UCLA Resumes Conference Play Against OSU, Washington
Nov. 4, 2009
This Week -- No. 10/5 UCLA (9-3-2, 4-1-2 in the Pac-10) returns home for a three-game homestand to close the regular season. First up are a pair of games against Oregon State (Nov. 6) and Washington (Nov. 8) at Drake Stadium. The Oregon State game will take place at 7 pm, and the Washington game will start at 1 pm.
Live Coverage -- A free audio broadcast and Gametracker live stats will be available for both games at UCLABruins.com.
Promotions -- On Sunday for the Washington game, all veterans and active military personnel will receive four free admissions with proper ID. In addition, Sunday is AYSO/Youth Soccer Day. Youth soccer team members and their coaches will be admitted for free by wearing their team jerseys to the game. UCLA Alumni Association card holders will receive four free admissions with alumni association card. Team posters will be given away on Friday, and team photo cards will be given away on Sunday.
In The Rankings -- UCLA remains ranked in the Top 10 in the Soccer America (5th), NSCAA (10th), College Soccer News (6th) and Soccer Times (7th) polls but drops to 16th in the Top Drawer Soccer tournament rankings. Both Oregon State and Washington are unranked.
Scouting The Beavers -- Oregon State is coming off a split at home against the Bay Area teams. The Beavers lost 3-2 to Stanford last Friday but then defeated California, 1-0, on a Colin Mitchell goal in the 13th minute. Danny Mwanga, last year's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, leads the conference in goals per game (0.67) and ranks third in points with 21 (10g, 1a).
The Series With Oregon State -- The Bruins hold a 20-4-0 advantage in the overall series and have won the last eight matchups, including the last eight in a row. In the last game on Oct. 2, the Bruins scored three unanswered goals after Oregon State's Brian Ramsey scored in the 19th minute. Kyle Nakazawa had two goals, including they tying goal, and assisted on the game-winning goal by Ryan Hollingshead. Brian Rowe earned the victory in goal, making two saves.
Scouting The Huskies -- Washington enters the week with a 4-5-6 record. The Huskies have played to ties in three of their last four games. Their six ties this season are a new school record, and the five conference draws are tied for the school record. Brent Richards and Ryan Moore lead Washington with four goals apiece. Goalkeeper Rylan Hawkins has five shutouts and a 0.84 GAA. Defender Taylor Mueller is this week's Pac-10 Player of the Week.
The Series With Washington -- UCLA is 17-11-3 all-time against Washington after the two teams tied, 1-1, on Oct. 4 in Seattle. Kyle Nakazawa put UCLA ahead in the eighth minute with a goal off a free kick, but an own goal tied the score up, where it remained after two overtime periods. Brian Rowe made six saves in goal for the Bruins.
Alumni Game -- UCLA Soccer's annual alumni game will take place on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 9:30 am on the North Athletic Field. All UCLA men's soccer alumni are invited to participate.
Pac-10 Standings -- UCLA and Stanford are tied for the Pac-10 lead with 14 points apiece, followed by San Diego State, which has 11. Stanford, however, only has one game left to play, against Stanford next week, while both UCLA and San Diego State have three conference games remaining. If both UCLA and San Diego State sweep this week, it will set up a winner-take-all matchup on Saturday, Nov. 14 between the Bruins and Aztecs at Drake Stadium.
Home Sweet Home -- The Bruins have been unbeatable at home this season, going 5-0 and outscoring their opponents, 12-1. Freshman Chandler Hoffman has benefited most from UCLA's home field advantage, leading the Bruins in goals (four) and points (10) at Drake Stadium. All of his points have come at home. Kyle Nakazawa has scored three goals and two assists at home, and David Estrada had five of his six assists at home. The Bruin defense has not allowed a goal at home since Sept. 17 and has shut out three straight opponents at Drake Stadium. Moreover, UCLA has shut out six straight conference opponents at home since last season.
All Goals Lead Through Nakazawa -- Senior midfielder Kyle Nakazawa has been UCLA's go-to guy this season, leading the team with a career-high nine goals, five assists and 23 points. He has had a hand in 13 of UCLA's last 16 goals, and the Bruins are undefeated with a 7-0-2 record in games in which he has either scored a goal or assisted on a goal. He has contributed either a goal or assist on 61% (14-of-23) of UCLA's total goals this year.
Stephens, Perk Back In The Swing Of Things After FIFA U-20 World Cup -- Since returning from the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt after a five-game absence, seniors Brian Perk and Michael Stephens have quickly reasserted themselves into the lineup with solid play. The pair returned to the starting lineup for the Oct. 11 game at San Diego State and have made big contributions in their six games back. Perk has three shutouts in the last six games and has a 0.71 goals against average. Stephens has contributed an assist on UCLA's last three goals scored.
Bruins Amongst Pac-10, National Leaders -- Kyle Nakazawa leads the Pac-10 and ranks 16th in the nation in points per game (1.64). He is also 16th in the nation in goals per game (0.64). David Estrada is third in the Pac-10 in assists per game (0.43). Goalkeeper Brian Perk ranks first in the Pac-10 in goals against average (0.70) and second behind Brian Rowe with a save percentage of .833. Rowe has a save percentage of .839. Perk also leads the conference in shutouts per game (0.44).
Newcomers Contributing 43% Of Bruins' Goal Scoring -- Freshmen Chandler Hoffman, Evan Raynr and Ryan Hollingshead and newcomer Shawn Singh have scored 43% of the Bruins' goals this season. Hoffman ranks second on the squad in goals (four) and points (10) and already has scored the most goals by a Bruin freshman since David Estrada set the school freshman record with 12 in 2006. Hollingshead is close behind with three goals and seven points. Also on the stat sheet are Raynr with two goals and Singh with one goal and two assists. The only other Bruins with goals are seniors Kyle Nakazawa (9), David Estrada (2) and Sean Alvarado (2).
Senior Leadership -- For the first time in Jorge Salcedo's tenure as head coach, the Bruins can truly call themselves a veteran team, with a substantially large senior class of eight, the largest senior class at UCLA since 2003. Leading the way are six returning senior starters - midfielder Michael Stephens, goalkeeper Brian Perk, midfielder Kyle Nakazawa, forward David Estrada, and defenders Danny Suits and Luis Serrano - as well as defender Sean Alvarado and midfielder Andrew Sinderhoff. Stephens is the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year, while Perk, Estrada and Suits were all-conference selections. Nakazawa was a preseason All-America selection before injuries limited him to just 10 games last season. Seven seniors (Stephens, Perk, Nakazawa, Estrada, Suits, Serrano and Alvarado) have started for the Bruins in at least nine games, and three (Nakazawa, Estrada and Alvarado) have started in all 14.
Fresh Faces -- A year after bringing in 12 new players, the Bruins welcomed eight new faces to the squad in the form of seven freshmen and a junior walk-on. This year's freshman class was rated the No. 3 recruiting class in the nation by both Soccer America and College Soccer News. Leading the class is Top Drawer Soccer's No. 1 recruit in the nation, Amobi Okugo, who is also a member of the U.S. U-20 and U-18 National Teams. Also joining the Bruins are U.S. U-18 National Team player Michael Roman and ESPN/Rise All-Americans Dakota Collins, Chandler Hoffman and Evan Raynr. Three of the freshmen (Collins, Hoffman and Okugo) were singled out as '100 Freshmen To Keep An Eye On' by College Soccer News. Okugo has started in all 14 games, while Hollingshead has played in all 14 with nine starts. Hoffman has 10 starts, and newcomer Shawn Singh has nine starts.
Preseason Honors -- Senior midfielders Michael Stephens and Kyle Nakazawa were named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List. Soccer America named Stephens and Brian Perk preseason All-Americans (Stephens 1st team, Perk 2nd team), and College Soccer News picked Stephens as a first-team preseason All-American.
Stephens is the reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year and a member of Soccer America's 2008 MVPs Second Team. Last season, he led the Pac-10 in points scored (23) and tied for the league lead in assists with nine, including a school record tying four at San Diego State. Nakazawa, a midfielder from Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., was also on the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List a year ago but had his 2008 season cut short due to injuries, playing in 10 games yet still ranking fourth on the team in assists with four. Nakazawa was UCLA's Team MVP in 2007 and was selected to Soccer America's All-Freshman team in 2006. Perk was a second-team All-Pac-10 honoree last season after posting a 0.45 goals against average and five shutouts in nine conference games.
Looking Ahead -- UCLA will host San Diego State in the regular season finale on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 7 pm.