Sept. 12, 2012
This Week -- The 11th-ranked UCLA men's soccer team (3-1-1) will start a five-game road trip this weekend, as they travel down the 405 freeway to take on Loyola Marymount (1-3-1) on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 2 pm at Sullivan Field on the LMU campus.
Live Coverage -- Fans can follow the match via gametracker. The link is available at uclabruins.com on the front page on the events calendar. In The Rankings -- The Bruins moved up one spot in both the Soccer America and NSCAA polls, coming in at No. 11 in Soccer America and No. 13 in the NSCAA. UCLA is also ranked No. 7 by College Soccer News and No. 11 by Top Drawer Soccer. Loyola Marymount is unranked in all polls.
Scouting The Lions -- Loyola Marymount enters Sunday's match against the Bruins with a 1-3-1 overall record. The Lions earned their first victory of 2012 this past weekend after defeating the Cal State Fullerton Titans 1-0. Freshman forward Pedro Velazquez leads the team with two goals and four points while sophomore defender Craig Nitti is second on the team with two points (1 g, 0 a). Junior keeper Billy Thompson has received the bulk of the playing time in goal, playing in three of Loyola Marymount's five matches and making 10 saves with 5 GA. Finally, head coach Paul Krumpe, who was the captain of UCLA's 1985 NCAA Championship winning squad and an assistant coach on the Bruins' 1997 NCAA title team, is in his 15th season as head coach of the Lions and owns a record of 127-123-31 at the school.
The Series With Loyola Marymount -- UCLA has an all-time record of 24-2-1 against the Lions and is unbeaten in their last four meetings against LMU. The two sides met last year at North Athletic Field on the UCLA campus where the Bruins prevailed 2-1. Chandler Hoffman and Ryan Lee scored the goals for UCLA while Ryan Hollingshead and Evan Raynr provided the assists. UCLA head coach Jorge Salcedo is 2-0-1 all-time against the Lions.
Recapping the Weekend -- After returning from a tough east coast road trip against Maryland and Virginia, there would be no rest for the weary as the Bruins turned around and played two quality opponents at home in Tulsa and UC Irvine. UCLA proved to be up to the task though, earning two big wins over the Golden Hurricane and the Anteaters. On Friday against Tulsa, UCLA picked up a 1-0 victory behind Max Estrada's goal in the 44th minute. Freshman goalie Juan Cervantes started his third consecutive match for the Bruins and made five saves to earn his first career shutout. Leo Stolz and Victor Munoz notched assists in the match as well. UCLA then earned a dramatic 2-1 win over then No. 11 UC Irvine on Sunday by virtue of two goals in the final eight minutes. After the Anteaters scored their lone goal of the match in the 71st minute, senior Fernando Monge scored the equalizer in the 83rd minute off of a header from an Evan Raynr cross to the middle. Then just four minutes later, Estrada scored the game-winner with a side-volley to the far post off an assist from Munoz. Raynr assisted on Estrada's goal as well to finish the day with two assists.
Estrada Earns Weekly Honors -- For his efforts over the weekend, junior Max Estrada was named to both the Top Drawer Soccer and College Soccer News National Teams of the Week, and was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week. The junior transfer from Salinas, Calif. had a big weekend for the Bruins, scoring a pair of game-winning goals to lift UCLA to two key home wins. On Friday against Tulsa, Estrada played just 29 minutes but made his presence felt by scoring the only goal of the match in the 44th minute off a header in front of goal. It was Estrada's first ever UCLA goal. Then on Sunday, Estrada fueled UCLA's 2-1 comeback win over 11th-ranked UC Irvine by scoring the game-winning goal with just three minutes to play. Estrada put in a beautiful side volley in the 87th minute as the Bruins improved to 3-1-1 on the season.
Putting Up Zeroes -- Dating back to last year, the UCLA defense has done a remarkable job of shutting out the opposition. The Bruins have shut out 11 of their last 16 opponents, including a school record tying eight in a row last season. A lot of that is due to the play of the back line of Matt Wiet, Joe Sofia, Patrick Matchett, who were starters a year ago and have continued their stellar defensive play this year. Senior Chris Cummings and freshman Grady Howe have also contributed to the Bruins' strong defensive play, helping UCLA earn two shutouts in five matches in 2012.
Road Warriors -- UCLA is unbeaten in their last nine road matches dating back to September 18 of last year, going 8-0-1 in that time frame. The Bruins won seven consecutive road matches a year ago, including a win in the NCAA Quarterfinals at Louisville, and are 1-0-1 on the road this year, earning a tie at Maryland and a victory at Virginia.
Coming Up -- UCLA will continue their road trip as they take on rivals UC Santa Barbara on Friday, Sept. 21 at 6 pm in Santa Barbara, Calif. before heading to San Luis Obispo to face Cal Poly on Sunday, Sept. 23 at 4 pm. The UCSB match will be nationally broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel.