#2 UCLA vs. San Diego State
Saturday, Nov. 16 - 7 pm
Live Stats - goaztecs.com
The second-ranked UCLA men's soccer team (10-3-4, 5-1-3) will conclude its regular season on the road on Saturday night, squaring off against San Diego State (6-10-2, 2-5-2) at 7 p.m. at the SDSU Sports Deck.
Live Coverage — Fans can follow Saturday's match online through a live stats link at uclabruins.com.
In The Rankings — The Bruins came in at No. 2 in this week's College Soccer News, Soccer America and NSCAA polls and No. 1 in the Top Drawer Soccer poll. UCLA is also ranked No. 1 in the NCAA RPI. San Diego State is unranked in all polls.
A Look at the Pac-12 Race — With one conference match remaining for all teams, the race for the conference crown is tight as three teams are separated by just two points. Washington currently holds the top spot in the Pac-12 with 20 points while California is just one point behind with 19. UCLA is in third with 18 points. Washington can clinch the Pac-12 title with a win at Oregon State on Sunday while the Bruins need to defeat San Diego State on Saturday and have Washington lose to earn the conference championship. With its loss to Stanford last night, California has been eliminated from contention for the Pac-12 title. If UCLA wins and Washington and Oregon State tie it will come down to a tiebreaker. UCLA has won four of the last five Pac-12 titles and a conference-leading eight overall.
Giant Killers — UCLA has defeated four top-3 opponents this season, including two teams that were ranked No. 1 at the time of their matchup with the Bruins. UCLA dispatched top-ranked Indiana, 1-0, on Sept. 1 before defeating third-ranked Cal State Northridge on Sept. 22, with both wins coming on the road. The Bruins then took care of No. 3 Washington at home and No. 1 California by matching scores of 2-1 on Oct. 27 and Nov. 3 respectively. Overall, the Bruins are 4-1-2 against ranked opponents this season.
Scouting the Aztecs — San Diego State enters Saturday's matchup with a record of 6-10-2 on the year. The Aztecs played two non-conference matches over the weekend, falling to Wright State, 3-2, before defeating Grand Canyon, 4-0. Senior forward Jordan Ongaro leads the Aztecs and the Pac-12 with 10 goals and 21 points on the season. Senior midfielder Abraham Villon is second to Ongaro, scoring six goals and notching a team-high seven assists while senior midfielder Kody Duff has recorded 10 points (4 g, 2 a) in 16 matches. In goal, senior Blake Hylen will most likey get the start. He has posted a 1.74 GAA and 49 saves in just over 1,193 minutes of action. Finally, head coach Lev Kirshner is in his 14th season as head coach of the Aztecs.
The Series with San Diego State — The Bruins have a record of 35-4-11 all-time against San Diego State. Last year, UCLA swept both matchups against the Aztecs, winning 4-3 down in San Diego before clinching the Pac-12 title against the Aztecs at home with a 2-1 win. In the first game in San Diego, senior Reed Williams scored twice to lead the Bruins while seniors Joe Sofia and Victor Chavez scored the other two goals. Then in the regular season finale in Los Angeles, the Bruins fell behind 1-0 before getting goals from Ryan Hollingshead and Williams to secure the come-from-behind victory. Back in October, the Bruins once again earned a come-from-behind win over the Aztecs at Drake Stadium, getting goals from freshman Kevin De La Torre and Chavez in the final 15 minutes to earn the win. UCLA is unbeaten in their last 12 matches against the Aztecs, with its last loss to San Diego State coming on Oct. 6, 2007. The Bruins have also won the last seven matches in the series.
Last Time Out — The Bruins were off last week and last played at Stanford and California on Nov. 1 and 3 respectively, earning two big victories over the Bay Area schools. Against the Cardinal, the Bruins went down 1-0 in the 31st minute on a goal by Jordan Morris, but came roaring back with goals from freshmen Gage Zerboni and Nathan Smith to claim a 2-1 victory. Seniors Victor Munoz earned the assist on Zerboni's goal while Chavez picked up the assist on Smith's. Junior keeper Earl Edwards Jr. matched a season-high with seven saves in the match. Then against the Golden Bears, UCLA again won 2-1 behind goals from freshman Kevin De La Torre and junior Leo Stolz. Munoz again earned an assist while De La Torre scored his goal unassisted. With the win over California, UCLA was able to move up to the top of the NCAA RPI and the Top Drawer Soccer poll.
Road Warriors — UCLA has posted a terrific record on the road in the last few seasons, going 19-1-6 in its last 26 road or neutral site matches. The Bruins went unbeaten on the road last season, going 8-0-2, and have a 4-1-3 record in road and neutral site contests this season. Prior to the loss at UC Irvine on Sept. 19, the Bruins had not lost a road or neutral site match since 2011. UCLA is also unbeaten its last 18 Pac-12 road matches dating back to 2010.
Three Bruins Earn Capital One Academic All-District Honors — Seniors Joe Sofia and Reed Williams and sophomore Grady Howe were all selected to the Capital One Academic All-District Team. This is the second year in a row that Williams and Sofia have been named to the All-District team while Howe was selected for the first time. Sofia became UCLA’s first ever men’s soccer player to earn first-team Capital One Academic All-America honors in 2012 and has captained the Bruins to a 10-3-4 record thus far. Williams has played in all 17 matches in 2013, scoring one goal in 610 minutes while Howe has has played in every single match since his arrival in Westwood (34 matches in total). The Bruins have now landed 12 players all-time on the Capital One Academic All-District Team and have produced seven selections in the last two seasons.
Foreign Influence — Stolz has also done a great job of putting points on the board this season, scoring at least one goal in six of his last 11 matches and recording one point in eight of his last 11. The Munich, Germany native scored the game-winning goal in UCLA's 1-0 win over UC Santa Barbara on Sept. 13 before adding another in the Bruins' 3-2 overtime victory over San Diego on Sept. 15. After being held without a goal at UC Irvine on Sept. 19, Stolz punched in two more in UCLA's win at Cal State Northridge before burying a penalty kick against UC Riverside on Sept. 26 and adding goals at Washington and California. He is currently tied for second in the Pac-12 in points (19) and is fourth in goals (7), all while leading the conference in game-winning goals (4). Last season, Stolz earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors after registering eight assists. Senior Victor Munoz, who hails from Madrid, Spain, has also been an integral part of the Bruins this year, leading the team with eight assists, good for 19th-best nationally and second in the Pac-12. Additionally, he has recorded an assist in four of the five matches.
Joe Sofia Named Senior Class Award Finalist — Senior defender Joe Sofia has been selected as one of 10 finalists for the 2013 Men's Soccer Senior CLASS Award. Sofia, a native of Dove Canyon, Calif., has upheld a 3.965 cumulative GPA in communication studies and is on track to graduate after the Fall quarter after just three years and one quarter. He has held the highest GPA among all of UCLA’s student-athletes since the spring of 2012 and has made the Director’s Honor Roll in every one of his quarters at UCLA (nine times in total). Sofia has been very active in the community as well, developing an anti-bullying curriculum with some fellow student-athletes that will be distributed to local middle schools later this fall. On the field, Sofia has played in 79 matches in his four-year career, starting 77 of them. This season, he has started 16 of UCLA's 17 matches while serving as the team captain and the anchor of the back line. Additionally, Sofia leads the Bruins in minutes with 1,434.
Head Coach Jorge Salcedo — UCLA head coach Jorge Salcedo is in his 10th season at the helm of the program, posting an all-time record of 128-48-32. He has coached UCLA to eight Pac-12 Titles as an assistant coach or head coach and is a four-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year (co-coach in 2004, winner in 2008, 2011 and 2012). Salcedo has also led UCLA to two College Cup appearances and is the second-longest tenured men's soccer head coach in UCLA's NCAA history.
Coming Up — The Bruins will find out their postseason draw when the NCAA airs its selection show on Monday, Nov. 18 at 9 am PT live on NCAA.com.