Sept. 26, 2012
This Week -- The sixth-ranked UCLA men's soccer team (5-1-2) begins conference play this weekend as they travel to the Bay Area to take on Stanford (3-4-0) on Friday, Sept. 28 at 4 pm and California on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 4 pm.
Live Coverage -- Both matches will be nationally broadcast live on the Pac-12 Networks (National and Los Angeles). Mark Rogondino will provide the play-by-play and Cobi Jones will provide the analysis for the Stanford match while Allen Hopkins and Brian Dunseth will call the California match. In addition, fans can follow the matches via gametracker. Links are available at uclabruins.com on the events calendar on the front page. Fans can find out if they get Pac-12 Networks by visiting Pac-12.com or by contacting their television provider.
In The Rankings -- UCLA moved up to No. 6 in the Soccer America poll this week after going 1-0-1 at UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly last weekend. The Bruins are also ranked No. 6 by College Soccer News, No. 9 by the NSCAA and No. 10 by Top Drawer Soccer. Stanford and California are unranked in all polls.
Scouting The Cardinal -- Stanford enters their match with the Bruins with a record of 3-4-0 on the year. The Cardinal are led up front by senior forward Adam Jahn, who leads the team with four goals and 10 points this season. Jahn earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors a year ago and was named a third-team NSCAA All-Far West Region selection in 2011. Junior Drew Hutchins will man the goal for the Cardinal, entering this weekend with a 1.26 GAA and 18 saves. Finally, head coch Jeremy Gunn is in his 1st season as head coach of the Cardinal after spending the last five seasons coaching at the University of Charlotte.
The Series With Stanford -- UCLA has an all-time record of 39-6-7 against the Cardinal and has won the last three meetings in the series. Last season, the Bruins swept Stanford in both matches, winning by scores of 2-0 and 3-0. UCLA won 2-0 at North Athletic Field behind goals from Ryan Hollingshead and Andy Rose before traveling up to Palo Alto and winning 3-0 behind goals from Shawn Singh and Victor Chavez. The Bruins also defeated the Cardinal back in the 2002 NCAA Championship match, winning 1-0 behind Aaron Lopez's goal with just over a minute to play. It was the first time in NCAA history that two schools from the same conference battled for the NCAA men's soccer title.
Scouting The Golden Bears -- California has a record of 5-2-1 entering this weekend and owns an unbeaten 4-0-1 record at home this season. Senior midfielder Tony Salciccia leads the Golden Bears with 10 points this season (4 g, 2 a) and was a second team All-Pac-12 selection in 2011. Sophomores Stefano Bonomo and Seth Casiple are also key members of the Golden Bears as both are tied for second on the team with eight points apiece. Bonomo has four goals on the year while Casiple has one goal and a Pac-12 leading six assists. Casiple also earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors in 2011. Finally, head coach Kevin Grimes is in his 13th season in charge of the Golden Bears and owns a career record of 136-82-31 at the school.
The Series With California -- The Bruins lead the overall series with California, 38-11-5. UCLA has won the last two meetings in the series, sweeping both matches last year against the Golden Bears. In the first match at Drake Stadium, Andy Rose scored a golden goal in the first minute of overtime to lift the Bruins to a 1-0 overtime win. Then up at Berkeley, UCLA defeated the Golden Bears behind goals from Chandler Hoffman and Eder Arreola. In addition, either California or UCLA has won the last 10 Pac-12 conference championships.
Recapping the Weekend -- UCLA continued their unbeaten streak after earning impressive results on the road last weekend. On Friday night, the Bruins earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw at third-ranked UC Santa Barbara in front of a hostile crowd of over 7,500. Senior Fernando Monge headed home UCLA's only goal in the 11th minute and the back line was able to continually fend off Santa Barbara's attacks to preserve the tie. Then on Sunday, the Bruins scored a 1-0 victory at Cal Poly behind another goal from Monge. Monge headed in a corner kick from sophomore Leo Stolz in the 46th minute while sophomore goalkeeper Earl Edwards made four saves to earn his second shutout of the year. With the win and the tie, UCLA upped their unbeaten streak to seven matches.
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 12 of their last 17 opponents, including a school record tying eight in a row last season. The back line of Matt Wiet, Joe Sofia, Chris Cummings and Grady Howe has continued the stellar defensive play this year while junior Patrick Matchett and freshman Javan Torre have contributed to the Bruins' strong defensive play as well. Sophomore Earl Edwards and Juan Cervantes have combined for four shutouts in goal this year, with each goalkeeper tallying two apiece. UCLA has also shutout its last six Pac-12 opponents dating back to last year and has not allowed a goal to a Pac-12 opponent in the last 638 minutes of conference play.
Road Warriors -- UCLA is unbeaten in their last 12 road matches dating back to September 18 of last year, going 10-0-2 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 3-0-2 on the road this year, earning ties at No. 1 Maryland and No. 3 UC Santa Barbara and victories at Virginia, Loyola Marymount and Cal Poly.
UCLA Picked To Win Pac-12 -- In a polling of the Conference's men's soccer head coaches, UCLA has been selected as the preseason favorite to win the Pac-12 in 2012. The Bruins, searching for their fourth conference title in five years and eighth title overall, received 24 total points with four first-place votes. In the last four seasons, the Bruins have compiled a 30-4-6 conference mark, the best amongst the Pac-12 teams. UCLA also enters the season having won their last 13 Pac-12 matches.
Coming Up -- UCLA returns home next week to continue conference play against Oregon State on Friday, Oct. 5 at 3 pm and Washington on Monday, Oct. 8 at 7 pm. Both matches will be nationally televised by the Pac-12 Networks.