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No. 22 UCLA Heads to Cal for Thursday Matinee

Oct 20, 2021
Pietro Grassi (photo: Don Liebig)

No. 22 UCLA (8-4-0, 3-2-0) at California (2-8-2, 0-5-0)
Date/Time: Thursday, Oct. 21 - 12:00 p.m. (PT)
Location: Berkeley, Calif. (Edwards Stadium)
TV: Pac-12 Networks
TV Talent: Joe Castellano
Stream: Pac-12.com / Pac-12 Now app
Live Stats

UCLA Hits the Road for Pair of Pac-12 Battles
The UCLA men's soccer team (8-4-0, 3-2-0 Pac-12) is set to travel north for a pair of televised Pac-12 games this week, first facing California on Thursday at 12:00 p.m. PT before tackling Stanford on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. PT. Both contests will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks, and can also be streamed on Pac-12.com/live and 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

Quick Hits

  • UCLA is 8-3-0 over its last 11 games, including a pair of three-game winning streaks
  • For the season, UCLA is outscoring its opponents 21-13 and outshooting them 131-100
  • All but two of UCLA's 12 games this season have been decided by one goal
  • The Bruins are 7-1 when scoring first, and 1-3 when the opponent scores first 

The Week In Review
UCLA recorded a 2-1 win in its lone game last week, against No. 14 Loyola Marymount at home on Thursday night. The Bruins controlled the contest, outshooting the visitors 15-4 and nearly doubling them up in time of possession, but had to rely on a second-half brace from freshman Aaron Edwards to log the comeback win. LMU scored a goal against the run of play in the 31st minute to establish a 1-0 halftime lead, but Edwards found the back of the net in the 69th and 83rd minutes to put the Bruins ahead. His first goal came off a quick end-to-end build-up by the Bruins, with Edwards redirecting a Tucker Lepley cross from the right wing inside the far post. Lepley and Edwards hooked up again for his second goal, with Lepley hitting an inswung corner kick that Edwards headed in from the edge of the six-yard box. UCLA dominated the first half-hour of the game, outshooting LMU 7-1 including dangerous chances from Kevin Diaz and Tommy Silva. Edwards's scores were the first two goals of his collegiate career. 

Edwards Picks Up Slew of National Honors
After his brace against LMU, Aaron Edwards picked up a number of weekly honors from national and local outlets. Since Monday, Edwards has earned the following awards (all for the first time in his career):

  • College Soccer News National Player of the Week (first Bruin since Milan Iloski; Sept. 8, 2019)
  • Pac-12 Player of the Week (first Bruin since Milan Iloski; Sept. 9, 2019)
  • UCLA Student-Athlete of the Week (first MSOC player since Justin Garces; Sept, 21, 2021)
  • College Soccer News Team of the Week (second straight week with a Bruin; Tucker Lepley)
  • TopDrawerSoccer Team of the Week 

In The Polls
UCLA appeared in both major national polls this week, including a season-high No. 22 ranking from United Soccer Coaches. The Bruins also made their season debut in the TopDrawerSoccer rankings, coming in at No. 25. In addition, UCLA appeared at No. 3 in this week's United Soccer Coaches Far West Region poll, the seventh straight week the team has appeared in those rankings. The Bruins have been nationally ranked in two weeks this season. 

On The Mark
So far this season, the Bruins have shown themselves to be adept at getting their shot attempts on target, with 66 of the team's 131 shots going on frame. UCLA's 50% shot accuracy as a team paces the Pac-12 Conference and ranks seventh in the country. 

The Series Against Cal
UCLA owns a 47-20-7 all-time against California. More recently, the Bruins have taken points in four-of-five contests against the Golden Bears under third-year head coach Ryan Jorden, including wins in the last two matchups. 

Last Time Out Against Cal
The Bruins posted a 2-1 win over Cal at Wallis Annenberg Stadium in the most-recent matchup between the two schools (Sept. 19, 2021). UCLA scored the first two goals of the game - via Tucker Lepley and Tommy Silva - and that multi-goal lead held up as UCLA oushot the visitors 16-4 for the contest. Despite the Golden Bears needing an equalizer, it was UCLA who monopolized possession and shot attempts in the second half (Cal only got one shot off in the latter 45 minutes, while UCLA had 11). Silva's game-winning goal, in the 40th minute, came off a higlight-reel, off-foot curler into the top-right corner. It was the second straight UCLA-Cal game in which Silva netted the game-winner. 

Spreading It Around
UCLA has three players on its roster with four goals and 10+ points in Tucker Lepley (4-4-12), Tommy Silva (4-2-10), and Kevin Diaz (4-2-10). The Bruins are one of just two squads in the Pac-12 (Oregon State the other) with a trio of four-goal-scorers or 10-point players. 

Lepley Moves Into Team Lead for Scoring
Redshirt freshman MF Tucker Lepley has multiple points in two straight and four of the last six games, a streak that has allowed him to move into the team lead for scoring with four goals and four assists for 12 points. In the Pac-12 Conference, he is tied for fifth in total goals and total assists, while ranking sixth in total points. UCLA has won the last six games in which Lepley has recorded a point (6-1 overall). 

Hitting Pay Dirt
UCLA scored multiple goals in four consecutive games before being limited to a single goal at No. 2 Washington on Oct. 3. It was the first time the Bruins scored multiple goals in four consecutive games since Oct. 25 to Nov. 8, 2015. UCLA has scored at least one goal in all but one game so far this season, and has notched multiple goals in 7-of-12 contests. 

One Way or Another
UCLA is one of 46 teams in the country, and just two in the Pac-12 (Washington), without a draw on its result sheet this year.

Home Cooking
The Bruins have posted a 7-2-0 record in home games so this far this season, good for a .778 winning percentage. UCLA last posted a home winning percentage north of 60% in 2015 (9-3-0, .750). 

Four Bruins Make TopDrawerSoccer Midseason Top-100 Freshmen list
UCLA had four players make the top-100 in TopDrawerSoccer's midseason freshman player rankings: Pietro Grassi (No. 35), Aaron Edwards (65), Jose Contell (74), and Tucker Lepley (79). With four picks, the Bruins tied with Akron and SMU for the national lead. UCLA had had twice as many players on the list as any other Pac-12 school (San Diego State, Oregon State, and Washington had two apiece).

Slippery Silva
Entering the week, UCLA's Tommy Silva sits in a three-way tie for the Pac-12 lead in game-winning goals with three. He also ranks 17th nationally in that statistic. He led or co-led the league in total goals (4) for four weeks after notching his first career brace on Sept. 6 against CSUN. The Tucson, Ariz. native has six goals and 17 points over 24 career games at UCLA. 

Limiting Chances
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 Sept. 30. The Bruins have still allowed two shots on goal or fewer in over half of their games (7-12, 58%) and have conceded more than five SOGs just twice.