Sept. 19, 2006
This Week -- The UCLA men's soccer team (4-2-1, ranked No. 9 by Soccer America and No. 10 by the NSCAA), winners of four straight games, begins its Pac-10 title defense this weekend with a pair of road games in the Bay Area. First up is a visit to Berkeley to face 23rd-ranked (NSCAA) California (5-2-1) on Friday, Sept. 22 at 3:30 p m. The four-time defending Pac-10 champion Bruins will face Stanford (2-4-2) on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 2:30 pm.
In The Rankings -- UCLA has moved up seven spots to No. 9 in this week's Soccer America poll and surged into 10th in the NSCAA poll. The Bruins are also No. 7 in the College Soccer News poll and No. 9 in the Soccer Times rankings. California ranks 23rd in the NSCAA rankings, 16th in the Soccer Times poll and 18th in the College Soccer News poll.
Griffin Selected National, Pac-10 Player Of The Week -- Sophomore forward Maxwell Griffin was selected this week's College Soccer News National Player of the Week, as well as the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the second consecutive week. Griffin had a hand in three of UCLA's four goals in a pair of victories over Top 10 opponents. He scored a goal and assisted on another in the 2-1 win over No. 7 Santa Clara, and he scored the game-winner in the Bruins' 2-0 victory over No. 8 San Francisco on his 19th birthday. Griffin leads UCLA in scoring with five goals and 11 points and ranks second in the Pac-10 Conference in both categories. After just seven games, he has already surpassed his goal and point total from last season.
Reed, Griffin Named To National Team Of The Week -- Griffin and senior goalkeeper were also named to College Soccer News' National Team of the Week after their performances against Santa Clara and San Francisco. Reed made a career-high seven saves in the win over Santa Clara and then picked up his second shutout of the season with a 2-0 win over San Francisco. Griffin was also selected to the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week.
Scouting the Golden Bears -- Cal is unbeaten in its last five games, going 4-0-1. Steve Purdy leads the team in scoring with three goals and six points. Stefan Frei and Justin Myers have shared time between the pipes, with each playing in four games. Each has allowed just two goals on the year with two shutouts. Cal advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament a year ago. UCLA and Cal have two common opponents this season in Santa Clara and San Francisco. The Bruins won both games against the two schools, while Cal lost to San Francisco, 1-0, and tied Santa Clara, 1-1.
Prior Matchups -- UCLA is 31-7-4 all-time against California. The last matchup between the two teams resulted in a 1-1 tie on Nov. 6, 2005. Kamani Hill put UCLA on the scoreboard first in the 82nd minute, but Cal's Eric Ebert equalized in the 88th minute. UCLA won the first matchup of last year at home on Sept. 30, taking a 2-0 victory after goals from Marvell Wynne and Jordan Harvey. UCLA is unbeaten against Cal in the last seven meetings. Cal's last victory in the series came in 2002, a 1-0 double overtime win in Berkeley.
Scouting the Cardinal -- Stanford has victories over Army and Sacramento State but is winless at home in three games. Evan Morgan leads the Cardinal with two goals and five points. The Cardinal defense has been solid, allowing a team goals against average of 0.95, but its offense has scored just six goals on the year.
Prior Matchups -- UCLA is 34-2-4 all-time against Stanford and has won nine straight against the Cardinal. Stanford has not beaten UCLA since Oct. 8, 2000, when the Cardinal claimed a 1-0 win in Palo Alto. Last season, the Bruins earned shutouts in both contests, winning 2-0 at home on Oct. 2 behind goals from Jordan Harvey and Kamani Hill, and 1-0 in overtime on the road on Nov. 4 behind a Maxwell Griffin goal 1:56 into the first overtime.
Bruins Drop Two Top 10 Opponents -- UCLA knocked off a pair of undefeated Top 10-ranked opponents last weekend, beating No. 7 Santa Clara, 2-1, and No. 8 San Francisco, 2-0. Maxwell Griffin and Jason Leopoldo scored 19 seconds apart in the 67th minute to break open a scoreless tie against the Broncos, whose only score came with six seconds remaining after the referee stopped the clock to allow a corner kick. Griffin scored the game-winner against San Francisco with a first-half goal, and freshman David Estrada added an insurance goal late in the game. Eric Reed earned the shutout with two big saves.
Tough Schedule -- If it is true that to be the best you have to play the best, then the Bruins are certainly on the right path, having already played five Top 20 teams, including four in the Top 10, in seven games. UCLA is 2-2-1 in those games, with the two losses coming to Top 3 squads Maryland and Virginia on the road.
Newcomers Making Significant Contributions -- UCLA's newcomers have been making significant contributions already this season. Midfielder Kyle Nakazawa has started in all seven games and is tied for third on the team in scoring with four points (1g, 2a). Sophomore transfer Tony Beltran has started in six games. Michael Stephens has played in all seven games with five starts and assisted on the game-winner against San Francisco. Andrew Sinderhoff recorded his first collegiate goal against Oakland and has two starts under his belt. Chance Myers has started in two games and played in all seven. Myers has assisted on two game-winning goals, against Oakland and San Francisco. David Estrada scored his first collegiate goal in the win over San Francisco. James Jaramillo has seen action in six games, and Ryan White has played in two games.
Zizzo Selected To M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List -- Sophomore midfielder Sal Zizzo has been selected as one of 25 student-athletes named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List. Zizzo is a member of the U.S. Under-20 National Team that advanced to the finals of the 2006 Milk Cup in August. Last season, he earned Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors after leading all conference rookies with five assists and seven points. Zizzo, who is one of just three underclassmen on the menfs watch list, earned All-Freshman national honors and second-team All-Pac-10 acclaim in 2005.
Reed Named To Pre-Season All-America Team -- Senior goalkeeper Eric Reed has been selected to the College Soccer News pre-season All-America third team. Reed had a successful 2005 season, recording a 0.60 goals against average, which ranked sixth in the nation, and earning 12 shutouts, the third-most in school history. He flirted with the NCAA record for lowest goals against average late in the season, posting as low as a 0.21 GAA in the first week of November. He also earned first-team All-Pac-10, third-team All-Far West and first-team Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Season honors. Reed continued that high level of play in the Premier Developmental League (PDL) this summer, earning PDL Goalkeeper of the Year honors after posting a league-low 0.62 goals against average.
Perk Earns Two Caps With U-20s -- Freshman goalkeeper Brian Perk was called up to play with the U.S. Under-20 National Team at the Busan International Tournament in Korea from Aug. 25-Sept. 2 and earned two caps when he got the start against both Korea and Argentina. Perk earned the victory against Argentina, allowing just one late goal while making five saves. Perk now has 19 career caps with the U-17s, U-18s and U-20s.
Injury Update -- Senior defender Brandon Owens is out of commission to start the season after tearing his ACL in the spring season. His return this season is still questionable. Junior defender Edwige Ligonde is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his left leg. Freshman forward Robert Georgiefski tore his left ACL and medial meniscus on Aug. 20 in an exhibition game and is out of the season.
Bruins-Gauchos Selected For FSC Match Of The Week -- UCLA's Oct. 5 game at UC Santa Barbara has been selected as the NSCAA College Match of the Week and will be televised live on Fox Soccer Channel at 8 pm. This is the second consecutive year a UCLA game has been selected as the Match of the Week; the Bruins' game at Penn State last season was also televised live by Fox Soccer Channel.
Coming Up -- The Bruins host fourth-ranked Washington on Friday, Sept. 29 at 8 pm and Oregon State on Sunday, Oct. 1 at 2:30 pm. Both games are the back-end of a doubleheader with the third-ranked UCLA women's soccer team, which hosts San Diego on Friday at 6 pm and Gonzaga on Sunday at Noon.