This Week In Pac-10 Men's Soccer

Dec. 10, 2002

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The Pacific-10 Conference is represented by two teams among the final four in the 2002 Division I Men's College Cup, slated for Friday and Sunday at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas... The league has a crack at an all Pac-10 final... In the first semifinal, televised live on ESPN2, the Pac-10 Champion and third-seeded UCLA Bruins (16-3-3 overall) take on second-seeded Maryland (20-4)... Ninth-seeded STANFORD (17-4-2), making its second straight trip to the College Cup, faces Creighton (18-3-2) in the second semifinal game, to be aired on a tape-delay basis (Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. CT)... The winners advance to the championship game, Sunday at 3:30 p.m. CT, televised live on ESPN2.

The Pac-10 was represented by four of its six members (66.7%) in the 2002 NCAA Tournament: UCLA, Stanford, California and first-ever participant Oregon State... The Bruins, Bears and Cardinal were among 16 teams to receive first-round byes in the 48-team field... UCLA earned the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Championship, capturing its first-ever Pac-10 title and first Conference crown since 1997... In just its third year of existence, the Pacific-10 Conference has emerged as one of the nation's premier men's soccer leagues, as at least half its teams have been ranked among the Top-25 for the majority of the season... Pac-10 teams have combined for a stellar 42-13-10 record (.723) against non-conference competition this season.

Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, Texas * Southern Methodist University

Fri., Dec. 13
Maryland vs. UCLA, 4 p.m. CT, ESPN2 (live)
Creighton vs. STANFORD, 7 p.m. CT, ESPN2 (tape delay, Dec. 14 at 11 a.m.)

Sun, Dec. 15
Championship Game, 3:30 p.m. CT, ESPN2 (live)

Sat., Dec. 7

STANFORD 2, Clemson 0
UCLA 7, Penn State 1

Third Round
Sat., Nov. 30

STANFORD 2, Furman 1 (2OT)

Second Round
Wed., Nov. 27

CALIFORNIA 2, UC Santa Barbara 1
STANFORD 0, Portland 0 (Stanford advances on PK, 10-9)
UCLA 4, Loyola Marymount 2

First Round
Sat., Nov. 23

Portland 2, OREGON STATE 0

(17-4-2, 5-3-2 Pac-10)

The Cardinal is making its second straight College Cup appearance and third in program history... Last year, Stanford lost a 3-2 four-overtime decision to eventual national champion North Carolina in the College Cup semifinals... In 1998, Stanford reached the national championship game, but lost 3-1 to Indiana... The Cardinal is 12-8-1 in all-time in nine NCAA Tournament appearances... Stanford reached the 2002 College Cup with a second-round victory over Portland (0-0, 10-9 in PK), a 2-1 decision over Furman in double-overtime in the third round and a 2-0 win over Clemson in the quarterfinals... Stanford has won five straight, its second-longest win streak of the year after beginning the season with seven straight victories... The Cardinal has surrendered just 14 goals in 23 games this season and has recorded 13 shutouts, most in the Pac-10... Head coach Bret Simon served as head coach at Creighton for six seasons prior to coming to Stanford... Simon guided the Bluejays to the most successful season in school history in 2000, a 22-4-0 overall record and second trip to the College Cup in five years... This marks Simon's third straight Final Four appearance as a head coach... SR F Roger Levesque, the 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year, paces the Conference in assists (13) and ties for fourth in points (25). SO GK Robby Fulton paces the Pac-10 with a miniscule 0.39 goals-against-average and ranks second with nine shutouts on the year.

(16-3-3, 8-2 Pac-10)

UCLA, in the midst of its 11th College Cup appearance, will try for its fourth men's soccer NCAA title this week... The storied Bruins have made 20 straight postseason trips and 30 overall... This marks UCLA's first Final Four appearance since the 1999 season and second in the last four years... The Bruins are 9-8 all-time in the College Cup, 6-4 in semifinal games and 3-3 in the championship game... UCLA reached the 2002 College Cup after wins over Loyola Marymount in the second round (4-2), Pac-10 rival California in the third round (3-2) and Penn State in the quarterfinals (7-1)... The seven goals scored against the Nittany Lions were the most ever for the Bruins in a postseason match... JR F Matt Taylor had a hand in five of UCLA's six second-half goals to finish with three goals and two assists... Unbeaten in its last six matches and winners of four in a row, UCLA fell 2-1 to Maryland last season in the only meeting between the two programs... The Bruins have scored a school-record 14 goals in their three NCAA Tournament games, more than any other squad in the 2002 NCAA Tournament... UCLA received the Pac-10's automatic NCAA bid after capturing its first-ever Pac-10 title and its first Conference crown since 1997... SR F Tim Pierce ranks second in the Pac-10 in points (31 ), goals (12) and shots (63) and leads the league lead with five game-winning goals. JR GK Zach Wells ranks second with a 0.78 goals-against-average and is tied for second with 84 saves.

2002 PAC-10 HONORS

Saunders, a senior from Lake Forest, Calif., was tremendous in front of the net this season, helping the Golden Bears to a 14-6-2 (6-3-1 in Pac-10) marker, a second-straight NCAA Tournament bid and the program's first-ever postseason win. He leads the Pac-10 in shutouts (10) and is ranked third in the Conference in goals against average (0.85 per game). Saunders is the first goalkeeper to be voted Pac-10 Player of the Year.

Note: Zaher, a midfielder from Las Vegas, Nev., died Dec. 1 due to complications from injuries sustained in a car accident. He was 18 years old. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Joe Zaher Scholarship Fund. Those wishing to make a donation should make a check payable to Jack Zaher, with a notation directing that it be put toward the Joe Zaher Scholarship Fund. Checks can be dropped off or mailed to the Oregon State men's soccer office, Gill Coliseum room 132, Corvallis, Ore., 97331.

Zaher, also named to the All-Pac-10 Second Team, helped the Beavers to a 13-8 record (4-6 Pac-10) and the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament berth. Zaher is tied for second in the Pac-10 in game-winning goals (4). He also ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in goals (10) and points (25) and is third in goals per game (0.50), shots (56) and shots per game (2.80).

Taylor, in his fourth year as head coach for the Beavers, led OSU to a 13-8 (4-6 Pac-10) record and the program's first NCAA Tournament berth. Taylor's squad is third in the Pac-10 in shots (297), second in goals (47), points (133) and goals per game (2.24). Oregon State also leads the Conference in saves (102). Taylor has put together a 30-43-1 ledger at OSU, after spending four years as an assistant at Creighton, where he helped the Bluejays reach the NCAA Tournament four times, including one trip to the NCAA Final Four in 1996.

Grimes, in his third year at the helm for the Bears, guided Cal to a 14-6-2 (6-3-1 in Pac-10) record, a second-place Pac-10 finish, a second consecutive NCAA Tournament bid and the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament win. The Bears have allowed the third-least amount of goals scored against them (19), and second in the Conference in shutouts (11). Grimes has amassed a 30-28-4 marker during his tenure in Berkeley. Prior to working at Cal, he spent three seasons as an assistant at Southern Methodist, where he helped guide the Mustangs to the three NCAA Tournament appearances.

PAC-10 VS.:
America East 2-0-0
Atlantic Coast 1-0-0
Atlantic 10 1-0-0
Big East 0-1-2
Big Sky 1-0-1
Big Ten 2-1-0
Big 12 0-0-0
Big West 4-3-0
Conference USA 2-0-1
Ivy League 1-0-0
Metro Atlantic 2-0-0
Missouri Valley 0-1-1
Mountain West 2-0-0
Southeastern 0-1-0
Southern 2-0-0
SunBelt 3-0-0
TAAC 0-0-1
Western Athletic 5-2-0
West Coast 14-4-4
Total - All 42-13-10 (.723)
Total - Div. I 42-13-10 (.723)

2000: 3 - Stanford, UCLA, Washington
2001: 4 - California, Stanford, UCLA, Washington)
2002: 4 - California, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA

Tim Pierce, Sr F, UCLA, 9-29-02
Alan Gordon, Jr F, OSU, 11-10-02

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