UCLA Travels To Washington, Oregon State

Oct. 22, 2008

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This Week -- For the second straight weekend, the UCLA men's soccer team (5-4-5, 3-1-1 in the Pac-10) will face Washington (8-4-1, 3-1-1 in the Pac-10) and Oregon State (4-7-3, 1-3-1) in important Pac-10 Conference games. UCLA and Washington are tied for first place in the conference standings with identical 3-1-1 conference records. The Bruins and Huskies meet up in Seattle on Friday, Oct. 24 at 7 pm. On Sunday, Oct. 26, UCLA will play at Oregon State at 2 pm.

Live Coverage -- A free video webcast and Gametracker live stats will be available for Friday's game at Washington at gohuskies.com.

Battle For First Place, Round 2 -- With UCLA and Washington tied for first place in the Pac-10, Friday's game has big implications in the race for the conference title. The Bruins vaulted from fourth place into a tie for first after last Friday's 2-0 win over the Huskies in Los Angeles and maintained pace on Sunday with a 3-0 win over Oregon State. California sits in third place just two points behind with a 2-1-2 record.

Scouting The Huskies -- Washington has a seven-game home unbeaten streak and is also unbeaten in seven of its last eight games. The Huskies' six-game unbeaten streak was snapped by the Bruins last Friday. Rafael Cox and Brent Richards are tied for the team lead in goals scored with six apiece. Cox leads the Pac-10 with 17 points (6g, 5a). Rylan Hawkins and Stephen Fung have split time in goal, with Fung getting the start in the Huskies' last six games.

UCLA's History With Washington -- UCLA is 16-11-2 all-time against Washington after shutting out the Huskies last Friday, 2-0. The Bruins received first-half goals from Jason Leopoldo and Prince Lapnet, and Brian Perk recorded his third shutout of the season.

Last year, the two teams split the season series, with each winning on the road. The Bruins won the first one, 3-2 in Seattle on Oct. 21. Kyle Nakazawa one-timed a cross from Leopoldo into the back of the net for the game-winner with just 53 seconds left in regulation. Michael Stephens also scored in the game. Washington returned the favor a week later in Los Angeles, winning 1-0 despite being outshot, 15-4.

Scouting The Beavers -- Oregon State scored a big victory last Friday with a 2-1 win over San Diego State that helped the Bruins move ahead of the Aztecs and into a tie with Washington for first place in the Pac-10. Danny Mwanga scored both of Oregon State's goals in the game. The Beavers are led by senior forward Robby Christner, whose seven goals are tied for first in the Pac-10 Conference with UCLA's Michael Stephens.

UCLA's History With Oregon State -- UCLA is 18-4-0 all-time against Oregon State and has won the last six meetings with the Beavers, including the last three by a combined score of 9-2. Jason Leopoldo and David Estrada have done most of the damage against Oregon State in recent years, with Leopoldo recording four goals and two assists in the last five matchups, and Estrada netting three goals and two assists.

Last Sunday, UCLA handed Oregon State a 3-0 defeat at Drake Stadium. Michael Stephens, Prince Lapnet and Kyle Nakazawa scored for the Bruins, and Brian Perk and Brian Rowe combined for the shutout. In 2007, the Bruins swept the season series, winning 4-1 on the road on Oct. 19 behind goals by Mike Zaher, Leopoldo, Maxwell Griffin and Estrada and 2-1 at home on Oct. 26 thanks to first-half goals by Estrada and Griffin.

Perk Selected Pac-10 Player Of The Week -- Junior goalkeeper Brian Perk was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for Oct. 14-20. Perk totaled nine saves in 174 minutes of action over the weekend as he earned a shutout against No. 23 Washington in a 2-0 UCLA win Friday. He also held Oregon State scoreless for 84 minutes before being subbed out late in a 3-0 victory for the Bruins. This was Perk's second career Pac-10 honor, and he becomes the third Pac-10 POW selection in the last four weeks (Michael Stephens was also honored on Sept. 30 and Oct. 14).

Stephens Honored On Teams Of The Week -- Junior midfielder Michael Stephens was selected to the Soccer America and College Soccer News Teams of the Week. Stephens scored the game-winning goal against Oregon State and assisted on a goal in UCLA's win over Washington. He has recorded six goals and two assists in his last eight games and is tied for the Pac-10 lead in scoring with 17 points.

Three In A Row For Lapnet -- Freshman forward Prince Lapnet has scored a goal in three consecutive games, the longest goal-scoring streak by a Bruin since Sal Zizzo scored in three straight games in the 2006 NCAA Tournament. Lapnet scored the Bruins' loan goal at Stanford and the second goals in the 2-0 win over Washington and the 3-0 win over Oregon State.

Leaders Of The Pac -- Several Bruins rank amongst the individual leaders in the Pac-10 Conference. Michael Stephens is tied for first in goals (7) and game-winning goals (2) and tied for second in points (16). Jason Leopoldo ranks second in assists (6) and is tied for ninth in points (10). Maxwell Griffin is tied for third in goals (6) and tied for fifth in points (14). Prince Lapnet ranks ninth in goals (3), and Kyle Nakazawa is tied for sixth in assists per game (0.38). Brian Perk ranks second in the Pac-10 in saves (47) and saves per game (3.92).

Bruins Peaking At The Right Time -- After a difficult start to the season, the Bruins seem to be peaking at just the right time, going unbeaten in eight of their last nine games. Health has played a big factor in that, as UCLA regained the services of previously injured veterans Kyle Nakazawa (missed six games) and Sean Alvarado (played his first game in almost two years on Sunday) and has been able to get more minutes out of forward Prince Lapnet, who was limited earlier in the year due to injury. Also back at full strength is Luis Serrano, who missed five games early in the season due to injury.

Extra Time -- Of its 14 games played this season, UCLA has gone to overtime in half of them. Five have gone the distance, resulting in ties, while two others have ended in the first overtime. The Bruins, who are 1-1-5 in overtime games, have played the equivalent of nearly one full game with two overtimes - 109 extra minutes. Two Bruins have logged over 1,300 minutes already this season - Michael Stephens with 1,327 and Danny Suits with 1,312. Three others have played in over 1,200 minutes - Jason Leopoldo (1,285), Brad Rusin (1,211) and Chris Cummings (1,201).

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 5-4-5 is deceiving, as three of UCLA's losses have come against Top 20 opponents, including top-ranked and defending NCAA champion Wake Forest, No. 8 Maryland and No. 19 Indiana. The Bruins also have a road win against No. 6 California, a home win over No. 23 Washington, and ties against No. 15 North Carolina and No. 19 UC Santa Barbara.

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.

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 51 games in his career and compiled a total of eight 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.

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