Oct. 31, 2012
This Week -- After playing on Monday night, the fourth-ranked UCLA men's soccer team (11-2-2, 6-1-0 Pac-12) will make a quick turnaround as they return home to take on Stanford (7-7-1, 3-3-1 Pac-12) on Thursday, Nov. 1 at 7 pm and California (8-5-2, 3-3-1 Pac-12) on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 5 pm out at Drake Stadium.
Live Coverage -- Both matches will be nationally broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks (National and Los Angeles). Mark Rogondino will provide the play-by-play and Cobi Jones will provide the analysis for both matches. Fans can also follow the match on the internet via a live audio broadcast at uclabruins.com. John Ramey and Matias Friz will have the call. In addition, fans can follow the match via gametracker. Links are available at uclabruins.com on the events calendar on the front page. Fans can find out if they get Pac-12 Networks by visiting Pac-12.com or by contacting their television provider.
In The Rankings -- The Bruins moved into the top five this week, coming in at No. 4 in the Soccer America poll and No. 5 in the NSCAA poll. UCLA is also ranked No. 4 by Top Drawer Soccer, No. 5 by College Soccer News and is No. 3 in the NCAA RPI. Stanford and California are both unranked in all polls.
A Look at the Pac-12 Title Race -- With their win over Washington on Monday night, the Bruins took command of what looked to be a tight race for the Pac-12 crown. UCLA (6-1-0 Pac-12) is still currently two points behind Washington (6-1-2 Pac-12) for the Pac-12 lead, but have three games remaining as opposed to just one for the Huskies. The Bruins need six points in their final three matches to secure their fourth Pac-12 title in five years and could clinch the conference crown as early as this weekend.
Scouting The Cardinal -- Stanford enters their match with the Bruins with a record of 7-7-1 on the year and is 3-3-1 in conference play. The Cardinal are led up front by senior forward Adam Jahn, who is second in the Pac-12 with 20 points and nine goals. Jahn earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors a year ago and was named a third-team NSCAA All-Far West Region selection in 2011. Sophomore Zach Bateer is second on the team to Jahn in both points (10) and goals (5) while junior Drew Hutchins will lead the Cardinal in goal with his 39 saves and 1.25 GAA this year. Finally, head coch Jeremy Gunn is in his 1st season as head coach of the Cardinal after spending the last five seasons coaching at the University of Charlotte.
The Series With Stanford -- UCLA has an all-time record of 40-6-7 against the Cardinal and has won the last four meetings in the series. Last season, the Bruins swept Stanford in both matches, winning by scores of 2-0 and 3-0. UCLA won 2-0 at North Athletic Field behind goals from Ryan Hollingshead and Andy Rose before traveling up to Palo Alto and winning 3-0 behind goals from Shawn Singh and Victor Chavez. This year, UCLA won 3-1 up at Stanford, getting goals from Max Estrada, Fernando Monge and Reed Williams. The Bruins and Cardinal have a storied history, meeting back in the 2002 NCAA Championship match, marking the first time in NCAA history that two schools from the same conference battled for the NCAA men's soccer title. UCLA won the match 1-0 behind Aaron Lopez's goal with just over a minute to play.
Scouting The Golden Bears -- California has a record of 8-5-2 entering this weekend and like Stanford is 3-3-1 in Pac-12 play. Senior midfielder Tony Salciccia leads the Golden Bears with 15 points this season (5 g, 5 a) and was a second team All-Pac-12 selection in 2011. Sophomores Seth Casiple and Stefano Bonomo are also key contributors for the Golden Bears with 11 and 10 points respectively. Bonomo has five goals on the year while Casiple has two goal and seven assists. Casiple also earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors in 2011. Finally, head coach Kevin Grimes is in his 13th season in charge of the Golden Bears and owns a career record of 139-85-32 at the school.
The Series With California -- The Bruins lead the overall series with California 39-11-5. UCLA has won the last three meetings in the series, sweeping both matches last year against the Golden Bears and defeating California, 3-1, up at Berkeley earlier this year. Andy Rose scored a golden goal in the first minute of overtime to lift the Bruins to a 1-0 win at Drake Stadium last season before UCLA defeated the Golden Bears, 2-0, behind goals from Chandler Hoffman and Eder Arreola in the rematch at Berkeley. This year, Victor Chavez, Victor Munoz and Ryan Hollingshead each scored goals to lead UCLA to a 3-1 victory at California while sophomore goalie Earl Edwards matched a career-high with seven saves.
Recapping the Weekend -- UCLA made their last road trip of the season over the weekend and picked up two crucial victories at Oregon State and Washington. On Friday against the Beavers, Victor Chavez got the scoring started in the 17th minute when he took a cross in the box from Ryan Hollingshead and blasted one into the upper right-hand corner for his fourth goal of the year. Then right before halftime, Hollingshead put the Bruins up by two when he chipped one from about 15 yards out to the far post past Oregon State's keeper for a goal. The Beavers got one back in the second half when Emery Welshman scored his 10th goal of the year, but that was all they would get and the Bruins took the match by a score of 2-1. Then on Monday against the Huskies, Hollingshead scored the only goal of the match in the 12th minute off of a great give-and-go with Reed Williams to give UCLA a 1-0 victory. Earl Edwards earned his fourth shutout of the year while the back line of Patrick Matchett, Matt Wiet, Joe Sofia and Javan Torre shut down the Huskie attack.
Pac-12 Leaderboard -- Several UCLA players find themselves at the top or near the top of the leaderboard in major statistical categories in the Pac-12. Senior captain Ryan Hollingshead currently leads the conference in assists (8) and assists per game (0.53), is tied for second with three game-winning goals, and is third in points with 18. Senior Evan Raynr is right behind Hollingshead in the assists category, logging six assists while sophomore Leo Stolz is fifth with five assists. Sophomore goalie Earl Edwards leads the Pac-12 with a .807 save percentage and is second in GAA with a 0.98 mark. Meanwhile, junior Max Estrada is tied with Hollingshead for second in the Pac-12 with three game-winning goals. As a team, UCLA has the most goals scored (15), assists (21) and points (51) in conference play. In the last four seasons, the Bruins have compiled a 36-5-6 conference mark, the best amongst the Pac-12 teams.
Coming Up -- UCLA will play its final regular season match on Friday, Nov. 9 against San Diego State at 1:30 pm out at Drake Stadium. The match will be nationally televised live by the Pac-12 Networks.