UCLA Men's Soccer Team Travels North For USF Diadora Classic
Sept. 4, 2001
This Week - Head coach Todd Saldana's UCLA men's soccer team (0-1-1, ranked No. 10 by Soccer America) will seek its first victory of the season at the USF diadora Classic in San Francisco this weekend. First up for UCLA is a matchup against host San Francisco (2-0-0) on Friday, Sept. 7 at 7:00 pm. The Bruins then face Santa Clara (1-0, ranked No. 16 in the media poll) on Sunday, Sept. 9 at Noon in a game that will be broadcast live on the internet at www.SantaClaraBroncos.com. The University of San Francisco will be providing live stats of all diadora Classic games on their web site at http://usfdons.fansonly.com/livestats/m-soccer/
About The Opponents - San Francisco stands undefeated in 2001 after blanking both Cal State Stanislaus, 4-0, and San Francisco State, 3-0. Sophomore forward Josh Hansen scored two goals in each game and already has nine points in two games. Goalkeepers Scott Spaulding and Conor McNulty each have a shutout. The Bruins hold a 20-18-4 advantage over the Dons and have won the last seven contests. Santa Clara is 1-0 as of Sept. 3, having defeated San Diego State, 1-0 in overtime on a Matt Upton goal in the 101st minute. The Broncos have a Sept. 4 matchup with Bradley prior to the diadora Classic. UCLA leads the all-time series with Santa Clara, 13-6-4 and has won the last three.
Bruins In The Rankings - UCLA dropped three spots to 10th in the Soccer America poll but have dropped out of the NSCAA polls after debuting there in the pre-season at No. 24. The CollegeSoccer.com media poll has the Bruins ranked No. 17.
Bruins Fit To Be Tied at Virginia - UCLA players worked overtime at the Virginia Soccer Classic last weekend, playing into double overtime in both contests against Maryland and Virginia. In game one, a short-handed Bruin squad took Maryland to double overtime before falling 2-1 on a last-minute goal. The Bruins again went to double overtime against host Virginia in game two, this time preserving the tie, 2-2. The tie was UCLA's first since Oct. 29, 1995, a streak that lasted 112 games.
Akwari, McKinley Selected To All-Tournament Team - Sophomore Nelson Akwari and Cliff McKinley were selected to the all-tournament team at the Virginia Soccer Classic. Akwari's solid defensive play kept UCLA in the game against Maryland despite the Bruins playing two men down. He helped the Bruins keep Maryland off the boards during that time until they scored in the last 40 seconds of the contest. McKinley did his part in keeping UCLA in that game as well, scoring UCLA's first goal of the season to tie the score at 1-1.
Wells Hits Double Digits in Saves - In his debut as starting goalkeeper, redshirt sophomore Zach Wells was impressive, making 16 saves in 239 minutes of play. Wells turned back 10 Virginia shots on Sept. 2 to set a new career high in saves. His performance ranks fifth on the all-time UCLA single-game saves list.
Thompson Continues Accurate Shooting - Junior defender Scot Thompson knows how to pick his shots. He took one shot in the opening weekend which resulted in his first goal of the year. In his career, Thompson has now scored on eight of 13 shots, a shot percentage of 62%. He leads the Bruins with eight career goals.
Alex Yi Selected As Hermann Trophy Candidate - Defender Alex Yi was selected as a nominee for the Hermann Trophy, college soccer's longest-standing player of the year award. Yi was the 2000 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and a second-team All-Pac-10 selection a year ago. He was one of just three players to start all 19 of UCLA's games in 2000.
Two Bruins Earn Pre-Season All-America Honors - Defenders Alex Yi and Nelson Akwari were selected to College Soccer.com's pre-season All-America list. Yi, a second-team selection, and Akwari, an honorable mention pick, each earned all-conference honors as freshmen and both started all 19 games for UCLA in 2000. The dynamic duo were also starters for the U.S. U-20 National Team at the 2001 World Youth Championships.