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UCLA Men's Soccer: Bruins Finally Return Home to Meet #7 Washington
The Bruins haven't played a home game in over three weeks and the Huskies have only played one road game this season, a 2-0 victory over UC Berkeley.
The UCLA men’s soccer team (1-3-1, 0-2-1 Pac-12) will play a home game for the first time in over three weeks when the Bruins welcome the #7 Washington Huskies (5-1-0, 2-1-0 Pac-12) to Wallis Annenberg Stadium this afternoon. Kickoff is at 4 pm PT.
Last Time Out
It wasn’t pretty last Saturday at Stanford. The Bruins were game for the contest early on, holding the #3 ranked Cardinal in check for most of the first half, but the home team got on the score sheet in the 40th minute and went into dressing room up 1-0 over UCLA at the break.
The Bruins continued to fight for the first fifteen minutes or so of the second half, but then the wheels completely came off the UCLA bus as Stanford scored three goals in the short span of fourteen minutes between the 62nd and the 76th minutes. And that was all she wrote for the Bruins. Four different goal scorers featured for the Cardinal, which outshot UCLA, 20 to 5, with shots-on-goal equally one-sided, 10 to 2. There is a reason that Stanford is undefeated, untied, and ranked among the top teams in the nation. Those guys are very good.
Like #3 Stanford, #7 Washington is also good. The Huskies come into this game on a three-game winning streak.
UW can put the ball in the back of the net, evidenced by the team’s 19 goals in six games. Junior midfielders Lucas Meek and Dylan Teves have each scored four times, and sophomore midfielder Nick Scardina has thrice found the back of the net. In total, nine different players have scored goals for the Huskies this campaign. It is impressive that so many Huskies have contributed with goals.
And, UW can also defend, allowing only four goals across those same six games. Junior defender Charlie Ostrem, who was voted Pac-12 Player of the Week last week, is a big reason why the Huskies are so good in defense. 6’4” redshirt senior Ryan Sailor is also a big presence on the Husky backline.
Between the posts, sophomore Sam Fowler is 3-1 on the season with two clean sheets. Freshman Jacob Castro has also played, going the distance against San Diego State and playing a half in a 3-0 win over Gonzaga. My money is on Fowler to start against the Bruins.
As far as common opponents are concerned, the Bruins and Huskies have two at the moment, Oregon State and San Diego State. The Bruins tied SDSU at home and lost 2-1 to the Beavers in Corvallis. The Huskies also lost to Oregon State, 2-1, but that result was in Seattle. UW beat the Aztecs at home in overtime, 3-2.
The Huskies have only played one road game this season, a 2-0 victory over UC Berkeley.
UCLA is winless in its last four games, with its only victory of the season against San Francisco. Things don’t get any easier with the Huskies coming to town, but at least UCLA is back home.
Despite the teams’ respective records and apparently diverging trajectories, the results against common opponents not that dissimilar. I think that, while Washington is clearly favored on paper, UCLA could get a positive result today. I predict that UCLA surprises some folks this afternoon, coming away with a point in a 1-1 home draw.
UCLA Men’s Soccer (1-3-1)
Opponent: #7 Washington Huskies (5-1-0)
Game Time: 4:00 pm PT, Sunday, March 14, 2021
Where: Wallis Annenberg Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Live TV/Stream: None
Audio: uclabruins.com with Nick Koop
Live Stats: UCLA StatBroadcast
This is your UCLA men’s soccer versus Washington Huskies game thread.