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Men's Soccer Looks to Defend NCAA Title
By: UCLA Athletics

November 20, 1998

This Week - No. 6 seed and defending NCAA Champion UCLA (16-3, ranked No. 5 by Soccer America) will make its 25th overall and 16th consecutive NCAA appearance when it faces Fresno State (11-5-5) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins and Bulldogs will play Sunday, Nov. 22 at 1:00 pm at UCLA's North Athletic Field. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students and youth. Tickets can be purchased by calling the UCLA Central Ticket Office at 310/UCLA-WIN.

UCLA's NCAA Championship History - The Bruins won NCAA titles in 1997, 1990 and 1985 and have finished second three times (1973, '72 and '70) and third twice (1984, 1994). UCLA has advanced to collegiate soccer's Final Four nine times. Head coach Sigi Schmid has guided the Bruins to NCAA berths in 17 of his 19 seasons and has an NCAA Tournament record of 27-12. The Bruins' all-time NCAA record is 40-23.

California Dreaming - Seven teams from California (UCLA, Fresno State, Santa Clara, Stanford, San Jose State, San Diego and Cal State Fullerton) were selected to the NCAA Tournament, the most ever selected in one year from the Golden State. It is also believed to be the most ever selected in one year from any one state.

The Series vs. Fresno State - UCLA is 12-8-3 overall against Fresno State and defeated the Bulldogs earlier this season with a 3-0 win Sept. 13 at the North Athletic Field. Martin Bruno, Seth George and Tom Poltl scored goals in that game. The Bruins have faced Fresno State three times in the NCAA Tournament and hold a 2-0 record against the Bulldogs in the first round. UCLA defeated Fresno State 2-1 in 1984 and 1-0 in 1987. In the teams' only other NCAA meeting, Fresno State beat the Bruins 2-1 in overtime in the second round of the 1986 Championships. All three of those matches were at Fresno.

Home Cooking - As the No. 6 seed, UCLA will get to play at home in the first round, which is always good news for the Bruins. UCLA has won 30 of its last 31 home games, including all six games at North Athletic Field this season.

A Look at the Bulldogs - Western Athletic Conference (WAC) champion Fresno State is led by head coach Dave Chesler in his second year. Freshman midfielder Noah Delgado leads the team with 15 points (5g/5a), followed closely by senior Chad Brown with 14 points (4g/6a). Senior goalkeeper Jeff Fluharty holds a 0.997 goals against average.

Player of the Year Candidate Updates - Seth George, Forward: Missouri Athletic Club Player of the Year nominee Seth George (Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita HS) leads UCLA with 15 goals, eight assists, eight game-winning goals and 38 points. He has scored a goal or assist in 16 of UCLA's 19 games and was held scoreless in two of UCLA's losses. When he scores a goal or assist, UCLA is 15-1. George, a second-team All- American in 1997 and the 1997 NCAA Final Four Offensive MVP, ranks fifth on UCLA's all-time list for career goals (49) and sixth for career points (125). He owns the school record with 20 career game-winning goals, eight single-season game-winning goals and nine career multiple goal games. This season, he became the only player in the league to win MPSF Player of the Week honors twice this season.

George in the UCLA Record Books
Career Goals: 5th - 49
Career Points: 6th - 125
Career Assists: 10th (tied) - 27
Career Game-winning goals: 1st - 20
Career Multiple Goal Games: 1st - 9
Single-Season Game-winning goals: 1st (tied) - 8 (1998) 3rd (tied) - 7 (1997)
Single-Season Multiple Goal Games: 1st (tied) - 4 (1997)
Single-Game Goals: 1st (tied) - 4 (1996)
Single-Game Points: 1st - 10 (1996)
Single-Game Assists: 2nd (tied) - 3 (1997)

Sasha Victorine, Midfielder: Junior Sasha Victorine (Corona, Calif./Rio Americano HS), UCLA's field general, ranks second on the team in assists with seven. Team captain Victorine, who missed most of 1997 with an ACL tear, has guided UCLA to a 15-2 record and No. 1 national ranking. His presence in the midfield has led UCLA to score 47 goals and allow just nine. Bruin head coach Sigi Schmid called the Victorine-led Bruin midfield the key to UCLA's 2-1 upset of then-No. 1 Indiana.

Steve Shak, Defender: Junior Steve Shak (Cerritos, Calif./Gahr HS) anchors a UCLA defense which has shut out 12 of 19 opponents and allowed just nine goals. The central defender is a former walk-on to the Bruin team who went >from not playing a single minute to being UCLA's starting sweeper and a Hermann Trophy nominee.

George Nearing Milestone Mark - One more goal will put UCLA superstar Seth George at 50 career goals. He already scored his 125th career point last week in a 1-0 win over Oregon State.

Victorine Expected to Return - Junior midfielder Sasha Victorine (Corona, Calif./Rio Americano HS) is expected to return to the lineup after missing the last two games with an injury.

Gonzalez Returns to Lineup - Senior midfielder Junior Gonzalez (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) made his return to the playing field last Sunday after missing seven games with an injury. He totaled 19 minutes in the second half against Oregon State.

Travis Sets Career Highs - Junior midfielder Shea Travis (Detroit, Mich.) has surpassed his career high in goals scored with five in 1998. Travis has totaled five goals and two assists and is ranks fifth on the team in scoring with 12 points despite playing in just 13 games. In his last six games, Travis has scored two goals and two assists, including one game-winning goal and one game- winning assist.

Vagenas on the Offensive - Junior midfielder Pete Vagenas (Pasadena, Calif./St. Francis HS) has been on a scoring tear lately as well. Vagenas, a pre-season All-American pick by Soccer America, has scored a goal or assist in six of his last eight games, totalling two goals and four assists in that span.

Rimando Reminder of Campos? - The play of sophomore goalkeeper Nick Rimando (Montclair, Calif.) has been conjuring up comparisons to Mexican National Team and former Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper Jorge Campos. Much like Campos, Rimando is quick, flashy, and, most of all, outstanding. Rimando has been among the Top 3 goalkeepers in the nation for much of the season. He currently sports a 0.55 goals against average with eight solo shutouts. Rimando can also play the field as well. Although he has yet to do it in a UCLA uniform, at Montclair HS, he played some midfield and scored 11 goals and 16 assists. Rimando does have one assist this year - an outlet pass to Tom Poltl set up a Martin Bruno goal in UCLA's 3-0 win over Fresno State Sept. 13.

Kay Breaks Into Starting Lineup - Redshirt freshman Brandon Kay's first career start was a memorable one. The Cal Poly San Luis Obispo transfer started at right back in a win over the then-No. 1 Indiana Hoosiers and has now started in UCLA's last five games. Kay has long ties to UCLA coach Sigi Schmid; Kay's grandfather, the late George "Scotty" Kay, coached Schmid on AYSO's first-ever team.

UCLA Head Coach Sigi Schmid - Nineteen-ninety-seven NSCAA Coach of the Year Sigi Schmid has compiled a 321-62-33 record in his 19 years at UCLA. Schmid, a 1996 inductee into the National Soccer Hall of Fame, has guided his Bruins to three NCAA titles - 1985, 1990 and 1997. He ranks second amongst active coaches in winning percentage (now .811) behind only Indiana head coach Jerry Yeagley (.826). Schmid is also the coach of the U.S. Under-20 National Team, of which five Bruins are members (Carlos Bocanegra, Ryan Futagaki, Nick Rimando, McKinley Tennyson, Jr. and Shaun Tsakiris).

Bruin Accolades

Carlos Bocanegra
Soccer America Pre-Season All-American
Soccer America Team of the Week (Oct. 5-11 and Oct. 25-Nov. 1)
Pacific Soccer Classic Defensive Co-MVP

Seth George
Soccer America Pre-Season All-American
MPSF Player of the Week (Sept. 13 and Nov. 2)
Soccer America Team of the Week (Sept. 7-13, Sept. 28-Oct. 4, and Oct. 26-Nov.
Pacific Soccer Classic Offensive MVP

Nick Rimando
Soccer America Team of the Week (Sept. 21-27)

Steve Shak
Hermann Trophy nominee

McKinley Tennyson, Jr.
Pacific Soccer Classic All-Tournament

Pete Vagenas
Soccer America Pre-Season All-American (second team)
Pacific Soccer Classic All-Tournament

Sasha Victorine
Hermann Trophy nominee
Missouri Athletic Club Player of the Year nominee
Soccer America Pre-Season All-American

UCLA In the Rankings
Date    SA  NSCAA   SN  ST
Pre-S.  1   1   1   -   
9/7 5   12  -   -
9/14    5   10  3   5
9/21    3   10  3   2
9/28    2   10  5   3
10/5    2   9   5   3
10/12   2   6   4   3
10/19   5   9   5   5T
10/26   3   8   5   3
11/2    1   4   2   2
11/9    1   3   2   2
11/17   5   6   10  5
SA - Soccer America
SN - Soccer News
ST -
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