UCLA Hosts UC Santa Barbara In NCAA Third Round Sunday
Nov. 25, 2009
This Week -- Sixth-seeded UCLA (11-3-4) will host UC Santa Barbara (17-4-2) in the third round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 5 pm. The game will take place at Drake Stadium. Tickets are $10 for adults/$8 for students and youth and can be purchased at the door.
Live Coverage -- A free audio broadcast and Gametracker live stats will be available for Sunday's game at uclabruins.com.
Rematch Of 2006 NCAA Championship Game -- Sunday's game has been one the Bruin seniors, in particular, have been looking forward to. It will be the two teams' first NCAA Tournament meeting since the Gauchos beat the Bruins 2-1 in the 2006 NCAA Championship game in St. Louis. Seven Bruin players were on that squad - seniors Sean Alvarado, David Estrada, Kyle Nakazawa, Brian Perk, Andrew Sinderhoff, Michael Stephens and Danny Suits - with Estrada, Nakazawa and Stephens starting and playing the full 90 minutes in freezing temperatures. Alvarado also saw action in the game. Only one Gaucho who played in that game remains - starting forward David Walker, who came off the bench for that contest.
How They Got Here: UCLA -- The Bruins received an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament by virtue of winning the Pac-10 Championship, UCLA's second in a row. They advanced to the third round after defeating Sacramento State, 2-1, in the second round at home. Kyle Nakazawa scored the game's first goal on a first-half penalty kick after David Estrada was taken down in the box, and after Sacramento State tied in the 75th minute, freshman Chandler Hoffman netted the game-winner in the 80th minute.
How They Got Here: UCSB -- The Gauchos defeated Wofford 1-0 in the first round thanks to an 84th-minute goal by David Walker. In the second round, UCSB traveled to 11th-seeded San Diego and again used a Walker goal, in the 44th minute, to claim a 1-0 victory, UCSB's school-record 16th shutout of the season.
Bruins Reach Tournament For 27th Consecutive Year -- UCLA earned its 27th consecutive and 37th overall NCAA Tournament berth after claiming the Pac-10 title on Nov. 8. UCLA's NCAA streak is the second-longest active streak in the nation, and the 37 NCAA appearances are second only to Saint Louis' 46. UCLA has an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 61-33 with national championships in 1985, 1990, 1997 and 2002.
UCLA vs. Tournament Field -- The Bruins played four games against NCAA Tournament teams during the regular season, going 3-1 with a 2-0 win at Maryland, a 2-1 win at San Diego and a 2-0 win over Stanford. The lone loss came at Stanford, 2-0.
Back-To-Back Pac-10 Champions -- UCLA won its sixth Pac-10 title in the 10 years that the Pac-10 has sponsored men's soccer after finishing with a 5-1-4 league record.
In The Rankings -- UCLA ended regular season play ranked fifth in Soccer America's poll and eighth in the NSCAA/adidas poll.
UCLA's History With UC Santa Barbara -- UCLA leads the all-time series with the Gauchos, 30-3-2, but Santa Barbara won the most important matchup between the two teams in the 2006 NCAA Championship game, 2-1. The two teams met up last season at Drake Stadium and played to a 2-2 tie, with David Estrada and Maxwell Griffin scoring for UCLA and Luis Silva and Chris Pontius scoring for UCSB. UCLA holds a 2-1-2 record against UCSB in the last five meetings.
Scouting The Gauchos -- UCSB has just one loss in its last nine games, going 7-1-1 during that time period. The one loss, however, was a 4-1 defeat at home against UC Irvine in the Big West Championship game that likely cost the Gauchos a Top 16 seed. Santa Barbara has six players in double-digit scoring, led by David Walker's 22 points (9g, 4a), Danny Barrera's 19 points (5g, 9a) and Michael Nonni's 18 points (6g, 6a). Gaucho goalkeeper Sam Hayden holds a 0.69 goals against average with 16 shutouts.
Okugo, Perk, Nakazawa Honored By Top Drawer Soccer -- Freshman midfielder Amobi Okugo was named the Top Drawer Soccer National Rookie of the Year, and seniors Brian Perk and Kyle Nakazawa were selected to the website's Team of the Season first team.
Okugo Named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year -- Midfielder Amobi Okugo became the fourth Bruin player and first since 2005 to be named the Pac-10 Freshman of Year. He joins Alex Yi (2000), Chad Barrett (2003) and Sal Zizzo (2005) as the only other Bruins to win the postseason accolade. Okugo started every game in a defensive midfield position for the Bruins, recording two assists and helping the Bruin defense to a Conference leading 0.78 team goals against average.
Six Bruins Named To All-Pac-10 Teams -- Six UCLA players were selected to the 2009 Men's Soccer All-Pac-10 teams. Seniors David Estrada, Kyle Nakazawa, Brian Perk and Michael Stephens earned first-team honors, while the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Amobi Okugo received second-team recognition. Senior Sean Alvarado picked up his first career all-conference nod with an honorable mention selection.
Home Sweet Home -- The Bruins have been unbeatable at home this season, going 7-0-2 and outscoring their opponents, 18-5. Kyle Nakazawa has scored six goals at home, while Chandler Hoffman has scored five. All of Hoffman's 12 points this season have come at Drake Stadium.
NCAA Battle-Tested -- UCLA's core group of players has plenty of NCAA experience, with three players remaining from the starting lineup of the Bruins' 2006 NCAA finalist squad (David Estrada, Michael Stephens and Kyle Nakazawa), plus two players who were reserves on that squad (Sean Alvarado and Brian Perk). Nineteen Bruins have played in a total of 55 NCAA Tournament games, with Estrada and Stephens leading the way with nine games played each. Estrada is UCLA's leading active scorer in NCAA Tournament games with four goals (all in 2006). Nakazawa has recorded three goals, and Stephens has one. Two of UCLA's goalkeepers have started at least one game - Brian Perk in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and Trevor Hunter in the 2007 2nd round.
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 12 goals, six assists and 30 points. He has had a hand in 17 of UCLA's last 22 goals, and the Bruins are undefeated with a 9-0-3 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 62% (18-of-29) of UCLA's total goals this year.