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Men's Soccer Travels To No. 6 Seed Virginia In NCAA Quarterfinals
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  11/29/1999

Nov. 29, 1999

This Week - To get to Charlotte for the Men's College Cup, the UCLA men's soccer team (18-2, ranked No. 3 by the NSCAA) must first go through Charlottesville. The Bruins will travel to Charlottesville, Va. to face sixth-seeded Virginia (14-8-1, ranked No. 14 by the NSCAA) on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 1:00 pm ET for a quarterfinal game at Klöckner Stadium. The winner will advance to the College Cup Dec. 10 and 12 at Charlotte's Ericsson Stadium. The Bruins, who were awarded an at-large bid into the Championships, are unseeded in the Tournament and are making their 17th consecutive and 27th overall appearance. UCLA defeated San Diego 4-1 at home in the first round and Saint Louis 2-0 on the road in the second round.

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 have advanced to collegiate soccer's semifinals nine times and are making their 15th quarterfinal appearance. UCLA's all-time NCAA record is 43-24, 9-5 in quarterfinal games.

Virginia in the NCAA Tournament - Virginia has participated in 21 NCAA Championships and holds an all-time tournament record of 38-15-2. The Cavaliers have won five championships, including four straight from 1991-94. Virginia last advanced to the Final Four in 1997, but lost to the Bruins 2-0 in the championship game. Virginia defeated two Ivy League schools to get to the quarterfinals, dropping Princeton 2-1 in triple overtime and Brown 3-1 in the second round. The Cavaliers are 18-2 in NCAA games held at Klöckner Stadium during the past eight seasons.

A Look at the Cavaliers - The 14-8-1 Cavaliers, who received an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, are coached by George Gelnovatch in his fourth season. Junior pre-season All-American Ryan Trout, Virginia's top returning scorer from 1998, continues to lead the team with 28 points (9g, 10a). Three other players have scored 20+ points - Sheldon Barnes (22), Kyle Martino (21) and Ryan Gibbs (20). Kyle Singer (1.23 GAA) and David Comfort (0.90 GAA) have shared goalkeeping duties this season. Comfort had the victory in Virginia's 3-1 win over Brown last Sunday. Virginia has been making a living out of taking teams out early in the game during the playoffs - against Brown, the Cavaliers scored at 1:43, and against Princeton, they scored at 8:56 to take an early lead.

Stats Comparison -

Category                    UCLA             Virginia
Overall Record              18-2-0           14-8-1
Home Record                  8-0-0           10-3-1
Road Record                  7-2-0            2-4-0
Record vs. Ranked Teams      4-1-0            4-4-1
Record vs. NCAA Teams        3-1-0            6-5-1
Goals Scored                    49               44
Goals Allowed                   15               27
Shutouts                         8                6
Shots                          340              278
Corner Kicks                   127              133
NCAA Appearances                27               21
Overall NCAA Wins               43               38

Bruins Look for Second Win vs. Virginia in 99 - UCLA and Virginia will meet for the second time this season, having played each other Oct. 31 at UCLA. The Bruins won that matchup 2-0 behind goals by defenders Steve Shak and Ryan Lee. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando made two big saves to earn the shutout. UCLA also defeated Virginia in the teams' only NCAA meeting - 2-0 in the 1997 NCAA Championship game in Richmond, Va. UCLA holds the all-time series advantage, 3-1, and has won the last two games. This weekend's game will be the first in the series at Klöckner Stadium - the other two games in the series were held at Indiana and UNLV.

Three Bruins Return for Virginia Rematch - Without Carlos Bocanegra, McKinley Tennyson, Jr. and Shaun Tsakiris in the lineup, UCLA defeated Virginia 2-0 in late October. Now Virginia has the daunting task of playing the Bruins with those three in the lineup. The trio missed the October game with injuries and illnesses but are now at full strength in time for the rematch. All three have proven themselves in the past against Virginia. In the 1997 Championship game, Tennyson had an assist, Bocanegra played great defense to help preserve the shutout, and Tsakiris provided a solid nine minutes off the bench.

UCLA Shuts Out Saint Louis 2-0 - On the road last Sunday, UCLA earned a 2-0 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 his seventh solo shutout of the season.

Bruin Defense Steps Up - Much of UCLA's 2-0 win over Saint Louis can be attributed to the Bruin defense, which earned its eighth shutout of the season. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando had a strong game, making three saves, and defenders Carlos Bocanegra, Adam Cooper, Ryan Lee and Steve Shak held the Billikens to just seven shots in the game. Cooper made a goal-saving clearance in the second half, stopping a Saint Louis shot with a header after Rimando was drawn out of the box. UCLA's defense has held opponents to single-digit shot totals in nine of the last 10 games.

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 NCAA 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.

A Look at the Bruins - Guided by first-year head coach Todd Saldana, the 1999 UCLA Bruins enter Saturday's game with an 18-2 overall record and a No. 3 final regular-season national ranking. UCLA, which has won 16 of its last 17 games, has been solid on both ends of the field, averaging 2.5 goals per game while holding a team goals against average of 0.71. Senior midfielder Sasha Victorine and junior forward McKinley Tennyson, Jr. lead six Bruins in double-figure scoring with 30 points apiece. Junior goalkeeper Nick Rimando has recorded eight shutouts, seven solo, and has recorded a goals against average of 0.73 with 62 saves.

Player of the Year Candidate Updates -

Sasha Victorine, Midfielder: Senior Sasha Victorine (Corona, Calif./Rio Americano HS), UCLA's team co-captain, is tied for first on the team with a career-high 30 points. He has also scored a team-high four 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. 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. He was selected the Pacific Soccer Classic Offensive MVP and has scored a goal or an assist in 11 of his last 14 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 tied for first 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.

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.

Bruin Players Lend a Helping Hand (or Foot) - UCLA leads the MPSF in assists with 64. Midfielders Pete Vagenas and Shaun Tsakiris have moved into UCLA's Top 10 list for single season assists with 11 (tied for eighth place), and Vagenas has moved into fifth place in career assists with 30. The duo are the first Bruin pair to record double-digit assists in the same season since 1995 (Robbie LaBelle, 14, Eddie Lewis, 10, Greg Vanney, 10). In addition, forward Martin Bruno has nine assists, and midfielder Sasha Victorine has eight.

Rimando Ties School Record - Junior goalkeeper Nick Rimando has tied a school record for single season goalkeeping victories with 18. Rimando is now in the company of such goalkeeping greats as Anton Nistl (1989), Mike Vanneman (1977) and current UCLA goalkeeper coach David Vanole (1985). With 38 career wins, Rimando is also closing in on the Top 5 list for career victories. One more win would put Rimando in fifth place with Steve Burnside.

30/30 Vision - With 30 points apiece, 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).

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 - First-year head coach Todd Salda?a has led his Bruins to an impressive 18-2 record and a perfect 7-0 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.


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