Dec. 6, 1999
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA men's soccer team (19-2, winners of 17 of the last 18 games, ranked No. 3 by the NSCAA) will make its 10th NCAA Final Four (now called the "College Cup") appearance when it faces defending NCAA champion and No. 2 seed Indiana (19-3, ranked No. 2 by the NSCAA) in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins and Hoosiers will play Friday, Dec. 10 at 6:30 pm ET at Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte, NC. Fourth-seeded Connecticut (19-4, ranked No. 6) and Santa Clara (15-3-3, ranked No. 18) have also advanced to the semifinals and will play Friday, Dec. 10 at 3:00 pm ET in a game that will be televised live on ESPN2. UCLA's semifinal game will be televised delayed at 9:30 pm PT by ESPN2. The championship game will be aired live on ESPN at 1:00 pm ET. UCLA, who is in the College Cup for the second time in three years, was awarded an at-large bid into the Championships and is unseeded in the Tournament.
UCLA in the NCAA Tournament - UCLA won NCAA titles in 1997, 1990 and 1985 and has finished second three times (1973, 1972 and 1970) and third twice (1984, 1994). The Bruins' all-time NCAA record is 44-24, 6-3 in semifinal games and 9-7 overall during the Final Four weekend. UCLA is making its 17th consecutive and 27th overall tournament appearance.
Soccer Looks for UCLA's 100th National Championship - The men's soccer team will be seeking not only its fourth NCAA title, but the school's 100th national team championship. UCLA currently has 79 NCAA titles, most amongst all NCAA Division I schools.
The College Cup Field - For the second time in three years, the College Cup will feature four teams who have previously won NCAA Championships. Indiana has won four titles (1982, 1983, 1988, 1998), UCLA has won three, and UConn (1981) and Santa Clara (1989) have won one each.
Team of the 90's? - UCLA closes out the decade making a strong case for being the "Team of the 90's." This decade, UCLA has won two NCAA Championships and has advanced to the semifinals four times now and also ranks first amongst all Division I teams with a winning percentage of .839 (178-31-8).
A Look at Indiana - The second-seeded and defending champion Indiana Hoosiers (19-3) are making their 13th appearance in the NCAA semifinals. Under head coach Jerry Yeagley, the Hoosiers have won four NCAA titles. Senior forward Aleksey Korol leads the team with 20 goals and eight assists (48 points). Matt Fundenberger is second with 30 points (10g, 10a). Indiana has scored 49 goals this season while allowing just 12. Junior sweeper Nick Garcia leads the Hoosier defense.
Bruins Look for Second Consecutive Semifinal Win over Indiana - UCLA and Indiana will meet in the NCAA semifinals for the second time in three years, having played each other in the 1997 semis in Richmond, Virginia. The Bruins won that game 1-0 in triple overtime behind a school-record 11 saves by Matt Reis and the golden goal by Indiana native McKinley Tennyson, Jr. The two teams also met in the 1994 semifinals, with Indiana prevailing 4-1. UCLA head coach Todd Salda?a was a UCLA assistant coach at the time.
The Series with Indiana - UCLA leads the overall series 6-5 and has won the last three meetings. Last season, McKinley Tennyson, Jr. had a goal and an assist to help beat the Hoosiers 2-1 at home. Prior to the 1997 semifinal matchup, the teams met in 1996 in Bloomington, with the Bruins winning 1-0 in overtime.
The Hoosier Killer - Indianapolis, Ind. native McKinley Tennyson, Jr. (North Central HS) has made a living out of beating Indiana. In two games played against his home state team, Tennyson has scored two goals and one assist, including the game-winner in sudden-death overtime to defeat Indiana 1-0 in the 1997 semifinals. Tennyson will once again be reunited with former high school teammate Matt Fundenberger, Indiana's second-leading scorer. Tennyson and Fundenberger won four state titles together at North Central HS.
1997 Rematch - Many key figures from that 1997 epic battle return, including McKinley Tennyson, Jr., Ryan Lee, who assisted on the game-winner, UCLA defenders Steve Shak and Carlos Bocanegra, whose defense helped keep Indiana scoreless, Indiana sweeper Nick Garcia, who cleared out two sure UCLA goals in regulation, and Hoosier goalkeeper T.J. Hannig, who shut UCLA out for 131 minutes.
A Look at UConn - 1981 NCAA champion Connecticut is making its fourth College Cup appearance. The Huskies came from behind twice to defeat Furman 3-2 in the NCAA quarterfinals and have now won 12 consecutive games. Prior to this season, UConn had not won an NCAA tournament game in 16 years. The Huskies have a pair of 30+ point scorers in Luis Arauz (13g, 7a, 33 pts.) and Darin Lewis (10g, 10a, 30 pts.), as well as Player of the Year candidate Chris Gbandi (6g, 6a). Goalkeeper Matt Chavlovich has recorded a goals against average of 0.64 with 12 shutouts.
The Series with UConn - UConn holds the overall series lead with UCLA 2-1-1, although the teams have not met since 1988, a 1-0 UCLA win.
A Look at Santa Clara - Head coach Mitch Murray's Broncos are making their second consecutive NCAA College Cup appearance. Santa Clara was eliminated in the semifinals last year by Indiana 4-0. The Broncos advanced to the 1999 College Cup after defeating UAB on the road in the quarterfinals, 3-2. Sophomore forward Anthony Chimienti leads the team with 23 points (9g, 8a), and goalkeeper Rusty Johnson holds a 0.73 goals against average.
The Series with Santa Clara - UCLA leads the overall series with Santa Clara 12-6-4 and has won the last two straight. The Bruins last beat the Broncos in the 1997 NCAA first round, 3-0.
|Record vs. NCAA Teams||4-1-0||7-2-0||6-2-0||4-2-1|
|Overall NCAA Wins||44||52||20||16|
Senior Trio Makes First College Cup Appearance - This year's College Cup will be especially sweet for a trio of seniors who were unable to play when the Bruins won the Championship in 1997. Injured midfielders Sasha Victorine (torn ACL) and Pete Vagenas (sprained ankle) could only watch from the stands as their teammates won the national title that year. Defender Adam Cooper redshirted the 1997 season after suffering a groin injury and was unable to travel with the team. This year is a completely different story, however. All three are healthy and will be in the starting lineup when UCLA kicks off the College Cup on Friday.
Player of the Year Awarded This Weekend - The Missouri Athletic Club Player of the Year Award, for which Sasha Victorine is a finalist, will be announced this Wednesday, while the Hermann Trophy will be announced on Saturday during the College Cup festivities. Three finalists for the Hermann Trophy will be showcased during Friday's semifinal - Victorine and Indiana's Aleksey Korol and Nick Garcia.
UCLA Burns Virginia for Third Straight Time 2-0 - UCLA defeated Virginia by a 2-0 margin for the third consecutive time with a quarterfinal road victory Dec. 4. Sasha Victorine scored the game-winning goal in the fifth minute, and Ryan Lee added an insurance goal in the 79th. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando saved four shots, including a penalty kick in the ninth minute, to preserve the shutout.
UCLA Shuts Out Saint Louis 2-0 - UCLA earned a 2-0 road victory over third-seeded Saint Louis. McKinley Tennyson, Jr. scored the game-winning goal in the first half for his fourth career NCAA goal, and Sasha Victorine netted a second-half goal to seal the victory. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando picked up the shutout.
Bruins Earn 4-1 Win in First Round - UCLA scored its biggest NCAA victory since a 5-0 first-round win in 1972 by defeating San Diego 4-1 in the first round. Ryan Futagaki put the Bruins ahead in the fourth minute with his third goal of the season. After San Diego tied it up in the 28th minute, McKinley Tennyson, Jr. opened up the second half with a 48th minute goal to take the lead again. Carlos Bocanegra made it 3-1, leaping high to head in a perfectly-placed free kick from Shaun Tsakiris. Tennyson scored his second goal of the game in the 61st minute to put the game away.
Player of the Year Candidate Updates
Sasha Victorine, Midfielder: Senior Sasha Victorine (Corona, Calif./Rio Americano HS), UCLA's team co-captain, is UCLA's team leader in scoring with a career-high 32 points. He has also scored a team-high five game-winning goals. Victorine has earned multiple honors 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. Just last week, he was selected the MPSF Pacific Division Player of the Year and a first-team all-conference pick. After scoring a hat trick in the Bruins' season opener, he was selected the MET-Rx/UCLA Student-Athlete of the Week. 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 was selected the Pacific Soccer Classic Offensive MVP and has scored a goal or an assist in 12 of his last 15 games. Victorine is having the best offensive season for a Bruin midfielder since Eddie Lewis scored 32 points in 1995. The Bruins are undefeated when he scores a goal or assist and 5-2 when he is held scoreless.
Pete Vagenas, Midfielder: Senior Pete Vagenas (Pasadena, Calif./St. Francis HS), UCLA's team co-captain, ranks fourth on the team in scoring with a career-high 17 points and is second with a career-high 11 assists. He has moved up to fifth all-time on UCLA's career assists chart with 30. This season, Vagenas scored game-winning goals in overtime against Butler and against San Diego State and also assisted on four game-winning goals. Vagenas earned All-MPSF honors for the fourth consecutive year, picking up first-team acclaim.
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 missed eight games due to a knee injury but came back to play 25 minutes in the MPSF Championship and returned to the starting lineup against USD, scoring a goal in the second half. He contributed an assist in the Bruins' 2-0 win at Saint Louis in the NCAA second round. Despite missing the eight games, Bocanegra was still selected to the All-MPSF first team for the third consecutive year.
Bruin Players Lend a Helping Hand (or Foot) - Selfish is certainly not one word that could be used to describe the 1999 UCLA team. The Bruins lead the MPSF in assists with 67. Midfielder Shaun Tsakiris moved into eighth place on UCLA's Top 10 list for single season assists with 12, and he is followed close behind by fellow midfielder Pete Vagenas, who is tied for ninth with 11. Vagenas has also moved into fifth place in career assists with 30. Vagenas and Tsakiris are the first Bruin pair since 1995 to record double-digit assists in the same season (Robbie LaBelle, 14, Eddie Lewis, 10, Greg Vanney, 10). In addition, forward Martin Bruno has nine assists, and midfielder Sasha Victorine has eight.
Rimando Sets School Record - Junior goalkeeper Nick Rimando has established a new school record for single season goalkeeping victories with 19. Rimando passed, among others, his goalkeeper coach David Vanole, who had 18 in 1985. With 39 career wins, Rimando moved into a tie for fifth place in career victories. This season, Rimando holds a 0.70 goals against average (0.62 career) with 66 saves.
Stingy Defense - Rimando has had plenty of help in keeping his goals against average down. Defenders Carlos Bocanegra, Adam Cooper, Ryan Lee and Steve Shak have held opponents to single-digit shot totals in 10 of the last 11 games.
30/30 Vision - With 32 and 30 points respectively, Sasha Victorine and McKinley Tennyson, Jr. have become UCLA's first pair of 30-point scorers since 1991 when three players scored over 30 points (Joe-Max Moore, 43, Zak Ibsen, 35, Cobi Jones, 34).
Pierce to Celebrate 20th Birthday at College Cup - Redshirt freshman forward Tim Pierce (Dana Point/Santa Margarita HS) hopes for a huge birthday celebration this weekend. Pierce, who turns 20 on Wednesday, Dec. 8, is making his first trip to the College Cup.
Ten Bruins Named to All-Conference Team - A school-record tying six Bruins were selected to the All-MPSF first-team - Pacific Division Player of the Year Sasha Victorine, goalkeeper Nick Rimando, defenders Carlos Bocanegra and Steve Shak and midfielders Shaun Tsakiris and Pete Vagenas. Four others were named to the second team - forwards Martin Bruno, McKinley Tennyson, Jr. and Shea Travis and defender Ryan Lee. Head coach Todd Salda?a , in his first season, was named the MPSF Pacific Division Co-Coach of the Year, along with fellow first-year coach Tim Vom Steeg of UC Santa Barbara.
UCLA Loaded with Playoff Experience ... - It is no question that UCLA has players who know what it takes to win an NCAA title. The Bruins have 12 players who have started NCAA playoff games and another two who have seen action in the tournament. In addition, eight Bruins (Carlos Bocanegra, Martin Bruno, Ryan Lee, Nick Paneno, Steve Shak, McKinley Tennyson, Jr., Shea Travis and Shaun Tsakiris) saw playing time in the NCAA Championship game in 1997.
... and National Team Experience - Not only do the Bruins have NCAA Championship experience, but the Bruins also have many players with U.S. National Team experience. Five Bruins won bronze medals with the U.S. U-23 National Team at the 1999 Pan American Games - Carlos Bocanegra, Ryan Futagaki, Steve Shak, Sasha Victorine and USA team captain Pete Vagenas. In addition, Bocanegra and Futagaki played in the U-20 FIFA World Youth Championships last April along with Nick Rimando and Shaun Tsakiris. Junior defender Ryan Lee has also seen time with the U-23 team.
UCLA Head Coach Todd Salda?a - Head coach Todd Salda?a has not had your typical first year on the job. Salda?a has only led his Bruins to an impressive 19-2 record and a perfect 7-0 mark in the MPSF Pacific Division, earned MPSF Co-Coach of the Year honors and taken his team to the NCAA College Cup. 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 and coached in the 1990 and 1994 Final Fours. 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.
Assistant Coaches Have Immense Final Four Experience - For guidance in Final Four games, the Bruins have a vast amount of knowledge on the bench in the form of assistant coaches Steve Rammel, David Vanole and Jose Lopez. Rammel played on two Final Four teams at Rutgers in 1989 and 1990. Vanole played in two semifinals (1984 and 1985) and shut out American for eight overtimes in the 1985 Championship match. Vanole also guided Final Four Defensive MVP Matt Reis to two shutouts during the 1997 championship season. Lopez played in three championship games at UCLA in the early 1970's and was an assistant with the 1997 Championship team.