No. 23 UCLA Faces No. 2 Washington in Top-25 Matchup
No. 23 UCLA (6-3-0, 2-1-0) at No. 2 Washington (8-0-0, 1-0-0)
Date/Time: Sunday, Oct. 3 - 3:00 p.m. (PT)
Location: Seattle, Wash. (Husky Soccer Stadium)
TV: Pac-12 Networks
TV Talent: Elise Woodward
Stream: Pac-12.com / Pac-12 Now app
UCLA Returns to Pac-12 Play, Travels to Pacific Northwest
After opening the season with seven-of-eight games at home, the Bruins hit the road this week for a pair of Pac-12 contests. UCLA first faces Oregon State on Thursday night in Corvallis, then heads further north for a matchup at No. 2 Washington on Sunday afternoon. Both contests will be televised on Pac-12 Networks, and can be streamed live via Pac-12.com/live or the Pac-12 Now app. Fans can also follow along with live stats on uclalivestats.com and live updates via the team Twitter account, @UCLAMSoccer.
In The Polls
UCLA appeared at No. 23 in this week's United Soccer Coaches Poll, representing the Bruins' first appearance in the coaches poll since Oct. 16, 2018 and their first appearance in the top-25 of a major national poll since Sept. 10, 2019 (No. 13; TopDrawerSoccer). UCLA was also No. 3 in this week's United Soccer Coaches Far West Region poll, a season-high and the fourth straight week the team has appeared in those rankings. Among this week's opponents, Washington is ranked No. 2 nationally and No. 1 regionally, while Oregon State is No. 6 in the Far West Region poll.
UCLA entered the week with a 6-2-0 record, the program's best eight-game start to a season since 2009 (6-1-1). The 2021 Bruins are the fourth squad over the last 20 years of program history to log six wins over the first eight games of a season (2003, 2005, 2009, 2021). With the loss against Oregon State on Thursday, the Bruins are now off to their best nine-game start to a season since 2014 (5-2-2, .667 winning percentage).
- UCLA has won six of its last eight games, including a pair of three-game winning streaks
- For the season, UCLA is outscoring its opponents 17-10 and outshooting them 91-72
- Seven of UCLA's nine games have been decided by one goal
- The Bruins are 6-0 when scoring first, and 0-3 when the opponent scores first
Holding Them Off
Prior to Thursday's contest, UCLA had allowed one goal or fewer in seven consecutive games, a first for the program since Aug. 26 to Sept. 23, 2016. The Bruins haven't had a streak of eight games since 2012 (nine games).
The Week In Review
The Bruins had just one game last week, defeating Big West member UC Riverside by a score of 2-1 at Wallis Annenberg Stadium on Saturday night. Despite a dominant first half, the Bruins needed a late penalty conversion from Kevin Diaz to seal the result, as the senior forward connected in the 86th minute for the go-ahead and game-winning goal. Both of UCLA's goals were the results of forced turnovers; Tucker Lepley picked off a first-time pass in UCLA's offensive half in the 17th minute and shortly thereafter sniped a low left-footed shot, then Aaron Edwards took over possession after a too-long touch by a UCR player and was subsequently taken down inside the box to set up Diaz's PK. UCLA outshot the visitors 12-9 for the contest, including a 9-2 margin in the first half alone.
Hitting Pay Dirt
UCLA has scored nine goals over its last four games, putting up at least two scores in each contest. This is the first time the Bruins have scored multiple goals in four consecutive games since Oct. 25 to Nov. 8, 2015.
On The Mark
So far this season, the Bruins have shown themselves to be adept at getting their shot attempts on target, with 46 of the team's 91 shots going on frame. UCLA's 51% shot accuracy as a team paces the Pac-12 Conference and ranks 10th in the country.
The Series Against Washington
The Bruins have the advantage in the all-time series against Washington at 30-20-4, but have dropped five straight games to the Huskies. UCLA is 2-4-0 in its last six trips to Seattle, and is seeking its first win at Husky Soccer Stadium since Oct. 8, 2017.
Last Season Against Washington
Washington swept the season series last year, outscoring the Bruins 7-1 on aggregate. UCLA had the advantage in shots and possession during the game at Wallis Annenberg Stadium, but couldn't find an equalizer after Ryan Sailor's 31st minute set piece goal. The Huskies scored four times in the first half as part of a 5-1 win in Seattle.
With four goals on the season, UCLA's Tommy Silva is tied atop the Pac-12 leaderboard for goalscoring. He has led or co-led the conference in goals ever since notching his first career brace, on Sept. 6 against CSUN. Silva also paces the Pac-12 in game-winning goals with three. In fact, only four players nationally have more game-winners than him. The Tucson, Ariz. native has six goals and 17 points over 21 career games at UCLA.
UCLA held its opponent to single-digit shots in each of the first eight games of the season before Oregon State broke up that streak on Thursday night. The Bruins have still allowed two shots on goal or fewer in two-thirds of their games (6-9, 67%) and have conceded more than five SOGs just once (Thursday against OSU).
Off The Board
After holding both UC Irvine and CSUN without a goal in early September, the Bruins recorded back-to-back shutouts for the first time since Oct. 4 and 7, 2018 against Washington and Oregon State, respectively.
Bruins Helping Bruins
The Bruins have compiled 20 individual assists to this point of the season on 16 team goals. UCLA currently paces the Pac-12 Conference and ranks 24th nationally in total assists. The Bruins have registered the full two assists on eight of the team's 13 goals scored in the run of play (62%). Ten separate Bruins have tallied a helper for UCLA, including two apiece for eight players (Silva, Diaz, Lepley, Contell, Ferch, Doody, Sosa, Sorokin).