Oct. 19, 2005
With just nine regular season contests remaining, UCLA stands at 13-4 after last weekend's 2-2 showing at the NorCal Tournament. The Bruins this weekend will continue their MPSF schedule with a Saturday afternoon contest at home against UC Santa Barbara. But before the Bruins jump back into conference play, UCLA will host UC San Diego on Friday afternoon in non-MPSF action. After this weekend, just seven contests will remain, six against MSPF opponents.
UCLA TAKES 4TH AT NORCAL
Just like in September at the SoCal Tournament, UCLA finished in fourth place at last weekend's NorCal Tournament, hosted by California. The Bruins defeated UC Santa Barbara and Pepperdine by scores of 8-3 and 8-7 on Saturday before falling to California and Stanford on the tournament's final day. The victories over the Waves and Gauchos propelled the Bruins into a semifinal showdown against the Golden Bears, whom the Bruins defeated 7-4 on Oct. 8 in both team's MPSF opener. However, Cal overcame UCLA's halftime lead this time and ultimately toppled the Bruins, 7-6. In the tournament's third-place match, UCLA again could not hold a halftime lead as Stanford rallied for a 6-5 win.
Since the start of the 2004 season, UCLA has faced 18 different opponents (some several times) and have lost to only two of them: Stanford and Cal. The Golden Bears and Cardinal have accounted for all seven of UCLA's losses over the past two seasons. In that span the Bruins have not only defeated those teams a total of five times but have also claimed victories over 16 other collegiate opponents.
Junior goalkeeper Will Didinger was named the MPSF/Mikasa Player of the Week on Oct. 11 for his part in UCLA's victories over No. 1 California and No. 12 Princeton. For Didinger, a Manhattan Beach native, the honor was the first of the season and of his career. Didinger tallied 14 saves in the two wins and against the Cal, Didinger held the Golden Bears to their lowest point total all season (4) and shut them out in the third period
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS
The Bruins' last loss against either of this week's opponents (UCSB and UCSD) came 13 years ago when the Gauchos knocked off the Bruins 12-8 at the 1992 49er Invitational. All-time against UCSB, the Bruins are 82-16-1 and have won 25 consecutive matches against the Gauchos, including an 8-3 victory at this year's NorCal Tournament. Against UCSD, UCLA's record is even more impressive as the Bruins hold a 42-0 lead over the Toreros.
JUNIOR NATIONAL TEAM UPDATE
Led by UCLA redshirt freshmen Chay Lapin (goalkeeper) and Miguel Cidoncha-Simms (attacker), the U.S. Junior National Team took eleventh place earlier this month at the 2005 Junior World Championships in Argentina.