Oct. 25, 1999
The 15th Annual UCLA Pacific Soccer Classic, presented by Carl's Jr. - The UCLA men's soccer team (ranked No. 3 by the NSCAA and No. 2 by Soccer America) will host the premiere West Coast tournament Oct. 29 at Spaulding Field and Oct. 31 at North Athletic Field. The tournament field includes three-time NCAA champion UCLA (13-1), five-time NCAA champion Virginia (8-6-1), seventh-ranked Cal State Fullerton (13-3-0) and Air Force (8-6-2).
Tournament Schedule - The tournament kicks off Friday, Oct. 29 at UCLA's Spaulding Field. Cal State Fullerton will take on Virginia at 5:30 pm, followed by UCLA versus Air Force at 8 pm. On Sunday, Oct. 31 at the North Athletic Field, Fullerton will face Air Force at 10:30 am. Following that game at approximately 1 pm will be the Classic's marquee matchup and a rematch of the 1997 NCAA Championship game - UCLA versus Virginia.
UCLA-Virginia Match Highlights Classic - In a rematch of the 1997 NCAA Championship game, second-ranked UCLA will host Virginia Sunday, Oct. 31 at the North Athletic Field at 1 pm. The 1997 matchup was a battle, with both teams unable to score for the first 80 minutes. But two goals from Seth George in the final 10 minutes gave the Bruins a 2-0 win and their third NCAA Championship.
Many of those key players from that game return for UCLA, including starters Carlos Bocanegra, Nick Paneno, McKinley Tennyson, Jr., Steve Shak and Ryan Lee. Martin Bruno, Shea Travis and Shaun Tsakiris were also key subs in the contest. For Virginia, Ryan Trout is the only returning starter from that game. Chad Prince is the only other player on Virginia's current roster who played in that game.
Tournament Format - With tournament pairings set in advance, a point system will be used to determine the champion. Two points will be awarded for each win, and one point for each tie. Head-to-head competition, goal differential and goals scored will be used as tie-breakers, if necessary.
Tournament History - UCLA has won the Classic a record 10 times, including the last three Classics. Cal State Fullerton has won one Classic title in 1994. In Air Force's only previous appearance in 1990, the Falcons were blanked in two games versus UCLA and San Diego State.
The Classic has been an accurate indicator of NCAA success for the participating teams. During its 14-year run, the Classic has produced five NCAA Champions (UCLA in 1985, 1990 and 1997, Indiana in 1998 and Duke in 1986), three second-place finishers and four other NCAA semifinalists. The three-time NCAA champion Bruins annually use the tournament as a springboard into post-season competition.
Some of the biggest names in U.S. Soccer and the MLS have played in the Classic, including Paul Caligiuri, Cobi Jones, Brad Friedel, Frankie Hejduk, Alexi Lalas, Eric Wynalda, Joe-Max Moore and Marcelo Balboa.
Teams to Visit Pediatric Ward - Players and coaches from the participating Classic teams are scheduled to visit patients in the pediatric ward of the UCLA Children's Hospital Saturday, October 30 at 2 pm.
A Look at the Bruins - UCLA, the 10-time Classic champions and winners of three NCAA Championships, is currently ranked No. 3 in the nation by the NSCAA and No. 2 by Soccer America with a 13-1-0 record. The Bruins, coached by first-year head coach Todd Salda?a, have a talented, experienced team comprised of eight U.S. Youth National Team members and National Player of the Year candidates in junior defender Carlos Bocanegra and senior midfielders Pete Vagenas and Sasha Victorine. Victorine and McKinley Tennyson, Jr. lead the Bruins with 23 points apiece. Junior goalkeeper Nick Rimando holds a goals against average of 0.76 and has shut out his last two opponents.
A Look at the Cavaliers - Virginia, five-time NCAA Champions, enters the Classic with an 8-6-1 record. The Cavaliers are a young team that was hit hard by the departures of several top players to the professional ranks. Earlier this season, Virginia found itself unranked in Soccer America's poll for the first time in 177 weeks. Leading the way for head coach George Gelnovatch's Cavaliers is junior pre-season All-American Ryan Trout, Virginia's top returning scorer from 1998. Trout once again leads the Cavaliers this season with 20 points (6g, 8a). To help ease the sting of the professional losses, Gelnovatch recruited a strong crop of freshmen, including forward Ryan Gibbs (7g, 2a) and Kyle Martino (4g, 4a). Redshirt freshman Kyle Singer, a former member of the U.S. U-17 National Team, mans the nets for Virginia, posting a 1.23 goals against average.
A Look at the Falcons - Air Force head coach Lou Sagastume has led his Falcons to a 8-6-2 record, highlighted by a 1-0 win vs. Davidson and a 1-1 tie with 1998 NCAA runner-up Stanford. The Falcons started out the season 7-3 but have won only one game since Oct. 4. Air Force is led offensively by Trevor Frobose, who ranks second in the MPSF Mountain Division with 24 points (10g, 4a). Goalkeeper Rich Cullen holds a 1.40 GAA. The Falcons are the top scoring team in the MPSF Mountain Division with 36 goals.
A Look at the Titans - Coached by Al Mistri in his 19th season, the Cal State Fullerton Titans have been ranked in the Top 25 all season long, currently posting a 13-3-0 record and the No. 7 National ranking. The Titans are led by Duncan Oughton (18 points on 8g, 2a - despite missing five games with a fractured radius bone) and a trio of 17-point scorers - Shaun Higgins (7g, 3a), Colby Jackson (6g, 5a) and Antonio Martinez (5g, 7a). Goalkeeper Scott Alexander holds a goals against average of 1.09 with five shutouts.
The Series vs. Air Force - UCLA leads the overall series with Air Force 3-0 and won the last meeting 3-0 in the Pacific Soccer Classic in 1990.
The Series vs. Virginia - UCLA's win in the 1997 NCAA Championship game gave the Bruins a 2-1 series lead. Martin Bruno assisted on Seth George's game-winning goal in that contest, and McKinley Tennyson, Jr. recorded the other assist on George's second goal. Tennyson and Carlos Bocanegra were selected to the Final Four All-Tournament team for their play in the Virginia game and in the semifinal win over Indiana.
Cal State Fullerton, Virginia All Tied Up - After two previous matches between Cal State Fullerton and Virginia resulted in ties, both schools are looking at Friday's match to be the one that puts their team ahead in the all-time series. The teams met last year at Fullerton and played to a 1-1 tie. They also met in 1996 in New Jersey and tied 2-2. The Titans are also looking for their first win over Air Force. The Falcons lead that overall series 2-0-1.
Player of the Year Candidate Updates -
Sasha Victorine, Midfielder: Senior Sasha Victorine (Corona, Calif./Rio Americano HS), UCLA's team co-captain, is tied for the team lead in scoring with a career-high 23 points. He has totalled eight goals and seven assists this season, all career-highs. Victorine has earned multiple honors already this season. On top of being selected a finalist for both the Hermann Trophy and the MAC Award, he was picked as a pre-season All-American by both Soccer America and College Soccer Online. After scoring a hat trick in the Bruins' season opener, he was selected the MET-Rx/UCLA Student-Athlete of the Week. Just two weeks later, he was named the MPSF Player of the Week and the SoccerTimes.com Player of the Week (Sept. 13-19) after scoring two goals and an assist against USF. He has scored a goal or an assist in seven of his last eight games.
Pete Vagenas, Midfielder: Senior Pete Vagenas (Pasadena, Calif./St. Francis HS), UCLA's team co-captain, ranks fifth on the team in scoring with 12 points (3g, 6a). This season, Vagenas scored the game-winning goal in overtime against Butler and against San Diego State and also assisted on game-winners in overtime against LMU and at UNLV.
Carlos Bocanegra, Defender: Junior Carlos Bocanegra (Alta Loma, Calif./Alta Loma HS), was named the Defensive MVP at the CS Fullerton FILA Classic and recorded a goal and an assist in the Bruins' 4-3 overtime win over Butler. He has missed UCLA's last five games with a knee injury and is listed as week to week.
Bruins Shut Out UC Irvine, San Diego State - Despite the absence of All-American defender Carlos Bocanegra, UCLA shut out league opponents UC Irvine (1-0) and San Diego State (2-0) last weekend to keep its unblemished MPSF record intact at 6-0. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando picked up the shutout in both games and lowered his goals against average to 0.76 (0.63 career). Martin Bruno scored the game-winner against UC Irvine, and Pete Vagenas had the game-winner and an assist in the win over San Diego State.
Injury Report - Defender Carlos Bocanegra is doubtful for this week following arthroscopic knee surgery last Friday. Forward McKinley Tennyson, Jr. and midfielder Shaun Tsakiris missed last week with an illness and will be re-evaluated later in the week.
New Faces - With three key starters out last week with injury or illness, many new faces saw significant action for the first time. Making their season debuts were sophomore forward Sean Walker (Sacramento, Calif.) and redshirt freshman midfielder Chadd Davis (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.). Walker saw 29 minutes and recorded one shot against UC Irvine and played seven minutes against San Diego State. Davis made his first collegiate appearance with seven minutes to play against the Aztecs. Also seeing rare playing time in both games were freshman midfielder Jimmy Frazelle (Folsom, Calif.) and redshirt freshman forward Tim Pierce (Dana Point, Calif.), who created two good shots on goal against San Diego State.
Lee Steps In, Anchors Defense - Junior defender Ryan Lee (Alta Loma, Calif.) had an outstanding weekend, filling in for his injured teammate, Carlos Bocanegra, at left back and leading the Bruins to two shutouts. Lee, a usual mainstay in the starting lineup, missed a few starts with an injury earlier in the season but returned right in time to assume Bocanegra's duties. Along with helping UCLA limit both UC Irvine and San Diego State to single-digit shots, Lee scored his second goal of the season to help give UCLA a 2-0 win over the Aztecs. Already this season, Lee has set new career-highs in goals scored (2) and points (6).
Tennyson Still Looking for School Record - When he returns from his illness, McKinley Tennyson, Jr. (Indianapolis, IN) will be gunning for a school-record six consecutive games with a goal. He currently shares the record of five with MLS stars Joe-Max Moore and Billy Thompson.
Next Week: Bruins, Titans Meet for MPSF Pacific Division Crown - Cal State Fullerton returns to the North Athletic Field next Sunday, Nov. 7 during "Big Rival Weekend" to battle UCLA for the MPSF Pacific Division title and the right to play in the MPSF Championship against the Mountain Division winner. UCLA currently leads the MPSF Pacific Division with a perfect 6-0 mark. Cal State Fullerton is 5-1 in the league. A UCLA win would give UCLA the title, a Fullerton win would give the crown to Fullerton in a tie-breaker. Prior to the UCLA-Fullerton match-up at 1:00 pm, the UCLA and USC women will meet at 10:30 am.
UCLA Head Coach Todd Salda?a - First-year head coach Todd Salda?a has led his Bruins to an impressive 13-1 record and a perfect 6-0 mark in the MPSF Pacific Division. Salda?a is in his third coaching job at UCLA. Prior to assuming the duties of UCLA men's head coach, he was the head coach for the UCLA women in 1998, and from 1989-95 he was an assistant coach under Sigi Schmid for the UCLA men. Salda?a also assumed duties of interim head coach for the UCLA men from December 1993-August 1994 while Schmid was an assistant coach for the U.S. World Cup Team.