UCLA Advances To 11th Men's College Cup
Dec. 9, 2002
College Cup Bound - Head coach Tom Fitzgerald 's UCLA men's soccer team (16-3-3, ranked No. 4 by the NSCAA) has advanced to the NCAA College Cup in Dallas, TX as one of four semifinalist teams vying for the national championship. The third-seeded Bruins will face second-seeded Maryland (20-4-0, ranked No. 2 by the NSCAA and No. 1 by Soccer America) in the semifinals on Friday, Dec. 13 at 4:00 pm CT. The game will take place at SMU's Gerald J. Ford Stadium. UCLA advanced to the College Cup after wins over Penn State in the quarterfinals (7-1), California in the third round (3-2) and Loyola Marymount in the second round (4-2). Stanford (17-4-2, ranked No. 15) and Creighton (18-3-2, No. 11) meet in the other semifinal at 7:00 pm CT. The championship game is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 15 at 3:30 pm CT.
TV/Radio - ESPN2 will televise UCLA's semifinal game live at 2:00 pm PT. The championship game will be televised live by ESPN2 on Sunday. In addition, the NCAA will provide an internet radio broadcast at ncaasports.com.
UCLA's College Cup History - The Bruins have now advanced to the College Cup/Final Four 11 times in the program's history. This is UCLA's fourth appearance in the last nine years and second in the last four years. UCLA's other semifinal appearances came in 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1984, 1985, 1990, 1994, 1997 and 1999. The Bruins' all-time record in the College Cup is 9-8 (6-4 in semifinal games and 3-3 in championship games), with NCAA Championships won in 1985, 1990 and 1997. UCLA has won each of the last three championship games in which it has participated.
Bruins Reach Tournament For 20th Straight Year - UCLA's selection to the NCAA Tournament is the 20th consecutive and 30th overall for the Bruins. UCLA's NCAA streak is the second-longest active streak in the nation, and the 30 NCAA appearances is second only to Saint Louis' 41. UCLA has won national championships in 1985, 1990 and 1997. The Bruins' all-time NCAA record is 50-27.
Soccer Team Seeking UCLA's 87th NCAA Title - The Bruin men's soccer team will be seeking not only its fourth NCAA title, but the school's 87th NCAA team championship. UCLA's 86 titles are the most amongst all NCAA Division I schools.
The College Cup Field - UCLA and Maryland are the only teams in the College Cup that have won an NCAA title. UCLA won championships in 1985, 1990 and 1997, and Maryland won a share of the title in 1968. Creighton was the runner-up in 2000, falling to Connecticut in the final, 2-0. Stanford finished second in 1998 after losing to Indiana, 3-1.
UCLA vs. Tournament Field - The Bruins posted a 10-2-1 record in 2002 against teams in the tournament. UCLA's 10 victories came against Oregon State (twice), Stanford (twice), California (twice), Florida International, San Diego, Loyola Marymount (second round) and Penn State. The Bruins also have a tie against fourth-seeded St. John's.
A Look At The Terrapins - Maryland advanced to the College Cup for the first time since 1998 after a 3-0 victory over Connecticut on Saturday in the quarterfinals. The Terrapins also produced a 1-0 second round win over American and a 1-0 overtime victory over Saint Louis in the third round. Maryland, which has won eight consecutive games, is led by sophomores Abe Thompson (14 goals) and Domenic Mediate (13 goals). Forward Sumed Ibrahim (seven goals, six assists) is a finalist for the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy.
Last Time Against Maryland - Maryland won the only matchup between the two teams, 2-1 in two overtimes last season at the Virginia Classic. With Maryland winning 1-0, the Bruins were forced to play down a man after defender Alex Yi received his second yellow card. However, Cliff McKinley scored to equalize just a minute and a half later. The Bruins received a second ejection in the second half and played 9-on-11 and still held Maryland at bay until the Terrapins scored the golden-goal with 40 seconds left in the final overtime period.
Statistical Comparison - Maryland holds a slight statistical advantage over the Bruins, having outscored UCLA on the year, 59-50, and having given up less goals, 17-18. Maryland's team goals against average is 0.70, just a tad lower than UCLA's 0.78.
Seniors Making Second College Cup Appearance - Seniors Ryan Futagaki, Tim Pierce and Scot Thompson will be playing in their second College Cup. The senior trio played in the 1999 semifinal game against Indiana, with Thompson scoring the game-tying goal that sent the game into overtime. Indiana eventually won the contest, 3-2 in four overtimes. Two other seniors, Jimmy Frazelle and Chadd Davis, did not play in the game.
Pac-10 Has Two In Finals - The Pacific-10 Conference was represented by four of its six (67%) member teams in the NCAA Tournament - third-seeded and league champion UCLA, California, Stanford and Oregon State, and now two of those four teams, UCLA and Stanford, will play in the College Cup this week.
Quarterfinal Recap - UCLA trailed 1-0 after just three minutes against Penn State in the quarterfinals but came back to win big, 7-1. The tide turned in the 26th minute when Penn State keeper Ryan Sickman was ejected for taking down Cliff McKinley in the penalty box on a clear goal-scoring opportunity. Adolfo Gregorio converted the penalty kick to equalize, and the Bruins took advantage of the man advantage, scoring six second-half goals. Matt Taylor had a hand in five of the six goals, scoring three and assisting on another. McKinley had three assists of his own, and Tim Pierce scored two goals.
Bruins Break Records In Quarterfinals - The Bruins set new standards with their 7-1 victory over Penn State in the quarterfinals. UCLA's seven goals were the most by a Bruin squad in an NCAA tournament game, and their 14 goals in the playoffs ties the school record set in 1994. However, this year's squad holds the record for goal average in the playoffs, averaging 4.7 goals per game. The 1994 squad averaged 3.5 per game. Junior forward Cliff McKinley tied the NCAA Tournament record with three assists in the game, last achieved in 1996.
Third Round Recap - The Bruins held off a late surge by California and advanced to the quarterfinals with a 3-2 victory. UCLA jumped ahead to a 3-0 lead after two first-half goals by Aaron Lopez and Cliff McKinley and an early second-half goal by Matt Taylor. With 10 minutes remaining in their season, Carl Acosta almost single-handedly put the Golden Bears back in the game with goals in the 81st and 83rd minutes. However, the Bruins held their ground for the final minutes to come away with the victory.
Second Round Recap - UCLA avenged an earlier defeat during the regular season, posting a 4-2 win over Loyola Marymount in the second round of the NCAA tournament Wednesday night. LMU had handed UCLA its first loss of the season, 2-0, back in September, but the Bruins won when it mattered most, ending Loyola's season with an NCAA tournament victory. Cliff McKinley and Aaron Lopez scored UCLA's first two goals off set pieces, and Adolfo Gregorio contributed two goals and an assist.
Bruins Offense Firing On All Cylinders - With 14 goals in three playoff games and 17 goals in its last four games, UCLA's offense has scored more goals than any other team in the playoffs. The Bruins scored seven in the quarters, four in the second round and three in the third. Maryland, by comparison, has scored five in three games, while Stanford has four and Creighton 10. UCLA is the only team in the College Cup not to have played an overtime game in the tournament.
Five Bruins Make NSCAA All-Region Team - Five UCLA players were selected to the NSCAA All-Far West team, the most by any other school in the region and the most by a Bruin team since 1999. Forward Tim Pierce was named to the first team after earning third-team honors a year ago. Defender Scot Thompson and goalkeeper Zach Wells earned second-team acclaim, while midfielders Ryan Futagaki and Adolfo Gregorio were named to the third-team.
Fourteen Bruins Earn All-Conference Acclaim - A league-high and all-time program high 14 UCLA players earned All-Pac-10 honors, including three first-team selections. Junior midfielder Adolfo Gregorio and senior forward Tim Pierce were selected to the second consecutive season, and senior defender Scot Thompson earned first-team honors for the first time after being a two-time honorable mention selection. Second-team selections were senior midfielder Jimmy Frazelle, junior defender Tony Lawson and junior goalkeeper Zach Wells. Eight others earned honorable mention nods - sophomore midfielder Mike Enfield, senior midfielder Ryan Futagaki, junior defender Leonard Griffin, freshman midfielder Jordan Harvey, sophomore defender Aaron Lopez, junior midfielder Ty Maurin and junior forwards Cliff McKinley and Matt Taylor. Half of UCLA's squad made the all-conference team, including all 11 starters.
Bruins Win First Pac-10 Title - UCLA captured its first ever Pacific-10 Conference title, going 8-2 in conference play. The title was also UCLA's first conference title since winning the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) in 1997. UCLA went on to win the national championship that year.
UCLA Posts 36th Consecutive Winning Record - With another winning season already in the books, the Bruins are one year away from tying the NCAA record for consecutive winning seasons, held by Saint Louis (37 consecutive from 1959-1996). UCLA now has 36, from 1967-present. The Bruins actually have 14 more years of winning seasons from 1953-1966, but soccer was not an NCAA sport at UCLA at the time.
Bruins Showcase Depth - UCLA has one of its deepest teams in recent history, as evidenced by the 14 all-conference selections. The Bruins have five players in double-digit scoring, led by a pair of 30-point scorers in Tim Pierce (31 points off 12 goals and seven assists) and Matt Taylor (30 points off 11 goals and eight assists). The dynamic duo are UCLA's first pair of 30-point scorers since Sasha Victorine (33) and McKinley Tennyson Jr. (31) in 1999. Also in double-digits are Adolfo Gregorio (21 points), Cliff McKinley (19 points) and Jimmy Frazelle (16 points). UCLA's five double-digit scorers are the most on a Bruin squad since seven players had 10 or more points in 1999, and the three 20-point scorers are the most since four players scored 20+ points in 1997.
Futagaki A Finalist For M.A.C. Hermann Trophy - Senior midfielder Ryan Futagaki has been selected as a finalist for the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy, which honors the top collegiate player in the nation. Futagaki is UCLA's team co-captain, a two-time All-Pac-10 selection and a third-team NSCAA All-Far West pick in 2002. He has scored three goals with three assists in 22 games this season. As a sophomore, he was a member of the 1999 U.S. Pan American Games team that captured a bronze medal, and he scored a goal against Japan at the Under-20 World Youth Championships.
California Dreaming - The 2002 UCLA men's soccer team is comprised of all California players for just the second time in the program's 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.