UCLA Prepares for Sweet Sixteen Match at Vermont
UCLA VISITS VERMONT FOR THIRD ROUND NCAA OF THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
After defeating California Baptist at home and No. 6 seed Clemson on the road last week, UCLA travels to face No. 7-ranked Vermont for an NCAA Tournament Third Round game on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 4:00 p.m. PT (7:00 p.m. local). The game will be streamed live on ESPN+ (subscription required). Fans can also follow along with live stats on uclalivestats.com, and live updates on Twitter from @UCLAMSoccer.
• UCLA is 12-6-1 overall on the year, and is appearing in the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014
• The Bruins are making their 47th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament, going 76-42 and winning four titles
• UCLA allowed one goal or fewer in 10 consecutive games from Sept. 15 to Oct. 29, has given up ≤ 1 GA in 13 of the last 14 games
• The 10-game streak with one goal against or fewer was the program's longest since 2005
• Jose Sosa and Tommy Silva were named to the Pac-12 All-Conference Second Team (four others were honorable mentions)
• UCLA ended the regular season with an RPI of 26 • 15 different players have recorded a point so far for UCLA, including 10 separate goalscorers
• UCLA's eight shutouts on the season are tied for No. 21 in the country
• UCLA is 9-0 this season when scoring first, and 3-6 when conceding first
• In all competitions, the Bruins are averaging just 4.14 shots on goal against
• 2021: 11-7-1, reached second round of NCAA Tournament, +8 goal differential (all best since 2015)
The winner of Saturday's UCLA-Vermont game will go on to face the winner of (3) Syracuse vs. (14) Cornell, on either Dec. 2 or 3. Syracuse (15- 2-4) is hosting Cornell (14-3-1) starting at 11:00 a.m. PT on Sunday.
BRUINS IN THE NCAA POSTSEASON
• UCLA earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament after going 10-6-1 overall in the regular season and finishing fourth in the Pac-12
• Last year, the Bruins defeated UC Santa Barbara at home in the first round before dropping a 2-1 heartbreaker at Duke
• This is UCLA's 47th appearance in the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Tournament all-time
• UCLA is tied with Indiana for the second-most NCAA Tournament appearances of any school (St. Louis: 50)
• The Bruins qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 34 consecutive seasons from from 1983-2016
• UCLA is 7-3 all-time in NCAA Third Round games
• The Bruins have won four national championships in program history: 1985, 1990, 1997, 2002
HOW SWEET IT IS
This Saturday's game represents the Bruins' 35th time reaching the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. UCLA is 22-12 all-time in such games, going 7-3 in Third Round games (since 2001) and 15-9 in applicable Second Round games (the NCAA Tournament expanded from 32 to 48 teams in 2001, adding one round to the tourney).
UCLA REACHES SWEET SIXTEEN AFTER ROAD UPSET OF CLEMSON
The Bruins pulled off a second consecutive comeback win on Sunday, shaking off a first-half PK to post a 2-1 win at No. 6 seed and defending national champion Clemson.
• It marked UCLA's first-ever win over a reigning champ in the NCAA Tournament, having gone 0-6 prior
• Clemson opened the scoring at 22:10 on a successful Hamady Diop penalty kick, after forward Mohamed Seye drew the opportunity after getting his feet tangled with a UCLA defender inside the 18
• The Bruins trailed for only eight minutes, as Andre Ochoa equalized at 30:17. Grayson Doody set up the play, cutting back against a defender at the corner of the 18, drawing a second defender to him and then playing a pass to Ochoa above the box. Ochoa stepped into it an first-time curled a shot into the top-right corner of the net. The Clemson keeper didn't even move to make a save.
• Tucker Lepley knocked in the game-winning goal in the 79th minute. Kevin Diaz started the opportunity by attempting to play in a cross from the left side. That initial attempt was headed up by a Clemson defender, and UCLA's Jose Contell eventually chested it down centrally inside the box. From there, he got out of the way as Lepley streaked in from the above the box and drilled a shot into the side netting.
• Clemson was held without a dangerous scoring chance the rest of the way
UCLA ADVANCES AFTER FIRST ROUND WIN OVER CBU
Behind goals from Jose Contell and Kevin Diaz, UCLA overcame an early deficit to post a 2-1 win over CBU on Thursday night in Westwood.
• The result was eerily similar to the Bruins' first round game in the 2021 tournament. In both contests, UCLA conceded first but equalized via Contell and received a game-winning goal from Diaz. Last year's game also had the Bruins defeating a Southern California mid major before flying cross country to face an ACC foe in the second round
• Freshman keeper Sam Joseph made his collegiate debut, making four saves and picking up his first NCAA win
• Cal Baptist, playing its first-ever NCAA Tournament game, opened the scoring at 6:43 on a five-hole score from Luis Mueller
• UCLA equalized just 78 seconds later (8:01), as Andre Ochoa made a run through the midfield and laid off a ball down the left side for Tommy Silva, who took a touch and then whipped in a cross. Contell made a perfectly-timed run and met the ball at the edge of the six, re-directing the ball off a short-hop high past the CBU keeper
• The two teams battled to a stalemate for 60 minutes after those two quick goals, but Diaz knocked in the game-winner in the 69th minute. Diaz coralled a loose ball on the left side of the box after a deflection at the top of the 18, then settled and beat the keeper low to the far post
• CBU had just one shot on goal after Diaz's go-ahead score
FINDING THE BACK OF THE NET
UCLA enters Saturday's contest having scored in five consecutive games, and having potted multiple goals in four straight contests. Both of those are season-long streaks for the team. This marks the Bruins' second four-game streak with multiple goals under fourth-year head coach Ryan Jorden, having previously done so from Sept. 16-30 of last season. UCLA is looking for its first five-game streak with multiple goals since 2015.
HOLDING IT DOWN
UCLA allowed one goal or fewer in 10 consecutive games between Sept. 15 and Oct. 29, conceding just four goals total over that span:
• It was the program's longest streak of games with 1 GA against or fewer since 2005
• The team went 6-3-1 during the streak • UCLA kept six clean sheets over those 10 games
• Entering Saturday, the Bruins have allowed one goal or fewer in 13 of their last 14 games, and 15 of 19 games overall this season
KEEPING IT CLEAN
Thanks in part to a large advantage in possession numbers, UCLA is committing just 9.21 fouls per game to this point of the season. That figure leads the Pac-12, and ranks No. 10 nationally (1st: Missouri State, 6.94).
FEELING LIKE A 10
With its regular-season-closing win at San Diego State, UCLA hit the 10-win plateau for the season. It marks the program's 63rd season all-time with 10 wins, and the first back-to-back campaigns with double-digit wins since 2015-16.
THE SERIES AGAINST VERMONT
UCLA holds a 2-0-1 edge in the all-time series against Vermont, though the two teams have not met since the 1995 season (no active UCLA player was alive the last time the two schools met). Sunday marks the Bruins' second-ever trip to Burlington. The two squads have never before met in the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins have outscored the Catamounts by a margin of 6-1 over the three previous matchups:
• UCLA 0-0 Vermont - 1979 (date, location not confirmed)
• UCLA 3-1 Vermont - Sept. 15, 1982 at Vermont
• UCLA 3-0 Vermont - Sept. 2, 1995 in Fullerton, Calif. (CSUF Tourney)
NATE THE GREAT
UCLA keeper Nate Crockford enters Sunday at or near the top of the Pac-12 in practically every goalkeeping statistic:
• 1st – solo shutouts (8), saves (60), save percentage (.789)
• 2nd – GAA (0.89), minutes (1,620)
• 3rd – wins (11), GA (16) • He's allowed one goal or fewer in 12 of his last 13 games, averaging 4.0 saves per game over that span
• Crockford was named to the Nov. 1 TopDrawerSoccer Team of the Week after stopping a PK as part of a six-save shutout at Rutgers
• His eight shutouts are tied for ninth-most of any keeper in the country