UCLA Men's Soccer Wins National Championship

Dec. 15, 2002

DALLAS (AP) - UCLA scored with two minutes left Sunday and again beatStanford 1-0, this time to win the men's NCAA soccer championship.

Defenseman Aaron Lopez knocked in a free kick from midfielder Ryan Futagakiwith one touch into the right corner of the goal in the 88th minute of the NCAACollege Cup.

This was the third meeting between UCLA (18-3-3) and Stanford (18-5-2) thisseason. The Bruins won all three meetings by 1-0 scores.

Most of Sunday's game with played without one team clearly dominating theother.

The championship game closely mirrored their two regular-season matchupsbetween the Bruins and Stanford, when the games weren't decided until the finalmoments.

In the first game, UCLA won on Jimmy Frazelle's goal in overtime. In thesecond game, UCLA won on Cliff McKinley's goal in the 77th minute.

Both teams played strong defense Sunday, denying several scoring chances forboth the Bruins and the Cardinal.

Futagaki rocketed off a strong shot from 25 yards out in the 31st minutethat ricocheted off the left goalpost.

Stanford also had several chances, most notably Taylor Graham's header inthe sixth minute of the game.

UCLA coach Tom Fitzgerald knew his team would struggle against the biggerStanford players.

'Stanford is very dangerous on set pieces and crossing balls. It will bedifficult to match up with them due to size, but our athleticism will make upfor that,' he said Saturday.

Graham almost headed in the corner kick from midfielder Johanes Maliza. At6-foot-4, Graham had a height advantage over shorter Bruin defenders. Graham's header was knocked down and kicked away by Frazelle, who wasguarding the right post.

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