Men's Soccer Heads to Portland for First Road Trip of 2022
UCLA HITS THE ROAD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 2022, FACES PORTLAND
After playing four straight at home to open the regular season, No. 6-ranked UCLA (3-0-1) plays its first road game of 2022 this weekend, heading to the Pacific Northwest to face WCC-member Portland (2-0-2). The contest will be streamed live on the WCC Network. Fans can also follow along with 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. 6 (TopDrawerSoccer) and also appearing at No. 9 (College Soccer News) and No. 15 (United Soccer Coaches).
- This is UCLA's second consecutive week in the national top-10
- The Bruins were ranked No. 4 last week, the program's highest since Sept. 1, 2015 (No. 1)
- 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)
- Half of the Pac-12 is nationally ranked (others: Stanford, Washington)
THE WEEK IN REVIEW
UCLA has played a pair of home contests over the last week, breaking out offensively for a 5-2 win over Liberty on Sept. 2 before absorbing a 3-2 loss to No. 24 Grand Canyon on Labor Day. 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 had an unfortuitous first half against the Lopes, failing to convert on a PK in the 15th minute, conceding in the 23rd, and then going down a man down in the 37th after being issued a straight red. The Bruins ultimately scored twice with 10 men, tying the game at 1-1 after Andre Ochoa played Constantinos Michaelides into a breakaway, but GCU responded in the 68th and 80th minutes to take the road win. Alec LeBarge had a brace for the visitors.
UCLA is 3-1-0 to start a season for the second consecutive year, and just the third time since 2015. Prior to dropping the GCU game, the Bruins had won their first three games of a season for the first time since 2002. Last year, UCLA's 6-2-0 start was the program's best eight-game start since 2009.
BACK TO BACK
UCLA has scored seven goals over its last two games. Four players have found themselves on the scoresheet for both contests:
- Constantinos Michaelides - 2G ... first time in his career scoring a goal in back-to-back games ... second-ever point streak, and first time since the final three games of the spring 2021 season
- Andre Ochoa - 1G, 1A ... first point streak as a Bruin, second of his career (scored in four straight with SDSU as a freshman in 2019)
- Pietro Grassi - 1G, 1A ... First career point streak ... First career goal
- Pablo Greenlee - 2A ... First career point streak ... First two assists of his career
BRUINS HELPING BRUINS
UCLA enters the week ranked No. 4 in the country in assists (14). Eleven different Bruins have logged a helper this season, including two apiece from Pablo Greenlee, Tommy Silva, and Jose Sosa. The Bruins have recorded two assists on seven of the team's nine goals this year.
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
In the first week of the season, UCLA recorded back-to-back shutouts against UC Irvine and Virginia Tech...
For the second time ever under fourth-year head coach Ryan Jorden
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 against UCI and VT, 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 11 SOGs total in six 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)
ALL-TIME SERIES AGAINST PORTLAND
UCLA owns an 8-3-1 all-time record against Portland, but the Pilots have won the last two matchups between the schools. The Bruins are making their first regular-season trip to Portland since 1980.
LAST TIME OUT AGAINST PORTLAND
The Bruins dropped a 1-0 decision to Portland in the last matchup between the two, on Sept. 10, 2021 at Wallis Annenberg Stadium. A 33rd minute goal from Portland's Kevin Bonilla was the difference, as UCLA had the majority of chances post-opener but couldn't find an equalizer. The Pilots were held without an on-frame attempt after their goal. Pietro Grassi and Tucker Lepley both had solid looks at net in the final five minutes of the game, but Portland keeper George Tasouris denied both. Jose Contell did get a second-chance effort into the net near the end of the game, but it came a couple seconds after the final whistle.
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.
BRUINS AGAINST THE WCC
UCLA has historically enjoyed success against the West Coast Conference, sporting an all-time record of 110-43-17 record against current WCC members. The Bruins have played at least eight games against every WCC team except Gonzaga (1-0-0) and Pacific (never played).
KEEPING IT CLOSE
The Bruins have shown a penchant for close games in recent times. Dating back to last season, UCLA has had 17 of the last 22 games (and 13 of the last 16) 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 14-4 over the last 18 games at Wallis Annenberg Stadium (17-4-1 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).