Men's Soccer Battles No. 13 Rutgers, No. 1 St. John's

Sept. 30, 2002

Live Audio Broadcast (UCLA vs. Rutgers)

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This Week - The UCLA men's soccer team (5-1-0, ranked sixth by Soccer America and 17th by the NSCAA) will travel to New Jersey to participate in the Rutgers Philips/adidas Classic on Oct. 4 and 6. The Bruins will face host Rutgers (3-2-2) on Friday, Oct. 4 at 8:00 pm ET and No. 1-ranked St. John's (7-1-1) on Sunday, Oct. 6 at 1:00 pm ET.

Scouting The Opponents - Rutgers enters the week ranked No. 13 by the NSCAA with a 3-2-2 record. Freshman Sam Castellanos leads the team with nine points on three goals and three assists. Goalkeeper Ricky Zinter leads a Scarlet Knight defense that has allowed just five goals this season. Zinter holds a 0.875 goals against average with three shutouts. After dropping its season opener to Boston College, St. John's has been unbeaten in its last eight games with seven victories and a tie. The Red Storm are led by Chris Wingert (3g, 1a) and goalkeeper Bill Gaudette (0.34 GAA, six shutouts).

The Series - UCLA leads the all-time series against Rutgers, 4-1-0, and against St. John's, 1-0-0 but has not faced either team since 1994, when the Bruins won the Rutgers Classic after a 2-1 win over St. John's and a 1-0 win over Rutgers. UCLA assistant coach Jorge Salcedo had one of his most memorable moments in his career against Rutgers. In his freshman season in 1990, Salcedo scored the decisive penalty kick that gave UCLA its second NCAA Championship.

Thompson Makes Homecoming Visit - Senior defender Scot Thompson will be returning to his former home state of New Jersey this weekend. Thompson, who now calls Rancho Santa Margarita, CA home, grew up in New Jersey and played for Hackettstown HS as a freshman. The pre-season All-American and U.S. U-23 National Team player also played club soccer with the NJ Cosmo Knights, which won the 1996 USA Cup.

Giant Killer - In recent years, the Bruins have become quite adept at knocking off the top-ranked teams. The Bruins are 3-1 against No. 1-ranked teams since 1998, with wins over Indiana in 1998 and Stanford and the Hoosiers again in 2000. UCLA's only loss in this period came last season in the NCAA third round against SMU, a 1-0 decision on the road.

Bruins Rout San Diego State, 7-0 - UCLA pounced early and often against San Diego State last Sunday, routing the Aztecs by a 7-0 score. Tim Pierce set a school record by scoring just 16 seconds into the game, and the senior forward scored two more times to record his first career hat trick. Pierce also recorded an assist to give him seven points on the day, equaling his season mark entering the game. Also scoring for UCLA were Matt Taylor with two goals, Ryan Futagaki and Cliff McKinley. The seven goals scored were the most by a UCLA team since Sept. 1, 1998, when the Bruins pounded Cal State Dominguez Hills, 7-0.

Dynamic Duo - Tim Pierce and Matt Taylor have turned into a formidable one-two punch for the Bruins. After just six games, the duo are in double-figures in points scored, with Pierce totaling 14 and Taylor adding in 10. Pierce is on pace to score over 40 points this season, a feat that has not been accomplished by a UCLA since Pierce's former high school teammate Seth George did it in 1997 (42 points). Taylor is on pace to score over 30 points. If both players continue this pace, they would be UCLA's first pair of 30-point scorers since Sasha Victorine and McKinley Tennyson Jr. in 1999. Pierce and Taylor are far from UCLA's only scoring threats, however. Midfielders Adolfo Gregorio and Ryan Futagaki have each totaled three goals, while Jimmy Frazelle has two.

In The Rankings - The Bruins moved up to No. 6 in the Soccer America poll but dropped one spot to No. 17 in the NSCAA Coaches' Poll despite a 7-0 victory last week. College Soccer News and placed the Bruins at No. 6 and 8, respectively.

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.

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