No. 1 UCLA Plays Stanford, Cal For Second-Straight Week
Oct. 20, 2003
This Week - The defending NCAA Champion UCLA men's soccer team (12-1-0, 5-0-0 in the Pac-10 Conference, ranked No. 1 in the nation) will play Stanford (2-10-2, 0-5-0) and California (6-6-2, 2-2-1) for the second consecutive week, this time up in the Bay Area. The Bruins will try to defeat Stanford twice in one week when the two teams meet up at Maloney Field on Friday, Oct. 24 at 7 pm. UCLA and Cal play on Sunday, Oct. 26 at Edwards Stadium at 2 pm.
Scouting the Cardinal - Stanford's woes continued this weekend after being swept by Fresno State (2-0) and UCLA (3-0). Last year's NCAA runner-up has won just once in its last 13 games, a 4-1 victory over UC Irvine, and has not scored in its last four games. The Cardinal has scored just 10 goals on the year, and Matt Janusz has three of those goals to lead the team.
The Series With Stanford - UCLA leads the overall series, 30-2-4, and has won the last four in a row, all shutouts. The Bruins have shut out Stanford in five straight contests. All three games last year were won by a score of 1-0, the biggest win of course coming in the NCAA Championship game. Aaron Lopez scored the game's only goal with 1:02 remaining on the clock. In the first game between the two teams last year, Jimmy Frazelle scored the game-winner in overtime, and in the road game up at Stanford, Cliff McKinley scored the game-winning goal late in the game.
Bruins Shut Down Cardinal, 3-0 - A rematch of the 2002 NCAA Championship game between UCLA and Stanford ended up in UCLA's favor once again as top-ranked UCLA defeated the Cardinal, 3-0. The Bruins scored three first-half goals to put the game away early. Matt Taylor and Adolfo Gregorio each had a goal and an assist, and Bruin keepers Zach Wells and Eric Reed were hardly tested in the shared shutout. UCLA outshot Stanford, 23-5, with all of Stanford's shots coming in the first half.
Scouting the Golden Bears - Cal salvaged a split this weekend with a 2-0 win at Fresno State. Carl Acosta continues to lead the Bears in scoring with eight goals and 17 points. Mike Munoz is also in double-figure scoring with 10 points on three goals and four assists.
The Series With Cal - UCLA leads the overall series, 27-7-3, and have scored seven goals in the last two victories. Matt Taylor has scored four goals against Cal in the last four contests, scoring a goal in the regular season home win last year and in the NCAA playoff victory and tallying two goals in last Friday's victory.
Bruins Outslug Cal, 4-2 - In a back-and-forth match Friday night, UCLA outslugged California, 4-2, behind a two-goal, one-assist performance from senior forward Matt Taylor and a three-assist night from senior midfielder Adolfo Gregorio. Cal twice came back from one-goal deficits to tie the game, then Taylor's 62nd minute goal, a 30-yard shot around the keeper that rolled into an empty net, put UCLA up for good. Jordan Harvey added an insurance goal in the 69th minute for the final score.
Taylor Named National Player of the Week - After totaling three goals and two assists in victories over Cal and Stanford, Matt Taylor was named the College Soccer News National Player of the Week. Taylor scored the game-winners in both games and has now moved into fifth on UCLA's all-time list for career game-winning goals with 12. He has scored a goal in four consecutive games, one shy of the school record, and tied the school mark Friday with his fourth multiple-goal game this season.
Stingy Defense - The Bruin defense, labeled by College Soccer News as one of the Top 5 in the nation, has been nearly impenetrable this season. UCLA has allowed just six goals this year for a team goals against average of 0.46 and has shut out a total of nine opponents, including eight of the last 10. Senior goalkeeper Zach Wells has six solo shutouts and a GAA of 0.43.
High-Powered Offense - UCLA has scored 35 goals this season to rank first in the Pac-10 in scoring offense. In their last three games alone, the Bruins have scored 12 goals. Leading the charge is senior Matt Taylor, who ranks amongst the nation's leaders with 13 goals in just 12 games played. Freshman Chad Barrett has scored six goals with eight assists, and senior Adolfo Gregorio has provided a team-high 10 assists.
Wells Nearly Untouchable In 2003 - Senior goalkeeper Zach Wells is on pace to break UCLA's school record for single-season goals against average. Wells currently has compiled a 0.43 GAA with just five goals allowed and six solo shutouts in 1055 minutes of action. All-American Anton Nistl set the school mark in 1989 and 1986 with a GAA of 0.53 and recorded a school-record 16 shutouts in 1989. Wells has moved into third on UCLA's career saves list with 238 and has a good chance of passing all-time leader Nistl, who totaled 261 saves from 1986-89. Wells also moved into a tie for fifth on the career shutouts list with 22, tying his former goalkeeping coach David Vanole (1981-85), and on the career victories list with 41.
Dynamic Duo - The dynamic duo of senior forward Matt Taylor and freshman forward Chad Barrett has combined to score 19 of UCLA's 35 goals this season. Taylor leads the team in goals scored with 13 and in points with 29. Barrett has scored six goals with eight assists for a total of 20 points.
Deep Bench - One of the biggest reasons why UCLA has been so hard to stop this year is the depth of its roster. A total of 20 players have started at least one game this season, including 13 who have started at least six games. Only three players - goalkeeper Zach Wells, defender Leonard Griffin and defensive midfielder Aaron Lopez - have started in all 13 games. Although Matt Taylor has scored over half of the team's goals (13 out of 35), a total of 11 different players have scored, making UCLA's attack more than just one-pronged. In the 5-0 victory over Fresno State Oct. 12, all 25 suited players saw action.
Gregorio, Lopez Named To M.A.C. Hermann Watch List - Senior midfielder Adolfo Gregorio and junior defender/midfielder Aaron Lopez have been selected to the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy 'Watch List' of players considered among the top candidates for the 2003 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann trophy. Gregorio is a two-time first-team All-Pac-10 selection and a Soccer America pre-season All-American who ranks amongst the nation's leaders in assists per game with 10 assists in 12 games. Lopez was UCLA's Team MVP in 2002 and the Offensive MVP of the 2002 College Cup after scoring the game-winning goal with 1:02 remaining in the title match.
Head Coach Tom Fitzgerald - NSCAA National Coach of the Year Tom Fitzgerald enters his second year as UCLA head coach. Fitzgerald has established lofty standards for himself at UCLA, becoming the first NCAA Division I coach to win an undisputed national championship in his first year with the program. He also became just the third coach to win NCAA titles in both Division I and Division II. Fitzgerald coached the University of Tampa to the NCAA Division II title in 1994 and was the head coach for Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew from 1996-2001.