Men's Soccer Heads North for Pac-12 Battle at California
Bruins Face California in Pac-12 Battle
The UCLA men's soccer team returns to action this weekend with a Pac-12 contest at California on Saturday, Mar. 20 at 1:00 p.m. The contest will be streamed live by Cal. Fans can also follow along with live stats on UCLAlivestats.com and live updates on the team Twitter account, @UCLAMSoccer.
Back On The Road
After returning to Wallis Annenberg Stadium last Sunday for the team's first home game in over three weeks, the Bruins head back out on the road for their next two games. UCLA is in a stretch that sees the team play four of five away from home, the most road-heavy stretch on the 2020-21 schedule.
Rank and File
Sunday's game against Washington marked UCLA's third straight game against a team ranked inside the top-15, and the fourth overall in six games this season.
UCLA's scheduled opponents for the 2020-21 season have accrued a .717 winning percentage to this point in the season, the highest mark of any team in the NCAA (and the only school over .700). UCLA had the 12th-toughest schedule in the NCAA for the 2019 season (.609 opponents winning percentage) and was the only west coast school in the top-15.
Newcomers Making Contributions
Three of UCLA's five goals (60%), four of six assists (67%), and 10 of 16 points (63%) have been scored by players who were not regulars on last year's squad. The Bruins are led in scoring by true freshman Grayson Doody (1-1-3), who notched his first career goal in highlight-reel fashion at Oregon State on Feb. 27.
The Series Against California
The Bruins own a 45-19-7 all-time record against California. UCLA has lost once in the last five matchups with the Golden Bears, including dual 3-3 draws during the 2019 season.
The Week in Review
UCLA had just one game on the docket last week, falling 2-0 at home to then-No. 7 Washington on Sunday afternoon. The Bruins kept pace with the Huskies - outshooting them 9-8 and controlling the majority of possession - but couldn't find an equalizer following a 31st minute goal from Ryan Sailor. With UCLA pushing forward, UW added a late goal in the 88th minute to seal the result. The Bruins produced plenty of scoring chances - especially in the second half - with winger Constantinos Michaelides and forward Kevin Diaz each getting good lucks at net late in the second period. Michaelides had arguably UCLA's best scoring chance in the 87th minute, getting in deep and sending in a sharp-angle shot from the left side of the 18 that went wide of the far post. Justin Garces made two saves in net for UCLA.
Garces Impresses Between The Sticks
Junior goalkeeper Justin Garces is off to a hot start to the 2020-21 season, as he leads the Pac-12 Conference in total saves (22). The Miami, Fla. native recorded his 100th career save against San Diego State on Feb. 20, while his season-opening shutout of San Francisco was the seventh clean sheet of his career. He has also stopped the only PK attempt against him this year.
Plenty Of Firsts
This season has brought plenty of notable firsts for UCLA:
First career goals: Ben Reveno (Sr.), Pablo Greenlee (Fr.), Ollie de Visser (So.), Grayson Doody (Fr.)
First collegiate points: Greenlee, Grayson Doody (Fr.), Tommy Silva (Fr.), de Visser
First points at UCLA: Kevin Diaz (Cerritos College transfer), Jose Sosa (Pacific transfer)
First Division I starts: Diaz, Doody, Silva, de Visser
First Division I appearances: Andrew Valverde (Fr.)
UCLA has had six players start every game this season, Garces and five outfield players: forwards Grayson Doody and Kevin Diaz, midfielder Andrew Paoli, and defenders Ahmed Longmire and
Michaelides on the Mend
Sophomore Constantinos Michaelides made his 2020-21 season debut on Sunday, playing 36 minutes and recording a pair of scoring chances as a left winger. Michaelides appeared in 18 games as a freshman in 2019, operating mostly as a left back and recording three points (one goal, one assist).