Nov. 22, 2006
#8 UCLA vs. #1 Duke -- The eighth-seeded UCLA men's soccer team (12-5-4, ranked No. 14 in the Soccer America poll and No. 22 in the NSCAA poll) will travel to top-seeded Duke (18-3-1, ranked No. 1 by Soccer America and No. 2 by the NSCAA) for NCAA quarterfinal action on Sunday, Nov. 26. The game will take place at Duke's Koskinen Stadium in Durham, NC and will kick off at 1 pm ET. This is UCLA's 18th appearance in the NCAA quarterfinals.
Live Coverage -- Gametracker live stats will be provided at goduke.com.
Winner Advances To College Cup -- The winner of Sunday's quarterfinal game will move on to the College Cup in St. Louis, Mo. to play the winner of Friday's Virginia/Notre Dame quarterfinal game. The Bruins are seeking their 12th trip to the College Cup and first since winning the NCAA title in 2002. Duke is looking for its sixth College Cup appearance and second in the last three years. The Blue Devils were semifinalists in 2004 and NCAA champions in 1986.
How They Got Here -- As the eighth seed, UCLA received a first round bye and then posted identical 3-0 wins over Harvard in the second round and ninth-seeded Clemson in the third round. Duke, the ACC Tournament champion, also had a first round bye and then defeated Brown in the second round, 2-0, and Fairfield in the third round, 3-0.
Bruins Reach Tournament For 24th Straight Year -- UCLA's selection into the NCAA Tournament is its 24th consecutive and 34th overall. UCLA's NCAA streak is the second-longest active streak in the nation, and the 34 NCAA appearances are second only to Saint Louis' 43. UCLA has won national championships in 1985, 1990, 1997 and 2002. The Bruins' all-time NCAA record is 57-30.
UCLA Posts 40th Consecutive Winning Record -- With another winning season in the books, the Bruins have increased their NCAA record for consecutive winning seasons to 40. UCLA has posted winning seasons in every season since 1967. The Bruins have 14 more years of winning seasons from 1953-1966, but soccer was not an NCAA sport at UCLA at the time.
UCLA vs. Tournament Field -- The Bruins played an astounding 14 games out of 21 against NCAA Tournament teams, posting a record of 8-5-1. UCLA has victories over New Mexico (2-0 on Sept. 8), Santa Clara (2-1 on Sept. 15), San Francisco (2-0 on Sept. 17), Washington (2-1 in double overtime on Sept. 29), UC Santa Barbara (3-1 on Oct. 5), San Diego State (2-1 on Oct. 8), Harvard (3-0 in the NCAA 2nd Round on Nov. 15) and Clemson (3-0 in the NCAA 3rd Round on Nov. 19), as well as a tie against San Diego State (1-1 on Nov. 3). All of UCLA's losses this season have come to NCAA Tournament teams, including four against Top 16 seeds (No. 4 Virginia, No. 5 Maryland, No. 13 California twice).
In The Rankings -- UCLA ranks No. 14 in the Soccer America poll, No. 22 in the NSCAA and College Soccer News polls and No. 15 in the Soccer Times poll. Duke is ranked No. 1 by Soccer America and College Soccer News and No. 2 by the NSCAA and Soccer Times.
Scouting the Blue Devils -- Duke won its second consecutive ACC title this season, defeating Wake Forest in the ACC title game, 1-0 in overtime. M.A.C. Hermann Trophy semifinalist Michael Videira was the Tournament MVP. The Blue Devils have shut out four straight opponents and are on a five-game winning streak. Mike Grella leads six players in double-figure scoring with 31 points (13g, 5a), followed by Spencer Wadsworth with 27 points (7g, 13a) and Videira with 22 points (8g, 6a). Goalkeeper Justin Papadakis has posted eight shutouts and holds a goals against average of 0.73. Head coach John Rennie is seeking his 400th career victory at Duke.
Prior Matchups -- UCLA leads the all-time series with Duke, 3-2. The last meeting came in 1997, a 4-2 home win for the Bruins, who went on to win the NCAA title that season. Duke's last victory came in 1995 at the Duke Tournament, a 4-3 overtime win.
Common Opponents -- UCLA and Duke have four common opponents this season - Harvard (UCLA 3-0 home win, Duke 2-1 road win), Maryland (UCLA 4-1 road loss, Duke 1-0 road loss and 1-0 home win), Virginia (UCLA 1-0 road loss, Duke 2-1 home win) and Clemson (UCLA 3-0 home win, Duke 1-0 road loss).
Offense, Defense Clicking In Post-Season -- Two games into post-season play, and the Bruins are firing on all cylinders both offensively and defensively. UCLA has outscored its opponents 6-0 in two games and has limited its two high-scoring opponents to just eight shots apiece and a total of five shots on goal in the two games.
Harvard came into the second round game as the highest scoring team in the nation with an average of 2.5 goals per game, and the Bruin defense recorded the first shutout of the year on the Crimson. Clemson also came in with a potent offense that had scored 42 goals on the year, including 11 apiece from Dane Richards and Frederico Moojen. They too were shut out. The starting Bruin backline of Mike Zaher, Greg Folk, Brad Rusin and Kiel McClung have been effective in thwarting any scoring opportunities, as has goalkeeper Eric Reed, who has two straight shutouts while only having to make four saves.
Offensively, the Bruins have flourished in the three games since midfielder Kyle Nakazawa was moved to the forward position. Not coincidentally, UCLA has scored three goals in each of those games, and Nakazawa has had a goal or an assist in each game. Sal Zizzo has been the spark-plug in the post-season, scoring three goals with one assist in the two tournament games. David Estrada scored two goals against Clemson and has scored nine of his 10 goals in the last 10 games.
Eight Bruins Earn All-Pac-10 Honors -- Eight UCLA players received All-Pac-10 honors this season, with junior defender Mike Zaher and sophomore midfielder Sal Zizzo leading the way with first team honors. Zaher, the Bruins' defensive leader at left back, received his first career conference nod. He has scored two goals with two assists this season. Zizzo, who ranks second in the Pac-10 in assists with eight and second on the Bruin team in scoring with 16 points, improves his standing from last season, when he earned second-team honors. Zizzo was also last season's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Receiving second-team acclaim were freshman forward David Estrada (8g, 3a, 19 points), sophomore forward Jason Leopoldo (6g, 3a, 15 points) and senior defender Kiel McClung (1g, 2a, 4 points). Making the honorable mention team were freshman midfielder Kyle Nakazawa (4g, 4a, 12 points), senior goalkeeper Eric Reed (8-4-1 record, 4 shutouts, 1.13 GAA) and sophomore defender Brad Rusin (17 games played, 12 starts).
Top Drawer Soccer Honors Zizzo, Five Freshmen -- Six UCLA men's soccer players were honored by Top Drawer Soccer in the internet site's year-end awards. Sophomore midfielder Sal Zizzo was named to the National Team of the Season (First Team), while five freshmen were selected to the All-Rookie Team - first-teamers Kyle Nakazawa, Michael Stephens and David Estrada, and second-teamers Brian Perk and Chance Myers.
Four Bruins On Pac-10 All-Academic Teams -- Four UCLA players received Academic All-Pac-10 honors for their achievements in the classroom. Senior goalkeeper Eric Reed was a second-team selection for the second consecutive year. He posted a 3.28 cumulative grade point average in Religious Studies. Junior defenders Greg Folk and Mike Zaher and sophomore forward Maxwell Griffin received honorable mention acclaim.
Regular Season In Review -- UCLA went through a difficult series of challenges to get to the post-season. Not only did the Bruins have to play arguably the most difficult schedule in the nation, with 12 games against NCAA Tournament teams, but they had to do it without several key players who were out due to injuries and with a mainly under-class team.
The season started off rough before any games were even played. Senior defender Brandon Owens tore his ACL in the spring and did not play this year. He will apply for a redshirt season. Junior defender Edwige Ligonde suffered a stress fracture in his left tibia in pre-season training and will also apply for a redshirt year. Freshman forward Robert Georgiefski tore his left ACL and medial meniscus in an exhibition game on Aug. 20.
When the season started, the Bruins had to adjust to the losses of those players, not to mention adjust to a team filled with 13 newcomers, including 12 freshmen. The regular season started with a tie against Cal State Northridge in the season opener and a pair of road losses to No. 1 Maryland and No. 3 Virginia. The schedule wasn't getting much easier, as the Bruins took their winless record to 2005 NCAA runner-up New Mexico. But in front of a crowd of over 3,000 Lobo fans, the Bruins recorded a 2-0 shutout victory thanks to a pair of goals by Maxwell Griffin. The Bruins won their next game against Oakland, 4-1, and returned home to host a pair of undefeated Top 10 squads in Santa Clara and San Francisco. Griffin was instrumental in both games, scoring the game's first goal in the 2-1 win over Santa Clara and the game-winning goal in the 2-0 shutout victory over San Francisco. Griffin was subsequently named the National Player of the Week by the NSCAA, Soccer America and Soccer Times.
Unfortunately, in the Bruins' next game at California on Sept. 22, Griffin's season came to a sudden end when he tore his left ACL just three minutes into the game. Then in the 21st minute, midfielder Tony Beltran, a member of the U.S. Under-20 National Team, went down with an ankle injury that kept him off the field for a month. With the Bruins reeling from the loss of those two players, they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Golden Bears and then tied Stanford two days later, 1-1.
A date with fourth-ranked and undefeated Washington was next on the agenda for the Bruins, and for the third time in the season, another Top 10 team tasted its first defeat at the hands of UCLA. The Bruins defeated the Huskies 2-1 in double overtime on a goal by freshman midfielder James Jaramillo, who was starting in place of the injured Beltran, with 18 seconds left to play. The win was the first in a five-game winning streak that eventually propelled the Bruins into the Top 10 in the national rankings. UCLA added a home win over Oregon State and road wins at UC Santa Barbara, San Diego State and Oregon State before the win streak was stopped at Washington.
Despite the loss to the Huskies, the Bruins were still in position to defend their Pac-10 title but fell short after losing to Cal. The Bruins rebounded with a big 3-1 win over San Diego in the regular season finale to finish the year 6-2-2 in their last 10 regular season games.
The Killer Z -- Sophomore midfielder Sal Zizzo has been UCLA's offensive catalyst throughout the Bruins' post-season run, scoring three goal and an assist in two games. Zizzo scored two first half goals, including one just 1:55 into the game, to lead UCLA to a 3-0 win over Harvard in the second round. He contributed to all three goals in the third round shutout win over Clemson, assisting on the first, which was a David Estrada putback of a saved Zizzo shot, scored the second and fed Estrada for the last goal, which he scored after juking two defenders three times. Zizzo now ranks second on the team in scoring with 19 points and continues to lead the team with nine assists.
Estrada Extravaganza -- Freshman forward David Estrada has been on a scoring tear in the second half of the season, scoring 21 of his 23 points in the last 11 games to move into the team lead and into third in the Pac-10 in goals scored (10) and points (23). Estrada's 10 goals mark the most by a UCLA freshman since Chad Barrett also had 10 in 2003. The success of the walk-on from Salinas, Calif. should be no surprise to anyone familiar with his high school career. At Alisal HS last year, Estrada scored a national-best 66 goals, including 11 in one game, the second-most single-game goals in state history.
Freshmen No Longer -- With all of the playing time UCLA's highly-touted 12-man freshman class has received this season, they can practically be considered veterans now. The Bruins have relied heavily on the freshmen class, and they have responded. Forward David Estrada leads the team in scoring with 10 goals and 23 points. Midfielder Kyle Nakazawa has started in all 21 games and ranks fourth on the team in scoring with 13 points (4g, 5a). Midfielder Michael Stephens has started in each of the last 19 games and has seen action in all 21. He has recorded one goal and three assists on the year. Defender Chance Myers has played in 18 games with five starts and ranks third on the team with four assists. Midfielder James Jaramillo has played in 18 games with nine starts and scored the game-winning goal in double overtime against Washington. Midfielder Andrew Sinderhoff has logged three starts and played in 12 games, recording his first collegiate goal against Oakland. Goalkeeper Brian Perk has posted a record of 3-1-3 with 29 saves. Defenders Patrick Rickards, Danny Suits and Ryan White have played in six games.
National Teamers -- UCLA has a plethora of U.S. Youth National Team members on its roster. Fourteen of the 26 players on the roster have been in the National Team program, with several seeing action this fall. In August, Sal Zizzo, Tony Beltran and Chance Myers played with the Under-20 National Team at the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland and led the U.S. to the championship game. Freshman goalkeeper Brian Perk has been called up twice for Under-20 National Team duty during the season, playing in the Busan International Tournament in Korea Aug. 25-Sept. 2 and joining the team for a four-day training camp in Florida from Oct. 8-12, with a friendly against Haiti on Oct. 11. Perk recorded two caps at the Busan Tournament when he started against both Korea and Argentina. He earned the victory against Argentina, allowing just one late goal while making five saves. Perk, the youngest player in the U-20 camp (he just turned 17 on July 21), also started against Haiti in October, playing 45 shutout minutes. Perk now has 20 career caps with the U-17s, U-18s and U-20s.
Bruin Alumni Making Headlines -- Former Bruin Jonathan Bornstein (2004-05) was named the Major League Soccer Rookie of the Year after his outstanding first season with Chivas USA. A steal as a fourth-round pick, Bornstein led all MLS field players in minutes played (2,878) and was Chivas' third leading scorer with six goals and four assists. He is the second former UCLA player to earn league Rookie of the Year honors, joining Carlos Bocanegra (2000). Matt Reis (1994-97) converted a penalty kick and saved one in the MLS Championship game, but two of his New England teammates missed kicks of their own, enabling the Houston Dynamo to win the MLS Cup. Former Bruins Zach Wells (2000-03) and Patrick Ianni (2003-05) did not play in the MLS title game but are members of the championship squad from Houston. Jimmy Conrad (1996-97) was selected to the MLS Best XI for the third consecutive year. Benny Feilhaber (2003-04) is now starting with the first team at Hamburg FC in the German Bundesliga. Kamani Hill (2004-05) will join Feilhaber in the German Bundesliga, having just recently signed a two-and-a-half year contract to play with VfL Wolfsburg.
Head Coach Jorge Salcedo -- In his third season as head coach, former UCLA All-American Jorge Salcedo has led his Bruin team to a Top 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the third year in a row and to a NCAA quarterfinal appearance for the first time in his head coaching tenure. In his first two seasons at the helm, he led UCLA to two Pac-10 team titles, and in his first year, he was selected the Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year. Salcedo has posted a three-year coaching record of 38-14-9. Salcedo was the Bruins' assistant coach from 2001-03 and helped lead UCLA to the 2002 NCAA Championship and to two Pac-10 titles. As a player, he was a four-year starter at UCLA, and as a freshman, he scored the game-winning penalty kick in the 1990 NCAA Championship game. Salcedo has been lauded for his recruiting ability, as his 2004 and 2006 recruiting classes were ranked No. 1 in the nation.