Bruins Host Grand Canyon on Labor Day
No. 4 UCLA (3-0-0) vs. No. 24 Grand Canyon
Date/Time: Monday, Sept. 5 - 7:00 p.m. (PT)
Location: Los Angeles, Calif. (Wallis Annenberg Stadium)
TV: Pac-12 Networks
TV Talent: Christian Miles
Audio Talent: Nick Koop
Stream: Pac-12.com / Pac-12 Now app
Tickets: uclabruins.com/tickets (all tickets are digital)
UCLA students free with BruinCard
Parking: purchase in advance on Park Mobile app
UCLA WRAPS HOMESTAND AGAINST NO. 24 GRAND CANYON
The No. 4-ranked UCLA men's soccer team plays the final contest of a season-opening four-game homestand on Monday night, playing host to No. 24 Grand Canyon at 7:00 p.m. The Pac-12 Networks will televise the contest live, with a stream available on Pac-12.com/live. Fans can also follow along with a live audio broadcast (Nick Koop on the call), live stats, and updates via the team Twitter account, @UCLAMSoccer.
IN THE POLLS
UCLA appeared in every major national poll last week, checking in as high as No. 4 (United Soccer Coaches) and also appearing at No. 14 (TopDrawerSoccer) and No. 15 (College Soccer News). Polls are updated every Tuesday. Some notes on the Bruins' No. 4 ranking:
- This is the highest UCLA has been ranked since being No. 1 on Sept. 1, 2015 (week one of that season)
- It's the first time that both the UCLA men and women (No. 3) have both been ranked top-five since the 2015 preseason poll
- Four Pac-12 schools are ranked inside the top-10 (No. 3 Stanford, No. 8 Washington, No. 10 Oregon State) for just the second time in history (Sept. 1, 2015)
- It's the first time four Pac schools have been in the top-25 since Aug. 28, 2018
THE WEEK IN REVIEW
UCLA has played a pair of home contests over the last week, taking down Virginia Tech 1-0 on Aug. 28 before breaking out offensively in a 5-2 win against Liberty on Sept. 2. The Bruins held the Hokies without a shot on goal, and Jose Contell provided an 81st minute winner - finishing off a Tommy Silva cross from the left wing at the penalty spot - to seal the result. Riley Ferch (2G, 1A) and Constantinos Michaelides (1G, 1A) led the Bruins to a season-high in goals against the Flames. The Bruins never trailed in the contest, but it was a back-and-forth contest until Ferch's brace-clinching goal made it 3-2 just before the halftime whistle. That was the first of three unanswered goals to close the game for the Bruins, who limited Liberty to just three shot attempts in the second half.
UCLA is 3-0-0 to start a season for the first time since 2002, and just the second time this millennium. It's the second consecutive year jumping out of the gate for the Bruins, whose 6-2-0 start last fall was the program's best eight-game start since 2009.
FIVE ON FRIDAY
The Bruins' five-goal output on Friday against Liberty was one of the program's most-prolific in recent memory:
- It was the program's most in a single game since Oct. 6, 2019, matching the most single-game goals under fourth-year HC Ryan Jorden
- Riley Ferch's five points matched the most by a Bruin since Milan Iloski potted five goals in that Oct. 6, 2019 games against the Aztecs
- UCLA had eight unique players record a point against the Flames, the most in a single game since Oct. 26, 2017
NO GOALS FOR YOU
Last week, UCLA recorded back-to-back shutouts...
- For the first time ever under fourth-year head coach Ryan Jorden
- For the first time overall since Oct. 4-7, 2018 (vs. Washington and Oregon State, respectively)
- UCLA was one of just 36 teams in the country with no goals against in the season's first week (only 10 of which played multiple games)
NO SHOTS FOR YOU, EITHER
Not only did the Bruins not allow a goal last week, they didn't even allow a shot on goal:
- First time allowing zero shots on goal in a game since Oct. 7, 2018 vs. Oregon State
- First time allowing 0 SOG in consecutive games since at least 1999 (the years in which single-game box scores are available)
- UCLA allowed 0 SOG twice in a three-game span in 2011
- UCLA was the only school in the country with 0 SOG against over the season's first week
- Including exhibition games, UCLA has allowed just 6 SOGs total in five games
PLENTY OF CONTINUITY
UCLA returns the vast majority of its offensive production from a season ago, including:
- 31 of 33 goals (94%)
- 36 of 42 assists (86%)
- 98 of 108 points (91%)
- 10 of 11 game-winning goals (91%)
- Seven of 10 outfield starters
- The top six, and nine of the top 10, scorers from a year ago (on points)
BRUINS ALL OVER THE TOPDRAWER TEAM OF THE WEEK
UCLA was well-represented on TopDrawerSoccer's Team of the Week, as left back Tommy Silva made the top XI while center back Aaron Edwards and forward Jose Contell were honorable mentions. UCLA's three honorees were the most in the country (no other school had more than one).
GRASSI NAMED TO HERMANN TROPHY WATCH LIST
UCLA sophomore Pietro Grassi was one of 38 players tabbed to the Hermann Trophy Watch List before the season. The center back was the lone underclassman to make the list, and is one of just two honorees from the Pac-12 Conference. UCLA has had two Hermann Trophy winners all-time in Leo Stolz (2014) and Sasha Victorine (1993). The last Bruin to make the Hermann Watch List was defender Erik Holt in 2018.
UCLA TAKES HOME NCAA PHOTO OF THE WEEK
In addition to its on-field success, UCLA scored a win in the social media realm as well last week, as Ross Turteltaub's shot of Jose Contell doing a backflip after scoring his game-winning goal against Virginia Tech was voted as the NCAA Photo of the Week on Instagram. Head to @UCLAMSoccer on Instagram to view the photo.
BRUINS AGAINST THE WAC
While UCLA is facing off against Grand Canyon for the first time in program history, the Bruins have plenty of history with the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), sporting a 42-7-2 all-time record against current members of the league. However, UCLA has faced just two WAC teams since 2000: UNLV (last: 2017) and Seattle (last: 2015).
SILVA IS SERVING
Tommy Silva has been piling up the "A'"s so far this season, picking up an assist on both of UCLA's game-winning goals last week. He was the lone player in the Pac-12 Conference with multiple helpers in the season's first week. Silva also provided the primary assist on both of UCLA's scores in a 2-0 exhibition win over Westmont earlier this summer. The Tucson, Ariz. native is sitting on nine career assists over 34 games, including a co-team-high four apples during the spring 2021 campaign.
KEEPING IT CLOSE
The Bruins have shown a penchant for close games in recent times. Dating back to last season, UCLA has had 16 of the last 21 games (and 12 of the last 15) decided by one goal or fewer. UCLA's three-goal margin of victory over Liberty on Sept. 2, 2022 was its largest since taking down San Diego State 4-1 on Nov. 12, 2021.
The Bruins have been tough to beat at home of late, going 14-3 over the last 17 games at Wallis Annenberg Stadium (17-3-1 counting exhibitions). UCLA was 9-3 (.750) at home last fall, the program's first time posting a win percentage north of 60% at home since the 2015 season (also 9-3).
UCLA has routinely played one of the toughest schedules in the country under head coach Ryan Jorden, finishing each of the last three seasons in the top-20 nationwide in strength-of-schedule. The Bruins ranked No. 14 in the country in SOS last fall (.610), No. 20 in spring 2021 (.588, and they were top-10 at the end of the regular season), and No. 12 in 2019 (.609).
PLAYERS TO WATCH
UCLA had three players named to the United Soccer Coaches Players to Watch lists ahead of the 2022 season:
- Tucker Lepley (M) - Led the team in scoring last year, earning second team all-region and First Team All-Freshman honors
- Pietro Grassi (D) - Was a first team all-region pick as a true freshman after playing a team-high 1,708 minutes in 2021
- Nicolas Blassou (D) - In each of the last two seasons, led American in minutes played and earned All-Patriot League honors
- UCLA was the lone school in the country with multiple defenders selected to the Players to Watch list
BRUINS IN THE TDS TOP 100 PLAYER RANKINGS
UCLA had three players named to TopDrawerSoccer's rankings of the top-100 players to watch in the country: Tommy Silva (No. 48), Tucker Lepley (No. 68), and Nicolas Blassou (No. 96). The Bruins' three listees were the most in the Pac-12 and tied for second most in the country (Pitt: 5).
UCLA PICKED THIRD IN PAC-12 PRESEASON COACHES POLL
UCLA was tabbed to finish third in the league's annual preseason coaches poll. The Bruins garnered a pair of first-place votes, tied for the most of any team in the conference. UCLA totaled 18 points in the poll, just behind co-favorites OSU and Washington.
- Oregon State (2) - 21 points
- Washington (1) - 21 points
- UCLA (2) - 18 points
- Stanford - 14 points
- San Diego State - 10 points
- California - 6 points
UCLA went an unbeaten 1-0-1 in preseason play this summer, defeating NAIA-member Westmont 2-0 on Aug. 15 before battling to a scoreless draw against UNLV on Aug. 20. Junior forward Andre Ochoa and senior winger Constantinos Michaelides both found the back of the net in the first half against the Warriors, with junior left back Tommy Silva providing the primary assist on both tallies. A combined 43 players saw the pitch in that contest. Redshirt senior mid Jose Sosa and redshirt senior forward Kevin Diaz both had Grade-A scoring chances against UNLV, as the Bruins outshot the visitors 17-1 for the contest (including 17 uncontested shot attempts to close the game).
2021 IN REVIEW
UCLA went 11-7-1, clinching an at-large NCAA Tournament berth and ultimately reaching the second round of the tourney
UCLA's 11 wins, +8 goal differential, third-place league finish, Second Round NCAA finish were all bests since 2015
The Bruins went 6-2-0 to start the year, the program's best eight-game start since 2009
UCLA led the Pac-12 in assists per game (2.2), fewest fouls per game (9.3), and shot accuracy (48%)
The Bruins finished the year ranked No. 24 (TopDrawerSoccer) and No. 25 (United Soccer Coaches) in the final polls
Signature victories included a 3-2 win over then-No. 1 Oregon State on Nov. 7, and a golden goal win over UCSB in the first round of the NCAA Tournament
UCLA had three separate three-game winning streaks, and posted a 9-3-0 overall record at home
The Bruins had four-all region picks, their most since 2015, highlighted by first teamer Pietro Grassi