#3 UCLA vs. Stanford
Friday, Nov. 1 - 6 pm
Live Stats - uclabruins.com
TV - Pac-12 Networks (Talent: Christian Miles/Cobi Jones)
#3 UCLA vs. #1 California
Sunday, Nov. 3 - 1 pm
Live Stats - uclabruins.com
TV - Pac-12 Networks (Talent: Christian Miles/Kelly Gray)
The third-ranked UCLA men's soccer team (8-3-4, 3-1-3) will head up to the Bay Area this weekend to face Stanford (7-4-2, 1-3-1) on Friday, November 1 at 6 p.m. before taking on No. 1 California (10-1-2, 4-0-1) on Sunday, November 3 at 1 p.m. in a top-five showdown.
Live Coverage — Both matches this weekend will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks. Christian Miles and Cobi Jones will have the call for the Stanford match while Miles and Kelly Gray will call the California match. Additionally, live stats will be provided for both matches on uclabruins.com.
In The Rankings — The Bruins came in at No. 3 in this week's Soccer America and NSCAA polls, No. 2 in the Top Drawer Soccer poll and No. 6 in the College Soccer News poll. UCLA is also ranked No. 4 in the NCAA RPI. Stanford is unranked in all polls while California is ranked No. 1 by Soccer America, the NSCAA and College Soccer News and No. 3 by Top Drawer Soccer. The Golden Bears are also ranked No. 1 in the NCAA RPI.
A Look at the Pac-12 Race — As the regular season begins to wind down, the race for the Pac-12 crown is up for grabs as the top three teams are all separated by just two points. Washington currently holds the top spot in the Pac-12 with 14 points while California is just one point behind with 13. UCLA is in third with 12 points. The Huskies and Bruins each have three conference matches remaining, none of which will come against the other. The Golden Bears have five matches remaining, including a trip to Seattle on Nov. 10. UCLA has won four of the last five Pac-12 titles and a conference-leading eight overall.
Scouting the Cardinal — Stanford will enter its matchup with UCLA with a 7-4-2 record on the year. The Cardinal are 1-3-1 in conference play thus far, good for fifth place. Overall, junior forward Zach Batteer leads Stanford with seven goals and two assists on the year to give him a team-high 16 points. Freshman forward Jordan Morris is right behind him, scoring four goals and notching a team-leading six assists in 13 matches. 2012 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Aaron Kovar leads the Cardinal in the midfield, recording four assists and one goal on the season. In goal, Stanford will turn to senior Drew Hutchins, who has a 1.25 GAA and 42 saves thus far.
The Series with Stanford — The Bruins have a record of 42-6-7 all-time against the Cardinal and have won the last six meetings in the series. Last year, UCLA won both matches vs. Stanford, winning, 3-1, up in Palo Alto before defeating the Cardinal, 2-1, in overtime in Los Angeles. Fernando Monge and current seniors Max Estrada and Reed Williams scored the three goals for the Bruins in their victory up in Stanford while senior Victor Chavez and Monge provided the goals in the rematch at Drake Stadium. Monge scored a golden goal in the 103rd minute in that match in Los Angeles to give UCLA the overtime win. This season, UCLA defeated the Cardinal, 1-0, at Drake Stadium as junior Aaron Simmons scored the game-winner in the 89th minute. The Bruins and Cardinal have a history in the postseason as well, meeting back in the 2002 NCAA Championship match. UCLA went on to win that match, 1-0, behind Aaron Lopez's goal with just over a minute to play. It was the first time in NCAA history that two schools from the same conference battled for the NCAA men's soccer title.
Scouting the Golden Bears — California enters this week with a record of 10-1-2 on the year, 4-0-1 in the conference. The Golden Bears are led by senior defender Steve Birnbaum, who is tied for the conference lead with eight goals and 17 points. Junior Stefano Bonomo leads California up front, scoring five goals and registering two assists in 13 matches thus far. Senior Alec Sundly will pace the Golden Bears in the midfield, as he is tied with Leo Stolz for the Pac-12 lead in game-winning goals (3). Redshirt junior Justin Taillole will look to get the start in goal for California on Sunday. He has posted a GAA of 0.67 in 13 matches while making 37 saves.
The Series with California — UCLA leads the series with California, 39-12-6. The Bruins took the first matchup last year in Berkeley by a score of, 3-1, getting goals from senior Victor Chavez, senior Victor Munoz and Ryan Hollingshead. Then in the rematch at Drake Stadium in November, the two sides played to a 1-1 draw with senior Reed Williams scoring UCLA's lone goal. Earlier this year, the two sides played a thirlling match at Drake Stadium with the Golden Bears edging the Bruins, 3-2, in overtime. Chavez and sophomore Jordan Vale scored for UCLA while Stefano Bonomo scored the game-winner for California in overtime. UCLA has won three of the last five meetings with the Golden Bears and seven of the last 11. Additionally, either California or UCLA has won the last 11 Pac-12 conference championships.
Last Time Out — UCLA played a rematch of its two games from the previous weekend, taking on Oregon State and Washington at home. The Bruins walked out of the weekend with a tie against the Beavers and a win over the Huskies to help them keep pace in the Pac-12. On Friday, junior Aaron Simmons headed home a Victor Munoz corner kick to put the Bruins on top 1-0 in the seventh minute, but Oregon State scored the equalizer with a minute to go to earn a 1-1 draw. The Bruins rebounded on Sunday though, scoring a big 2-1 win over Washington to break the Huskies' 15 match unbeaten streak. Senior Victor Chavez got UCLA on the board first in the 19th minute with a great goal off an assist from sophomore Jordan Vale before freshman Gage Zerboni scored the game-winner in the 70th minute with a header to the far post. Senior Patrick Matchett also played a huge role early on in preventing a Washington goal, clearing two balls off the line with headers to keep the match scoreless in the third minute.
Road Warriors — UCLA has posted a terrific record on the road in the last few seasons, going 17-1-6 in its last 24 road or neutral site matches. The Bruins went unbeaten on the road last season, going 8-0-2, and have started off the season with a 2-1-3 record in road and neutral site contests. Prior to the loss at UC Irvine on Sept. 19, the Bruins had not lost a road or neutral site match since 2011. UCLA is also unbeaten its last 16 Pac-12 road matches dating back to 2010.
Victor Chavez Named Pac-12 Player of the Week — After scoring a goal and notching an assist in three matches this week, senior forward Victor Chavez was selected as the Pac-12 men’s soccer Player of the Week. On Monday at Washington, Chavez set up senior Max Estrada’s goal in the 51st minute with a through ball into the box as the Bruins earned a 2-2 draw with the Huskies. Then on Sunday in a rematch against Washington, Chavez scored UCLA's first goal in the 19th minute to help the Bruins take down the Huskies, 2-1. Chavez is tied for the team lead in goals with six and is second to junior Leo Stolz in points with 16. His 16 points are also tied for third in the Pac-12.
Foreign Influence — Junior midfielder Leo Stolz has done a great job of putting points on the board this season, scoring at least one goal in five of his last nine matches and recording one point in seven of his nine. The Munich, Germany native scored the game-winning goal in UCLA's 1-0 win over UC Santa Barbara on Sept. 13 before adding another in the Bruins' 3-2 overtime victory over San Diego on Sept. 15. After being held without a goal at UC Irvine on Sept. 19, Stolz punched in two more in UCLA's win at Cal State Northridge before burying a penalty kick against UC Riverside on Sept. 26 and adding another last Monday night at Washington. He is currently tied for first in the Pac-12 in points (17) and fifth in goals (6), all while tying for the conference lead in game-winning goals (3). Last season, Stolz earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors after registering eight assists. Senior Victor Munoz, who hails from Madrid, Spain, has also been an integral part of the Bruins this year, leading the team with six assists, good for 32nd-best nationally and second in the Pac-12.
Joe Sofia Named Senior Class Award Finalist — Senior defender Joe Sofia has been selected as one of 10 finalists for the 2013 Men's Soccer Senior CLASS Award. Sofia, a native of Dove Canyon, Calif., has upheld a 3.965 cumulative GPA in communication studies and is on track to graduate after the Fall quarter after just three years and one quarter. He has held the highest GPA among all of UCLA’s student-athletes since the spring of 2012 and has made the Director’s Honor Roll in every one of his quarters at UCLA (nine times in total). Sofia has been very active in the community as well, developing an anti-bullying curriculum with some fellow student-athletes that will be distributed to local middle schools later this fall. On the field, Sofia has played in 76 matches in his four-year career, starting 74 of them. This season, he has started 14 of UCLA's 15 matches while serving as the team captain and the anchor of the back line. Additionally, Sofia leads the Bruins in minutes with 1,254.
Head Coach Jorge Salcedo — UCLA head coach Jorge Salcedo is in his 10th season at the helm of the program, posting an all-time record of 126-48-32. He has coached UCLA to eight Pac-12 Titles as an assistant coach or head coach and is a four-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year (co-coach in 2004, winner in 2008, 2011 and 2012). Salcedo has also led UCLA to two College Cup appearances and is the second-longest tenured men's soccer head coach in UCLA's NCAA history.
Coming Up — The Bruins have a bye next week and will return to the pitch on Saturday, Nov. 16 to play San Diego State at 7 p.m. in the regular season finale.