UCLA Hosts Stanford, Cal In Key Pac-10 Conference Games

Oct. 24, 2006

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This Week -- The UCLA men's soccer team (9-4-2, 4-2-1 in the Pac-10, ranked No. 14 by Soccer America and No. 18 by the NSCAA) will host Stanford (6-6-3, 4-2-1 in the Pac-10) and California (11-3-1, 6-1-0, ranked No. 11 by Soccer America and No. 6 by the NSCAA) in a pair of key Pac-10 Conference games this weekend at Frank W. Marshall Field at Drake Stadium. The Bruins will first take on Stanford on Friday, Oct. 27 at approximately 8 pm. The game will take place following the UCLA women's soccer game against Washington, which kicks off at 6 pm. The winner of the UCLA-Stanford game will take over sole possession of second place in the Pac-10. The two teams are currently tied for second place with 13 points. On Sunday, Oct. 29, after the third-ranked UCLA women host Washington State at 12 pm, the UCLA men will play host to Pac-10 leader California at 2:30 pm. A pair of wins by the Bruins, coupled with a Cal loss or tie to San Diego State on Friday would put UCLA in first place in the Pac-10.

Live Coverage -- All of this weekend's games will be audio broadcast on uclabruins.com, with live stats also provided.

Game Promotions -- Present your ticket stub from UCLA's game on Friday, Oct. 27 vs. Stanford at the main gate of Drake Stadium and receive free admission to UCLA's match on Sunday, Oct. 29 vs. California. Sunday's game is also Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day and UCLA Recreation Card Holders Day. UCLA Faculty & Staff presenting their BruinCard or pay stub at the main gate are invited to receive four (4) free admissions to this game, as are UCLA Recreation Card Holders who present their UCLA Recreation card at the main gate.

In The Rankings -- UCLA ranks No. 14 in the Soccer America poll, No. 18 in the NSCAA poll, No. 10 in Soccer Times and No. 13 in College Soccer News. California ranks No. 6 in the NSCAA poll, No. 14 in Soccer America, and No. 7 in Soccer Times and College Soccer News.

Crucial Weekend In Pac-10 Race -- California remains in first place in the Pac-10 standings with 18 points, while UCLA and Stanford are tied for second with 13 points apiece. San Diego State is fourth with 11 points. Washington and Oregon State have been mathematically eliminated from the conference race. The four teams still in the hunt still have three Pac-10 games left and a maximum of nine points to earn. A pair of Cal victories this weekend will clinch the conference title for the Golden Bears.

Zizzo, McClung Out For Stanford Game -- Starters Sal Zizzo and Kiel McClung picked up costly penalties in Sunday's game at Washington, forcing them to sit out Friday's game against Stanford. Zizzo was shown a red card in the closing minutes of the game, and McClung is out due to yellow card accumulation.

Scouting the Cardinal -- The Stanford defense has been solid this season, posting a team goals against average of 0.89. Goalkeeper John Moore has recorded four shutouts with a 0.88 GAA. Galen Thompson leads the team in scoring with 10 points (3g, 4a), while Evan Morgan is the team leader in goals scored with four.

Prior Matchups -- UCLA is 34-2-5 all-time against Stanford and is unbeaten in 13 straight matchups against the Cardinal. Stanford has not beaten UCLA since Oct. 8, 2000, when the Cardinal claimed a 1-0 win in Palo Alto. The two teams tied 1-1 in the Sept. 24 contest at Stanford. Kyle Hency scored the game's first goal for Stanford just before halftime, but UCLA defender Kiel McClung evened the score in the 78th minute.

Scouting the Golden Bears -- Cal has won 10 of its last 11 games, including five straight. Four of its last five wins have come via shutout. The Golden Bears are led offensively by Javier Ayala-Hil, who has scored six goals and 14 points. Goalkeeper Justin Myers has posted a 0.50 goals against average that ranks seventh nationally and also has recorded six shutouts.

Prior Matchups -- UCLA is 31-8-4 all-time against California and has won seven straight home games against the Golden Bears. Cal's last win in Westwood came in 1996, a 2-1 overtime victory. The Golden Bears took the last meeting, 3-1, in Berkeley on Sept. 22 in a game that saw two Bruin starters go down with serious injuries. The Bruins' leading scorer Maxwell Griffin went down in the fourth minute with a torn ACL, and midfielder Tony Beltran left after 20 minutes with an ankle injury that forced an arthroscopy a week later, putting him out 6-8 weeks.

Last Time Out -- The Bruins earned a split up in the Pacific Northwest last week, taking down Oregon State, 3-0, on Oct. 20 before falling to Washington, 2-0, on Oct. 22. Jason Leopoldo scored two goals for the Bruins in the Oregon State game, and David Estrada had the game-winner plus an assist. Goalkeeper Eric Reed picked up the shutout, his third of the year.

Bruins Overcome Injuries, Rough Start -- Since starting the season 0-2-1, UCLA has gone 9-2-1 with wins in five of its last six games. The Bruins have played arguably the toughest schedule in the nation, with 10 of 15 games against ranked opponents, and they have responded, handing three Top 10 teams (Santa Clara, San Francisco and Washington) their first losses of the season. UCLA is 3-3-1 in games against Top 10 opponents, with the three losses coming on the road and two coming against Top 3 squads Maryland and Virginia. All of the Bruins' success this season has come despite a bad rash of injuries that has plagued the team since the Spring. First, all-conference defender Brandon Owens went down with a torn ACL during the spring season. Then in pre-season training, defender Edwige Ligonde suffered a stress fracture in his left leg. Freshman forward Robert Georgiefski tore his left ACL and medial meniscus in an exhibition game on Aug. 20. Leading scorer Maxwell Griffin tore his left ACL in the third minute of action at Cal on Sept. 22. Starting midfielder Tony Beltran also went down in that game and underwent a right ankle arthroscopy on Sept. 29 that put him out 6-8 weeks. Freshman defender Chance Myers missed three games after spraining an ankle in the Washington game on Sept. 29.

Freshmen Making Significant Contributions -- UCLA's 12-man freshman class has jumped into the fray with both feet this season. Midfielder Kyle Nakazawa has started in all 15 games and ranks fifth on the team in scoring with eight points (2g, 4a). Midfielder Michael Stephens has started in the last 13 games and has seen action in all 15. He has recorded one goal and two assists on the year. Defender Chance Myers has played in 12 games with four starts and also has two assists. Midfielder James Jaramillo has broken into the starting lineup in the last seven games and scored the game-winning goal in double overtime against Washington. Forward David Estrada has played in 14 games with four starts and is tied for third on the team in goals scored with four and ranks fourth in scoring with 10 points. Midfielder Andrew Sinderhoff has logged three starts and played in 12 games, recording his first collegiate goal against Oakland. Goalkeeper Brian Perk has posted a 0.90 GAA in four starts with a record of 3-0-1. Defender Patrick Rickards has played in five games, while Ryan White and Danny Suits have each played in four games.

Perk Makes Second In-Season Trip With U-20s -- Freshman goalkeeper Brian Perk earned his second call-up to the U.S. Under-20 National Team this season, joining the squad for a four-day training camp in Florida from Oct. 8-12 and a game against Haiti on Oct. 11. Perk, the youngest player in the camp (just turned 17 on July 21), made the start in the Haiti game, playing 45 shutout minutes. He was previously called up to play with the U-20s at the Busan International Tournament in Korea from Aug. 25-Sept. 2. He recorded two caps when he got the start against both Korea and Argentina. Perk earned the victory against Argentina, allowing just one late goal while making five saves. Perk now has 20 career caps with the U-17s, U-18s and U-20s.

Zizzo Named 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 men's watch list, earned All-Freshman national honors and second-team All-Pac-10 acclaim in 2005. He is currently leading the team in scoring with 12 points (2 goals, 8 assists) and is tied for 15th nationally in assists per game (0.53).

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