No. 7 UCLA Men's Soccer Team Hosts San Diego State

Sept. 23, 2002

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This Week - The UCLA men's soccer team (4-1-0, ranked seventh by Soccer America and 16th by the NSCAA) will host San Diego State (2-3-1) on Sunday, Sept. 29 on Frank W. Marshall Field at Drake Stadium. Kickoff time is scheduled for 1:00 pm.

Scouting The Opponent - San Diego State enters the week with a 2-3-1 record and will travel to Cal State Northridge on Friday, Sept. 27 prior to facing the Bruins. Paul Szefler leads the Aztecs with nine points on four goals and one assist, and Tyler Tinling ranks second on the squad with three goals and six points.

The Series - UCLA leads the all-time series against San Diego State, 24-3-5, and has won the last nine contests, dating back to 1991. San Diego State's last win came on Oct. 11, 1989, a 3-2 overtime victory. In last year's contest at San Diego, Matt Taylor scored the game-winning goal in the 15th minute to lead the Bruins to a 2-1 victory. Aaron Lopez also scored for UCLA. The Bruins outshot the Aztecs, 28-8.

Bruins Drop First Contest Of Season - UCLA dropped from the ranks of the unbeaten after a 2-0 road loss to No. 17 Loyola Marymount. A poor defensive clearance led to the Lions' first goal in the second half, and LMU doubled up its lead with a penalty kick in the 82nd minute. Bruin goalkeeper Zach Wells made a season-high seven saves, including five in the second half.

In The Rankings - The Bruins dropped 13 spots from No. 3 to No. 16 in the NSCAA Coaches' Poll despite losing to a Top 20 team in No. 17 Loyola Marymount. The Bruins have defeated two teams ranked in the current Top 15 - No. 9 Boston (4-1 on Aug. 30) and No. 14 San Diego (3-1 on Sept. 15). Soccer America was more lenient on the Bruin result this past weekend, ranking UCLA at No. 7, down five from last week, while College Soccer News and placed the Bruins at No. 5 and 6, respectively.

Looking Ahead - The Bruins will hit the road on Oct. 4 and 6 for an East Coast trip to Rutgers University to face the host Scarlet Knights (ranked No. 19 by the NSCAA) and St. John's (ranked No. 2 in both polls).Game Times Changed - The game times for the Oct. 18 Stanford contest and the Nov. 14 San Francisco game have been changed to 7:00 pm. Both games will be held at Drake Stadium, which has just been equipped with lights.

Bruin Depth - Proof of UCLA's depth in its scoring attack lies in the fact that five players have scored two or more goals this season. Adolfo Gregorio leads all players with three goals, while Tim Pierce, Jimmy Frazelle, Matt Taylor and Ryan Futagaki have each scored two apiece. It has been a different player providing the heroics in each game - Gregorio, Pierce, Frazelle and Taylor have each scored one game-winning goal. UCLA also has three players with two assists or more - Pierce with a team-best three, and Chadd Davis and Ty Maurin with two apiece.

California Dreaming - The 2002 UCLA men's soccer team is comprised of all California players for just the second time in program history. The only other time that has happened was in 1985, the year of the Bruins' first NCAA Championship. Twenty-five of UCLA's 28 players hail from Southern California, including 12 from Orange County.

Head Coach Tom Fitzgerald - Armed with 24 years of coaching experience at the high school, collegiate, professional and national team levels, head coach Tom Fitzgerald begins his first season at the helm of the UCLA men's soccer program. Fitzgerald coached Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew from 1996-2001 and led his team to three consecutive Eastern Conference finals from 1997-99. Prior to joining the pro ranks, Fitzgerald was head coach at the University of Tampa from 1987-96. He guided his team to the 1994 NCAA Division II National Championship and to NCAA Final Four appearances two other times. His teams received NCAA post-season tournament berths all nine seasons.

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