Top-Ranked Bruin Soccer Team Hosts Rutgers On Halloween
Oct. 27, 2003
This Week - The top-ranked UCLA men's soccer team (14-1-0, 7-0-0 in the Pac-10 Conference) will host Rutgers (8-4-3) at Frank W. Marshall Field at Drake Stadium on Friday, Oct. 31 at 7 pm.
Scouting the Scarlet Knights - Rutgers is led by senior forward Josh Gros, one of the nation's leading scorers with 12 goals and 29 points. The Scarlet Knights have two other players in double figure scoring - Guatemala National Team member Ricardo Arenas (seven goals, 15 points) and Chris Karcz (six goals, 14 points). Rutgers has played the same amount of games as UCLA but has logged 93 minutes more than the Bruins due to seven overtime games. UCLA has yet to face overtime this year.
The Series With Rutgers - UCLA leads the overall series, 4-1-1, and played to a 1-1 tie on the road last season. After a Tim Pierce goal put UCLA up 1-0 in the 60th minute, Josh Gros scored his first career goal by kicking in a rebounded shot to equalize at the 87:57 mark. UCLA and Rutgers met for the 1990 NCAA Championship, which UCLA won in penalty kicks. Current Bruin assistant coach Jorge Salcedo was the hero of that game. Then a freshman, he scored the decisive penalty kick to bring UCLA its second national championship.
Bruins Make It 12 In A Row After Bay Area Sweep - UCLA completed the season sweep of the Bay Area schools with road wins over Stanford (2-0) and California (1-0) last weekend. Chad Barrett and Mike Enfield scored for the Bruins, and Matt Taylor had two assists in the win over Stanford, UCLA's sixth consecutive shutout against the Cardinal. Against Cal, freshman Kiel McClung notched his third goal of the year in the 11th minute to account for the game's only score. The Bruins' win was their 12th consecutive, the third-longest streak in school history. The 1970 Bruins won 16 straight games to set the school record.
Barrett Putting Up Freshman of the Year Numbers - There have been no freshman growing pains for forward Chad Barrett, who has made a very strong case for Freshman of the Year honors. The Beaverton, Ore. native has totaled seven goals, eight assists and 22 points on a very talented and veteran-led UCLA squad. Barrett ranks second on the team in all three scoring categories and has already put up the best scoring numbers by a UCLA freshman since McKinley Tennyson Jr. scored 23 points in 1997.
More Shutouts For the Defense - The Bruin defense, labeled by College Soccer News as one of the Top 5 in the nation, earned its 10th and 11th shutout of the season last weekend. UCLA has allowed just six goals this year for a team goals against average of 0.40 and has shut 10 of the last 12 opponents. The defense received a boost last weekend with the return of senior captain Tony Lawson from injury.
High-Powered Offense - UCLA has scored 38 goals this season to rank first in the Pac-10 in scoring offense. In their last five games alone, the Bruins have scored 15 goals. Leading the charge is senior Matt Taylor, who ranks amongst the nation's leaders with 13 goals in just 14 games played. Freshman Chad Barrett has scored seven goals with eight assists, and senior Adolfo Gregorio has provided a team-high 10 assists.
Wells On His Way To A School Record - Senior goalkeeper Zach Wells is on pace to break UCLA's school record for single-season goals against average. Wells currently has compiled a 0.36 GAA with just five goals allowed and eight solo shutouts in 1235 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 241 and has a chance of passing all-time leader Nistl, who totaled 261 saves from 1986-89. Wells also moved into fifth on the career shutouts list with 24 and on the career victories list with 43.
Schedule Change - The date of the regular season finale against Fresno State has been moved to Saturday, Nov. 15 at 7 pm at Drake Stadium.
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 14 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 15 games. Although Matt Taylor has scored nearly half of the team's goals (13 out of 38), 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.