UCLA Travels East To Face Pair Of Top 5 Ranked Opponents

Aug. 29, 2006

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This Week -- The UCLA men's soccer team (0-0-1) will face two Top 5 teams on the road this weekend when it travels to Maryland (2-0-0) and Virginia (2-0-0). First up is a Friday, Sept. 1 contest against defending NCAA champion Maryland in College Park, MD. The game will be televised live on CSTV at 8 pm. On Sunday, Sept. 3, the Bruins will travel to Charlottesville, VA to take on the Cavaliers at 7 pm.

Live Coverage -- Friday's UCLA-Maryland game will be televised live on CSTV. Maryland will also be providing live stats at umterps.com. Virginia will provide live stats for Sunday's contest at virginiasports.com.

In The Rankings -- UCLA is ranked No. 6 in Soccer America's weekly poll, No. 5 in the College Soccer News rankings and No. 7 in the Soccer Times rankings. The NSCAA pre-season rankings have UCLA ranked 10th, with the next poll coming in a week. Maryland is No. 1 in the NSCAA pre-season poll and in the Soccer Times and College Soccer News polls, as well as fourth in the Soccer America poll. Virginia ranks third in the Soccer America poll and fourth in the NSCAA pre-season poll and in this week's Soccer Times and College Soccer News polls.

Soccer Powers Collide -- This weekend's games will pit national powerhouses on both Friday and Sunday. UCLA, Maryland and Virginia have combined to win 10 NCAA titles. UCLA won its national championships in 1985, 1990, 1997 and 2002. Maryland won its first in 2005 but has been to the College Cup four consecutive years. Virginia won NCAA titles in 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994.

Zizzo Selected To M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List -- Sophomore midfielder Sal Zizzo has been selected as one of 25 student-athletes named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List. Zizzo is a member of the U.S. Under-20 National Team that advanced to the finals of the 2006 Milk Cup in August. Last season, he earned Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors after leading all conference rookies with five assists and seven points. Zizzo, who is one of just three underclassmen on the menfs watch list, earned All-Freshman national honors and second-team All-Pac-10 acclaim in 2005.

Reed Named To Pre-Season All-America Team -- Senior goalkeeper Eric Reed has been selected to the College Soccer News pre-season All-America third team. Reed had a successful 2005 season, recording a 0.60 goals against average, which ranked sixth in the nation, and earning 12 shutouts, the third-most in school history. He flirted with the NCAA record for lowest goals against average late in the season, posting as low as a 0.21 GAA in the first week of November. He also earned first-team All-Pac-10, third-team All-Far West and first-team Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Season honors. Reed continued that high level of play in the Premier Developmental League (PDL) this summer, earning PDL Goalkeeper of the Year honors after posting a league-low 0.62 goals against average.

Scouting the Terrapins -- Maryland won its first NCAA title last season in its fourth consecutive trip to the College Cup. The Terrapins lose its all-time leading goal scorer (60 goals) in Jason Garey, plus 2005 Freshman All-American Robbie Rogers, who signed a professional contract to play in the Dutch Premier League, but return U.S. Under-20 National Team goalkeeper Chris Seitz, who was the Defensive MVP of the College Cup last year. Maryland opened the season with a 2-0 win at 23rd-ranked Old Dominion and a 3-0 home victory over Binghamton.

Prior Matchups -- The all-time series between the two teams is knotted at 2-2. This will be the fifth time UCLA and Maryland have met in the last six years. The Bruins won the last matchup in convincing fashion on Sept. 4, 2005, routing Maryland at UCLA, 4-0. Maxwell Griffin scored the game-winner in the seventh minute, and Sal Zizzo added a goal and two assists. Eric Reed posted the shutout but was hardly tested, facing just seven shots, none of which were on goal. Maryland won in 2003, 1-0, in front of a record crowd of 6,143. The teams met in the College Cup semifinals in 2002, with UCLA winning, 2-1, to advance to the championship game, which the Bruins won over Stanford. The first meeting between the two teams resulted in a 2-1 double overtime victory by Maryland in 2001 at the Virginia Classic.

Scouting the Cavaliers -- Virginia advanced to the Round of 16 last season and finished with a 12-5-3 overall record. Sophomore forward Yannick Reyering, who scored 14 goals in 2005, is one of 25 players named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List. He is also a Soccer America pre-season All-American. The Cavaliers earned a pair of 1-0 home victories this past weekend, defeating Davidson on a Reyering penalty kick, and downing UC Santa Barbara on a Jeremy Barlow second-half goal.

Prior Matchups -- UCLA leads the all-time series against Virginia, 5-1-1. The teams last met at the Maryland Classic in 2003, with the Bruins winning, 4-0. The last time UCLA and Virginia met in Charlottesville was in 2001, and the teams tied, 2-2. Current UCLA assistant coach David Comfort was between the pipes for the Cavaliers in that game. Virginia's only victory in the series came in 1988 at the UNLV Tournament, a 3-0 win.

Thousand Oaks Teammates Reunite -- Former Thousand Oaks High School teammates Jason Leopoldo, Chance Myers and Chris Seitz will reunite on the field on Friday at Maryland. Bruins Leopoldo and Myers and Terrapin goalkeeper Seitz were teammates on the 2004 and 2005 CIF championship squads, and Leopoldo and Seitz were also club teammates at SoCal United, which won the 2003 U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship.

Perk Called Up To U-20 National Team -- Freshman goalkeeper Brian Perk has been called up to play with the U.S. Under-20 National Team at the Busan International Tournament in Korea. The Tournament runs from Aug. 25-Sept. 2, so Perk will not return to Westwood until next week.

All The Comforts Of Home -- First-year assistant coach David Comfort will return to his alma mater on Sunday when UCLA faces Virginia. Comfort played at Virginia from 1999-2002 and still ranks third in Virginia history with 193 career saves and fourth with 19 solo shutouts. His career goals against average of 0.98 ranks seventh all-time, and he is second amongst all Virginia goalkeepers in minutes played with 5,442. He earned honorable mention All-America honors and second-team All-State acclaim in 2001 after posting nine shutouts with a 14-2-1 record. Comfort was an all-state, all-region and all-district honoree at Monacan HS in Richmond, VA.

Bruins, Matadors Tie In Season Opener -- UCLA and Cal State Northridge played to a 1-1 tie in both teams' season opener on Aug. 26 at UCLA's Frank W. Marshall Field. Northridge struck first in the ninth minute on a Ryan Rossi goal, but Bruin junior midfielder Greg Folk made his first career goal a memorable one, tying up the game in the 26th minute. The two teams created good scoring opportunities in the second half and overtime periods but were unable to break the tie. In the final 10 seconds of the match, UCLA goalkeeper Eric Reed leaped up to knock away a last-second shot by Rossi.

About The Bruins -- UCLA brings a new-look squad to the field in 2006, with 13 newcomers amongst its 26-man roster. Leading the returning players are all-conference stand-outs Eric Reed (first-team All-Pac-10), Sal Zizzo (second-team All-Pac-10 and 2005 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year), Brandon Owens (second-team All-Pac-10) and Brad Rusin (honorable mention All-Pac-10), as well as top returning scorer Maxwell Griffin (4 goals, 2 assists). UCLA's incoming class is rated No. 1 in the nation thanks to the addition of seven current or former U.S. Youth National Team players. Leading the newcomers are Under-17 National Team starter Kyle Nakazawa and Under-20 National Team starter Tony Beltran, who each earned a spot in the starting lineup for UCLA's season opener. These players will need to fill in the shoes of departed players Marvell Wynne, Patrick Ianni, Jonathan Bornstein, Jordan Harvey (MLS) and Kamani Hill (not enrolled Fall Quarter; plans to re-enroll in the Winter Quarter). Owens is also out of commission to start the season after tearing his ACL in the spring season, and junior defender Edwige Ligonde and freshman defender Chance Myers suffered injuries early in pre-season training. Ligonde is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his left leg, while Myers saw limited action (17 minutes) in the Bruins' opener last week. The latest Bruin to join the injured list is freshman Robert Georgiefski, who tore his left ACL and medial meniscus on Aug. 20 in an exhibition game and is out of the season.

Coming Up -- The Bruins will conclude a stretch in which they face four consecutive teams that advanced to the NCAA Round of 16 when they travel to New Mexico for the Crescent Financial Solutions Invitational Sept. 8-10. UCLA will first face 2005 NCAA finalist New Mexico on Sept. 8 at 7 pm MT. On Sept. 10, the Bruins will play Oakland University at 12:30 pm PT. Also in the Invitational is Cal State Northridge.

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