Bruin Soccer Team Travels North For First Pac-10 Road Trip
Oct. 7, 2008
This Week -- The UCLA men's soccer team (2-3-5, 0-0-1 in the Pac-10 and riding a five-game unbeaten streak) will hit the road for its first Pac-10 road matches this weekend. The Bruins will first play at No. 6/9 California (6-1-3, 1-0-1 in the Pac-10) on Friday, Oct. 10 at 4 pm before heading to Stanford (2-5-2, 0-1-1) on Sunday, Oct. 12 for a 2:30 pm matchup.
Live Coverage -- A free live video feed and Gametracker live stats will be available for Sunday's game at Stanford at gostanford.com.
Pac-10 Rivalry Brewin' -- UCLA and Cal have been building up a good rivalry in the past few years, with the two teams being the only Pac-10 schools to win the conference title in the last six seasons. UCLA won four straight from 2002-2005, and Cal has reeled off two straight Pac-10 titles in 2006 and 2007. Cal is the only ranked team in the Pac-10 this season and currently holds a share of the conference lead with a 1-0-1 record. UCLA is close behind with a 0-0-1 mark.
Scouting The Golden Bears -- Cal, who is ranked No. 6 in the NSCAA poll and No. 9 in the Soccer America poll, will be the sixth Top 20 team UCLA has faced this season. The Golden Bears are led by Pac-10 points leader Andrew Weideman, who has tallied five goals and four assists this year, Pac-10 assists leader Hector Jimenez, who has six assists, and All-American goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who holds a 0.66 goals against average with four shutouts on the year.
UCLA's History With California -- UCLA leads the all-time series with the Golden Bears, 32-10-4. The two teams split the season series last year, with the Bruins winning 1-0 on an 88th minute goal by Maxwell Griffin and the Bears winning 3-1 in Berkeley. The matchups between UCLA and Cal have been high-scoring affairs in recent years. In the last 10 meetings, the teams have combined to score 35 goals (19 by UCLA, 16 by Cal).
Scouting The Cardinal -- Stanford snapped a four-game losing streak on Sunday with a 1-1 tie at Oregon State. The Cardinal has allowed just nine goals on the year to rank second in the Pac-10, but the offense has not cooperated, scoring just six goals in nine games. Last season's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Bobby Warshaw has scored half of the team's goals. Tom Montgomery has two goals, and Cullen Wilson one. Goalkeeper John Moore holds a 0.95 goals against average.
UCLA's History With Stanford -- UCLA is 34-3-7 all-time against Stanford. The Cardinal snapped UCLA's 15-game unbeaten streak last November 2 with a 2-1 win in Palo Alto. It was Stanford's first win against the Bruins since Oct. 8, 2000. Three of the last four meetings between the two teams have resulted in ties. UCLA's last win in the series came on Nov. 4, 2005 at Stanford, with the Bruins winning 1-0 in overtime on a Maxwell Griffin goal at 91:56.
Bruins All Tied Up -- UCLA posted a pair of ties for the second consecutive week and have earned a school record four consecutive draws. The Bruins' five ties this season match the school record set by the 1986 squad that finished 16-1-5. UCLA's last three ties have come while overcoming deficits. Against Cal State Northridge, the Bruins trailed 1-0 after 70 minutes before twice rallying to tie. UC Santa Barbara held a 1-0 halftime lead before UCLA scored twice in the second half, and the Bruins overcame a 2-0 halftime deficit against San Diego State and rallied twice to eventually tie 3-3.
Comeback Kids -- No lead is safe around this 2008 Bruin squad, who have scored goals in the final five minutes of regulation three times to send games to overtime. Brad Rusin did it against North Carolina with a goal to tie in the 86th minute. Against Cal State Northridge, it was Michael Stephens tying things up with a goal in the 85th minute, and Maxwell Griffin scored in the 88th minute against San Diego State to force extra time. Four of UCLA's five ties have come after opponents drew first blood.
Deceiving Record -- The Bruins' record of 2-3-5 is deceiving, as all three of UCLA's losses have come against Top 20 opponents in top-ranked and defending NCAA champion Wake Forest, No. 8 Maryland and No. 19 Indiana. The Bruins also have ties against No. 15 North Carolina and No. 19 UC Santa Barbara.
Stephens On A Roll -- Junior midfielder Michael Stephens has been on an offensive tear in the last two weeks, scoring four goals and one assist in his last four games to move into a tie for the team lead in goals scored with five. Stephens, who was named last week's Pac-10 Player of the Week, had a hand in all three Bruin goals against San Diego State, bringing his team back from a 2-0 halftime deficit to tie with a pair of second-half goals and assisting on a third goal in the 88th minute after San Diego State had reclaimed the lead in the 82nd minute.
First-Timers -- Seeing their first NCAA Division I action on opening day against Maryland were starters Eder Arreola, Christian Vazquez, Chris Cummings and Luis Serrano and reserves Fernando Monge and Prince Lapnet. Other Bruin freshmen made their collegiate debuts two days later against UC Riverside - Oscar Reyes, Zack Zerrenner and Andy Rose. Monge and Lapnet made their first career starts at Wake Forest, and Zerrenner and Rose started for the first time against North Carolina.
Griffin Nominated For Lowe's Senior CLASS Award -- UCLA forward Maxwell Griffin is amongst 30 players nominated for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for men's soccer. The award is presented annually in nine NCAA Division I sports to a senior who excels both on and off the field. The areas of excellence are identified under classroom, community, character and competition. Griffin is a top student-athlete, earning Pac-10 All-Academic honors and boasting a cumulative GPA over 3.0. He has been active in the community, particularly with youth mentorship programs. He is an avid volunteer of The Mentorship Program at UCLA, which pairs UCLA students with underprivileged children from North Hollywood. He is also a member of the UCLA Bruin Buddy Volunteer Program, showing hopeful high school students what it is like to be a student at UCLA. On the soccer field, Griffin has been one of UCLA's most consistent goal scorers. During his sophomore season, he was leading the team in scoring with five goals before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the eighth game of the season. He came back in 2007 to lead the team again with nine goals and 18 points, and he is currently the team leader once again with five goals and 12 points.
Nakazawa Named To M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List -- Junior midfielder Kyle Nakazawa was named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List. Nakazawa, UCLA's 2007 Team MVP, has started 50 games in his career and compiled a total of seven goals and 17 assists. In 2007, he led the Bruins with seven assists and was second on the team in scoring with 13 points and two game-winning goals, both of which were scored in the final two minutes of the game, at Washington and against New Mexico in the NCAA first round. Nakazawa was a second-team All-Pac-10 selection in 2007 and a Soccer America All-Freshman honoree in 2006. The former youth international totaled 21 career caps with the U.S. Under-17 National Team and was a starter on the U-17 team that placed fifth at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championships. Nakazawa was also named to Soccer America's Pre-Season All-America first team.
Returning Starters -- The Bruins brought back eight players who started 12 or more games in 2007. Kyle Nakazawa started all 21 games, while Michael Stephens and Brian Perk started 20 apiece. Brad Rusin had 19 starts, Jason Leopoldo totaled 16, and Maxwell Griffin, David Estrada and Danny Suits had 12 each.
Fresh Faces -- UCLA enters the season with 12 new players, including 11 true freshmen. The freshman class was rated the No. 9 recruiting class in the nation by College Soccer News and includes four players with U.S. Youth National Team experience - Eder Arreola, Chris Cummings, Oscar Reyes and Victor Yanez. In Bristol, England's Andy Rose, the Bruins have their first foreign player since Martin Bruno of Copenhagen, Denmark, by way of Terra Linda HS in the Bay Area, played on the team from 1996-99. The last UCLA player to come from a foreign school was Canadian Brad McAdams back in 1987.
Bruins Faced Five Of Last Six NCAA Champions -- UCLA's 2008 schedule pitted the Bruins against five of the last six NCAA champions. UCLA opened with four of its first five games against prior champions - Maryland (2005), Wake Forest (2007), North Carolina (2001), and Indiana (2003, 2004), and on Oct. 1, the Bruins hosted 2006 champion UC Santa Barbara. The only two championship teams from this decade that UCLA did not face are itself (2002 champions) and 2000 champion Connecticut.
Alumni Game Scheduled For Oct. 19 -- All UCLA Soccer alumni are invited to participate in the annual alumni game, which is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 19 at 9:30 am on the North Athletic Field. A reception will take place at Noon under the scoreboard at Drake Stadium, and following the 1 pm UCLA-Oregon State game, a postgame social will be held at the J.D. Morgan Center Press Room. For more information or to RSVP, click HERE.