Nov. 1, 1999
UCLA Faces Rival Cal State Fullerton for MPSF Pacific Division Title, Southern California Bragging Rights - The UCLA men's soccer team (15-1, 6-0 in the MPSF, ranked No. 2 by the NSCAA and SoccerTimes.com and No. 1 by Soccer America) will host 13th-ranked Cal State Fullerton (14-4, 5-1 in the MPSF) for the MPSF Pacific Division title on Sunday, Nov. 7 at 1 pm on the North Athletic Field. The game is the second in a double-header with the UCLA women, who will host their rival USC at 10:30 am.
MPSF Pacific Division Up for Grabs - UCLA currently leads the MPSF Pacific Division with a 6-0 mark, while Fullerton is 5-1 after a 2-0 loss to New Mexico Oct. 15. The winner of the game will face Mountain Division winner Washington for the MPSF Championship in Seattle on Wednesday, Nov. 10. In the event of a tie, UCLA would win the Pacific Division with no losses.
Bruins Hope to Break Losing Skid against Titans - After playing the last three matchups in Fullerton, UCLA finally gets a home match against the Titans with hopes of stopping a three-game losing streak to their Southern California rival. The last time UCLA hosted and defeated Fullerton was Oct. 20, 1996, and the Bruins came away with a 2-0 win behind goals from Sasha Victorine and Seth George. Since that game, the teams have played three times at Fullerton, with the Titans winning 2-1 (1996 NCAA first round), 3-1 (1997) and 2-1 (1998). Since 1980, UCLA is 8-1 at home against Cal State Fullerton, with the one loss coming in 1987, 0-2. UCLA leads the all-time series 23-6-2.
A Look at the Titans - At 14-4, Cal State Fullerton has its best Division I record ever after 18 matches. Head coach Al Mistri's Titans are led in scoring by Duncan Oughton (9 goals, 21 points). Shaun Higgins (19 points), Antonio Martinez (18) and Colby Jackson (17) are close behind. The Titans received a blow on Sunday during their 3-1 win over Air Force when offensive spark plug Art Ramirez (16 points) was lost for the season with a fractured clavicle.
1999 Bruins Having one of the Best Seasons in School History - With a 15-1 record, the Bruins have their best record after 16 games since the 1994 season when the Bruins were also 15-1 and advanced to the NCAA Final Four. The 1999 Bruins are also currently on a 13-game winning streak, the third-longest in school history. The 1970 team set the school record with 16 consecutive victories.
Bruins Win Fourth Consecutive Pacific Soccer Classic Title - With shutout victories over Air Force and Virginia, UCLA won its fourth consecutive and 11th overall Pacific Soccer Classic team title last weekend. The Bruins began their tournament with a 1-0 blanking of Air Force. Sasha Victorine scored the game's only goal. UCLA clinched the Classic victory with a 2-0 win over Virginia in a rematch of the 1997 NCAA Championship game, which the Bruins won also 2-0.
Shak Nets First Career Goal - In career game No. 60, senior sweeper Steve Shak (Cerritos, Calif./Gahr HS) netted his first career goal, the game-winner against five-time NCAA champion Virginia. "I'm proud to say that I got my first goal against Virgina," Shak said. "I can't do any better than that going out of my college career - a win against Virginia, and I score my first goal here at home." For his offensive and defensive efforts, Shak was selected to the Pacific Soccer Classic All-Tournament Team.
MPSF Player of the Week Nick Rimando on Shutout Streak - Junior goalkeeper Nick Rimando (Montclair, Calif./Montclair HS) earned his third and fourth consecutive shutouts this weekend, lowering his goals against average to an MPSF Pacific Division-leading 0.67 and earning MPSF Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career. Rimando has amassed 375 consecutive shutout minutes, 75 minutes away from his career-high of 450. Rimando, who made two great game-saving saves against Virginia, was selected the Pacific Soccer Classic Defensive MVP.
Victorine Continues Scoring Tear - With 14 points (4g, 6a) in his last 10 games, senior midfielder and Player of the Year candidate Sasha Victorine continues to pile up big numbers for the Bruins. Victorine, who was selected the Pacific Soccer Classic Offensive MVP, has recorded career-highs in all scoring categories this year with nine goals, eight assists and 26 points. Victorine is having the best offensive season for a Bruin midfielder since Eddie Lewis scored 32 points and Greg Vanney scored 26 in 1995.
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 scoring leader with a career-high 26 points. 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. Last weekend, he was selected the Pacific Soccer Classic Offensive MVP. Victorine has scored a goal or an assist in nine of his last 10 games.
Pete Vagenas, Midfielder: Senior Pete Vagenas (Pasadena, Calif./St. Francis HS), UCLA's team co-captain, ranks fourth on the team in scoring with 14 points and tied for second with eight assists. 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, at UNLV and vs. Virginia.
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 seven games with a knee injury and is listed as week to week.
Tennyson Still Looking for School Record - When he returns from what has now been a four-game absence due to 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.
UCLA Head Coach Todd Salda?a - First-year head coach Todd Salda?a has led his Bruins to an impressive 15-1 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.