No. 1 Seed UCLA Hosts Florida International In NCAA 3rd Round
Nov. 29, 2003
UCLA vs. Florida International - The No. 1 seed and top-ranked UCLA men's soccer team (19-1-1) takes another step closer to a repeat championship with a third round NCAA matchup against Florida International (14-4-3) on Sunday, Nov. 30. The game will take place at UCLA's Drake Stadium at 1 pm. Tickets are $8 for adults/$6 for youth/students.
Bruins Seeded No. 1 - As the top-ranked team in the nation and the national leader in winning percentage (0.929), UCLA earned the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and received a first-round bye. It is the first time that the Bruins have been seeded No. 1 since the NCAA began seeding teams in 1994.
Internet Broadcast - UCLA will broadcast Sunday's game live on the internet at www.uclabruins.com. Craig Dunkin and former Bruin star Tayt Ianni will call the action.
Looking Ahead - The winner of Sunday's game will move on to the quarterfinals to play the winner of the Indiana/Virginia Commonwealth third round game. If UCLA wins its third round game, the quarterfinal game will take place at Drake Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 7:00 pm. Ticket prices for that game are $9 for adults and $7 for youth/students.
Bruins Reach Tournament For 21st Straight Year - UCLA's selection to the NCAA Tournament is its 21st consecutive and 31st overall. UCLA's NCAA streak is the second-longest active streak in the nation, and the 31 NCAA appearances are second only to Saint Louis' 42. UCLA has won national championships in 1985, 1990, 1997 and 2002. The Bruins' all-time NCAA record is 53-27.
UCLA vs. Tournament Field - The Bruins hold an 11-1-1 record versus the 48-team tournament field in 2003. UCLA's victories came against No. 10 seed Washington (twice), No. 13 seed Loyola Marymount, Oregon State (twice), California (twice), Portland, Virginia and Rutgers. The Bruins also have a tie against 14th-seeded San Diego. UCLA's lone loss came against No. 2 seed Maryland on Sept. 5.
A Look At The Golden Panthers - Florida International has won two games in the NCAA Tournament to reach the third round. FIU started with a 2-0 first round victory over Central Florida and then defeated Cal State Northridge in the second round, 5-4 in penalty kicks after a 1-1 decision in overtime.
The Series Between UCLA-FIU - UCLA leads the overall series with Florida International, 2-1-1, and defeated the Golden Panthers 1-0 in overtime at Cal State Fullerton in 2002. Jimmy Frazelle scored the game-winner for the Bruins in that game in the 95th minute. FIU's last win came in 1999 at home, 1-0 in overtime.
UCLA Downs Tulsa, 3-2 In Second Round - After falling behind 1-0 at the half, UCLA came back to score three second-half goals to win its second round matchup against Tulsa, 3-2. UCLA equalized in the 53rd minute on a Matt Taylor goal from an Adolfo Gregorio free kick, and Ryan Valdez scored the go-ahead goal in the 56th minute. Tulsa came back to tie in the 67th minute, but UCLA regained the lead for good in the 81st minute on a Dru Hoshimiya header from a Gregorio corner kick.
Bruins Capture Second Straight Pac-10 Title - UCLA breezed through Pac-10 Conference play, recording the first perfect conference mark in the Pac-10's history. The Bruins clinched their second straight Pac-10 Conference title after a 5-0 victory over second-place Oregon State on Nov. 9.
UCLA Posts 37th Consecutive Winning Record - With another winning season in the books, the Bruins have tied the NCAA record for consecutive winning seasons, held by Saint Louis (37 consecutive from 1959-1996). UCLA has posted 37 straight from 1967-present. The Bruins have 14 more years of winning seasons from 1953-1966, but soccer was not an NCAA sport at UCLA at the time.
Wells On His Way To The Record Books - Senior goalkeeper Zach Wells is still on pace to break UCLA's school record for single-season goals against average. Wells currently has compiled a 0.47 GAA with just nine goals allowed and 10 solo shutouts in 1717 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. With four saves, Wells set a new school record for career saves with 263, surpassing All-American Anton Nistl, who totaled 261 saves from 1986-89. Wells also moved into fifth on the career shutouts list with 26 and has tied Tim Harris (1980-83) for second place on the career victories list with 48. Wells' 19 victories this year ties Nick Rimando's school record, set in 1999. With his career goals against average now at 0.70, Wells is currently fifth on the UCLA career list. Friedel holds the school record with 0.60.
More Shutouts For the Defense - The Bruin defense, labeled by College Soccer News as one of the Top 5 in the nation, earned its 15th shutout of the season in the regular season finale with a 1-0 victory over Fresno State. UCLA has allowed just 10 goals this year for a team goals against average of 0.47 and has shut 14 of the last 17 opponents.
Bruins Sweep Pac-10 Awards - Pac-10 champions UCLA swept the conference awards and placed nine players on the all-conference team, as senior forward Matt Taylor earned Player of the Year honors, forward Chad Barrett shared Co-Freshman of the Year acclaim, and Tom Fitzgerald was chosen the Coach of the Year. Taylor becomes UCLA's first conference player of the year since Sasha Victorine in 1999. Barrett is the Bruins' first Freshman of the Year since Alex Yi in 2000, and Fitzgerald becomes UCLA's first conference coach of the year since 1997. In addition to Taylor, Adolfo Gregorio (for the third consecutive year), Leonard Griffin, Brandon Owens and Zach Wells were named to the All-Pac-10 first team. Barrett, Aaron Lopez and Ty Maurin were selected to the second team, and Dru Hoshimiya earned honorable mention acclaim.
Gregorio, Lopez Chosen As M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Candidates - Senior midfielder Adolfo Gregorio and junior defensive midfielder Aaron Lopez are among 15 candidates for the 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 12 assists in 20 games. Lopez's defensive efforts have enabled UCLA to rank amongst the stingiest backlines of all-time, recording a team goals against average of 0.47. 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.
Wells, Hoshimiya Earn Academic Honors - Seniors Zach Wells and Dru Hoshimiya have proven themselves to be winners on and off the pitch. The duo was selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII and the Pac-10 All-Academic first teams. In addition, Wells was announced as a second team Academic All-American, becoming only the second Bruin soccer player ever to earn this honor. Wells has compiled a cumulative GPA of 3.22 in American Literature & Culture, while Hoshimiya has a 3.46 GPA in Sociology. On the field, they have been key components to UCLA's second-ranked defense. Wells has allowed only seven goals in 1627 minutes. Hoshimiya, who moved from central midfielder to sweeper after an injury to team captain Tony Lawson, has been outstanding in the back and has contributed well offensively, scoring three goals, including the game-winner against Tulsa in the NCAA second round. Matt Taylor and Dru Hoshimiya also earned honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic acclaim.
A Barrett Balanced Attack - Freshman forward Chad Barrett, the Pac-10 Co-Freshman of the Year, has not only scored the goals for UCLA, but set up the goals as well. Barrett has scored nine goals and recorded eight assists for a total of 26 points, the most by a Bruin freshman since Joe-Max Moore had 32 in 1990. The Beaverton, Ore. native ranks second on the team in all three scoring categories.
High-Powered Offense - UCLA has scored 52 goals this season to rank first in the Pac-10 in scoring offense. In their last 11 games alone, the Bruins have scored 29 goals. Leading the charge is senior Matt Taylor, who ranks amongst the nation's leaders with 14 goals in 20 games played. Freshman Chad Barrett has scored nine goals with eight assists, and senior Adolfo Gregorio has provided a team-high 12 assists to go along with four goals. Junior midfielder Mike Enfield has established career-high numbers with three goals and seven assists for 13 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 14 who have started at least six games. Only two players - goalkeeper Zach Wells and defender Leonard Griffin - have started in all 21 games. Although Matt Taylor and Chad Barrett have 23 goals between them, UCLA's offensive attack has been more than just two-pronged. A total of 14 different players have scored, and 12 have scored two goals or more.
National Team Duty Pulls Harvey during Post-Season - Sophomore defender Jordan Harvey will miss most of the post-season while playing for the U.S. Under-20 National Team at the World Youth Championships in the United Arab Emirates. The Championships, which were postponed in the Spring due to the war in the Middle East, run from Nov. 27-Dec. 19. Harvey has come on strong as of late, scoring two goals in the last three games. He is tied for third on the team with four goals and ranks fifth in scoring with 10 points.
Head Coach Tom Fitzgerald - 2003 Pac-10 Coach of the Year and 2002 NSCAA National Coach of the Year Tom 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 in 2002. 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.