No. 22 Bruins Wrap Regular Season at SDSU
UCLA Hits the Road for Regular Season Finale
The UCLA men's soccer team wraps up its regular season schedule this week, traveling south for a Pac-12 matchup at San Diego State. The contest will be streamed live on the Aztec Digital Network. Fans can also follow along with live stats on uclalivestats.com and live updates via the team Twitter account, @UCLAMSoccer.
- UCLA is 6-4-1 in its last 11 games, and 9-5-1 over its last 15 games
- The Bruins have a pair of three-game winning streaks this season
- For the season, UCLA is outscoring its opponents 26-21 and outshooting them 172-151
- 13 of UCLA's 16 games this season have been decided by one goal or fewer, including nine of the last 10
- The Bruins are 8-2-1 when scoring first, and 1-4-0 when the opponent scores first
Last Week in Review
UCLA went 1-1-0 last week to close out its home schedule, absorbing a 3-0 loss to No. 3 Washington on Thursday night before rebounding to defeat No. 1 Oregon State, 3-2, on Sunday afternoon. Constantinos Michaelides scored the first two goals of the game, finding the back of the net in the 47th and 59th minutes to put the Bruins up a pair. After OSU made it a one-goal game in the 65th, Kevin Diaz potted the game-winning goal in the 83rd minute. The Beavers added a goal with less than two minutes remaining, but didn't come close to scoring in the final moments of the game. Seven different players registered a point for UCLA, while freshman goalie Nate Crockford drew the start and made a pair of clutch saves in his collegiate debut.
Taking Down the Top
The win over the Beavers represented the the second time under third-year head coach Ryan Jorden that UCLA defeated a top-ranked opponent. Previously, UCLA defeated then-No. 1 and defending champion Maryland by a score of 3-2 at Wallis Annenberg Stadium on Sept. 6, 2019 (UCLA's first-ever home game coached by Jorden). Prior to that, UCLA had most recently beaten No. 1 Akron by a score of 6-1 on Sept. 5, 2016.
Looking for 10
The Bruins will be seeking their 10th victory of the season on Friday night. Should they do so, UCLA will record double-digit wins for the first time since 2018, and for the 61st time in program history. Conversely, the Bruins can finish with no more than eight losses. UCLA has just two double-digit-loss seasons on its ledger since 1937. The Bruins are also looking to accomplish a pair of feats that they haven't acheived since 2015, finish above .500 in league and place top-three in the league table.
The Bruins posted an 8-3-0 record in home games during the regular season, good for a .727 winning percentage. UCLA last posted a home winning percentage north of 60% in 2015 (9-3-0, .750).
Clinical From the Spot
At 2-for-2, UCLA's Yoni Sorokin is the only player in the Pac-12 Conference with multiple PK makes and a 100% conversion rate. Only 16 players nationwide have gone 3-for-3 or better in 2021.
Fair or Foul
Thanks in part to a large advantage in possession numbers, UCLA is committing just 9.47 fouls per game to this point of the season. That figure ranks 11th in the country and is by far the lowest in the Pac-12, with no other league school sitting in the top-35. Only 23 schools nationwide are averaging single-digit fouls.
In The Polls
After a week outside the top-25, UCLA re-appeared in both the United Soccer Coaches (No. 22) and TopDrawerSoccer (No. 23) polls this week. The Bruins have been ranked in four weeks out of the season. UCLA also appeared at No. 3 in this week's United Soccer Coaches Far West Region poll, a season-high and the 10th consecutive week in which the Bruins have appeared in that poll.
The Series Against San Diego State
The Bruins own a 45-7-15 record all-time against San Diego State, including a 20-4-9 mark since the Aztecs joined the Pac-12 Conference as an affiliate for men's soccer in 2005. UCLA has won or split the series in all but one year (2007) during that time, and carries a five-game unbeaten streak against SDSU into Friday's game.
Last Time Out Against SDSU
Tucker Lepley potted a 98th minute golden goal to lead UCLA to a 1-0 victory over San Diego State at home in the most-recent match between the two schools: Oct. 8, 2021. After playing to a scoreless draw through regulation, UCLA dominated the overtime session (4-0 shot advantage) before Lepley ended it. The play came as a result of a high press by the Bruins, with Jose Contell forcing a turnover just above the SDSU box that allowed Riley Ferch to slip a pass to an unmarked Lepley in the box for the game-winner. Justin Garces made three saves en route to the shutout.
On The Mark
So far this season, the Bruins have shown themselves to be adept at getting their shot attempts on target, with 82 of the team's 171 shots going on frame. UCLA's 48% shot accuracy as a team paces the Pac-12 Conference and ranks 18th in the country.
Bruins Barrage the Aztecs
UCLA has had a prolific effort in the shot department in each of its last two games against the Aztecs. The Bruins' 16 shots against SDSU earlier year are tied for a season-high, and UCLA took 25 shots in this spring's match in San Diego (the program's most in a single game since 2013). UCLA also had a 16-0 advantage in corners on the road against SDSU this spring, just the second time in the last 15 years that UCLA had double-digit corners and its opponent had zero.
Winning the Shots Battle
UCLA has outshot its opponent in 9-of-16 games (56%) so far this season, including four of the team's last six contests. The only two teams to out-shoot UCLA since early September are Oregon State and Washington, the No. 1 and No. 3 ranked teams in the country, respectively.
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 two games so far this season, and has notched multiple goals in 8-of-16 contests (50%).