- UCLA and Wake Forest have only played each other twice. The first meeting resulted in a 2-0 UCLA home victory in overtime in 1990. Last season, the Bruins played at Wake Forest on Sept. 5 and lost 3-0. Wake Forest has just three starters back from that game - goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald, midfielder Corben Bone and defender Ike Opara. Eight of UCLA's starting 11 for last season's game are still on the team now.
Scouting The Demon Deacons -- Wake Forest is playing in the quarterfinals for the fourth consecutive year. The 2007 NCAA champions have won 13 straight home playoff games, with their last loss coming in the third round of the 2004 NCAAs, on penalty kicks. Wake Forest is 3-0 all-time in NCAA quarterfinal games. Zack Schilawaski, who scored the game-winner in the 2007 NCAA Championship game, leads the Demon Deacons in scoring with 13 goals, 7 assists and 33 points. Austin da Luz ranks third in the NCAA with 14 assists and also has six goals for 24 points. Wake Forest ranks eighth in the nation in scoring offense (2.09 goals per game).
U-20 Reunion -- UCLA's Brian Perk and Michael Stephens will be reuniting this weekend with their U.S. Under-20 teammate Ike Opara. The trio played together at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in late September/early October. Perk was the starting goalkeeper, and Opara a starting defender. Stephens was a reserve. The U.S. went 1-2 in the tournament, with a 4-1 win over Cameroon and losses to Germany and Korea.
M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Semifinalists -- Three M.A.C. Hermann Trophy semifinalists will be playing in Saturday's quarterfinal match - UCLA's Kyle Nakazawa and Wake Forest's Corben Bone and Ike Opara. Nakazawa has totaled 12 goals, including four game-winners, and seven assists this season. Bone is the ACC Offensive Player of the Year with two goals and 12 assists. Opara is the ACC Defensive Player of the Year for the second-straight season.
NCAA Battle-Tested -- UCLA's core group of players has plenty of NCAA experience, with three players remaining from the starting lineup of the Bruins' 2006 NCAA finalist squad (David Estrada, Michael Stephens and Kyle Nakazawa), plus two players who were reserves on that squad (Sean Alvarado and Brian Perk). Nineteen Bruins have played in a total of 65 NCAA Tournament games, with Estrada and Stephens leading the way with 10 games played each. Estrada is UCLA's leading active goal scorer in NCAA Tournament games with four goals (all in 2006). Nakazawa has recorded three goals and five assists, and Stephens has one goal and two assists. Two of UCLA's goalkeepers have started at least one game - Brian Perk in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and Trevor Hunter in the 2007 2nd round.
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 12 goals, seven assists and 31 points. He has had a hand in 18 of UCLA's last 24 goals, and the Bruins are undefeated with a 10-0-3 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% (19-of-31) of UCLA's total goals this year.
Triple 7s -- Three Bruin players lead the team in assists with seven each - Kyle Nakazawa, David Estrada and Michael Stephens. Nakazawa now has 26 assists in his career, just three away from the schools' Top 10 list.Estrada this season has equaled his career total coming into the year and now has 14 career assists. Stephens has totaled 16 assists his last two seasons and 20 overall.
NCAA Third Round Recap -- In a rematch of the 2006 NCAA Championship game, it was UCLA who came away victorious this year, claiming a 2-1 victory over UC Santa Barbara to advance to the NCAA quarterfinals. The Bruins came from behind to win, scoring two unanswered goals after the Gauchos scored the first goal in the 11th minute. Sophomore Fernando Monge tied the score four minutes later, and freshman Ryan Hollingshead scored the game-winner in the 37th minute. Bruin goalkeeper Brian Perk made two huge saves along with other stops on dangerous balls in the box in the second half to preserve the victory.
NCAA Second Round Recap -- Freshman forward Chandler Hoffman scored the game-winning goal in the 80th minute to lead UCLA to a 2-1 victory over Sacramento State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. UCLA took a 1-0 lead in the first half when Kyle Nakazawa converted a penalty kick at 30:30 after David Estrada was taken down by a defender in the box. Sac State tied the game in the 75th minute, but Hoffman responded with the game-winner five minutes later, taking a shot from close range after Fernando Monge sent in a perfect cross into the box.
Okugo, Perk, Nakazawa Honored By Top Drawer Soccer -- Freshman midfielder Amobi Okugo was named the Top Drawer Soccer National Rookie of the Year, and seniors Brian Perk and Kyle Nakazawa were selected to the website's Team of the Season first team.
Okugo Named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year -- Midfielder Amobi Okugo became the fourth Bruin player and first since 2005 to be named the Pac-10 Freshman of Year. He joins Alex Yi (2000), Chad Barrett (2003) and Sal Zizzo (2005) as the only other Bruins to win the postseason accolade. Okugo started every game in a defensive midfield position for the Bruins, recording two assists and helping the Bruin defense to a Conference leading 0.78 team goals against average.
Six Bruins Named To All-Pac-10 Teams -- Six UCLA players were selected to the 2009 Men's Soccer All-Pac-10 teams. Seniors David Estrada, Kyle Nakazawa, Brian Perk and Michael Stephens earned first-team honors, while the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Amobi Okugo received second-team recognition. Senior Sean Alvarado picked up his first career all-conference nod with an honorable mention selection.
Five Bruins Selected To Pac-10 All-Academic Team -- Five UCLA players were selected to the honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic team - senior midfielder Kyle Nakazawa, sophomore defender Andy Rose, sophomore goalkeeper Brian Rowe, and senior defenders Luis Serrano and Danny Suits. This is the second consecutive year Nakazawa and Suits have been honored. Rose, Rowe and Serrano are first-time honorees.
Senior Leadership -- The heart of the Bruin squad lies in its senior class. The eight seniors make up the largest senior class at UCLA since 2003. Leading the way are six returning senior starters - Michael Stephens, Brian Perk, Kyle Nakazawa, David Estrada, Danny Suits and Luis Serrano - as well as Sean Alvarado and Andrew Sinderhoff. Seven seniors (Stephens, Perk, Nakazawa, Estrada, Suits, Serrano and Alvarado) have started for the Bruins in at least 12 games, and three (Nakazawa, Estrada and Alvarado) have started in all 19. All eight Bruin seniors started in the final regular season game.
Fresh Faces -- A year after bringing in 12 new players, the Bruins welcomed 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 National Rookie of the Year and the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Amobi Okugo. Okugo has started in all 19 games this season. Chandler Hoffman is the top freshman goal-scorer in the Pac-10 with five goals. Ryan Hollingshead is close behind with four goals. Also with goals this season are Evan Raynr (2g, 1a) and junior newcomer Shawn Singh (1g, 2a).