With the return of UCLA football against Utah more than a week away, let's briefly shift our focus to the rest of our UCLA squads. While the men's soccer team under Jorge Salcedo continues to be a model of inconsistency, despite a deep and talented roster, the rest of UCLA's non-revenue squads rolled to victory since our last update. So, with that said, here are your non-revenue sports related bits and pieces from around the UCLA-iverse:
- Beginning with Salcedo's inconsistent #11-ranked men's soccer team got spanked by an unranked UC Irvine squad this past Thursday, 3-1. The Anteaters grabbed the early advantage, scoring in the 10th minute, before doubling their lead in the 57th minute. UCLA managed a consolation goal in the 74th minute through a Reed Williams header on a set piece, but it was too little, too late, as Irvine sealed the game with a third goal in the 78th minute. Showing how inconsistent they can be, the Bruins bounced back on Sunday, dropping #3-ranked Cal State Northridge, 4-2, to earn a huge road win. UCLA grabbed the lead in the dying minutes of the first half, with Leo Stolz netting in the 44th minute. And with half-time only minutes behind them, the Bruins doubled their advantage, with Victor Chavez scoring in the 51st minute. CSUN quickly responded, scoring in the 53rd minute, but both Stolz and Chavez got their second of the night (74th minute and 85th minute, respectively) to give the Bruins a comfortable 4-1 lead. CSUN nabbed a consolation goal in the 88th minute, but by then, the result was sealed for UCLA. With another inconsistent week in the books, the Bruins now stand at 4-2-1 overall, and will next be in action tomorrow against UC Riverside.
- Turning to their female counterparts, the #4-ranked women's soccer team dispatched Pepperdine 2-0 in a solid road win on Friday. The Lady Bruins took the advantage early, scoring through Darian Jenkins' nicely slotted shot in the 10th minute, with Pepperdine surrendering an own goal in the 59th minute to effectively guarantee the Lady Bruins the road win. Following up on Friday's win, the Lady Bruins put Loyola Marymount down easily 3-0 on Sunday. Darian Jenkins once again got on the score-sheet, netting her seventh of the season in the 10th minute, with the freshman quickly making a name for herself in Westwood. Sam Mewis (18th minute) and Kodi Lavrusky (27th minute) stretched the Bruin advantage in the first half, putting the game out of reach, until a red card issued to Abby Dahlkemper in the 41st minute dropped the Lady Bruins to just 10. Fortunately, despite being a player short, the Bruins were able to keep the shut-out alive. With the pair of wins, the Lady Bruins improve to 8-1 overall, taking on Arizona this Sunday to kick-off their Pac-12 season.
- Flipping over to the former national champs, the #11-ranked women's volleyball team took on Long Beach State last Wednesday, pulling out a narrow 3-2 (26-28, 30-28, 19-25, 25-22, 16-14) victory in a game that went down to the wire. The bruins were led by Kelly Reeves (21 kills), Karsta Lowe (20 kills) in the close road win. With the win, the Bruins improve to 9-1 overall, and will get their Pac-12 season started tonight against hated cross-town rival Southern Cal (7 p.m. PST on ESPNU).
- Finally, the dominant #2-ranked men's water polo team had a huge weekend at the NorCal Invitational in Berkeley. Beginning against #16-ranked Concordia, the Bruins looked every bit the championship-caliber squad, smashing Concordia 17-4 to open their tournament play, with Danny McClintick, Ryder Roberts, Chancellor Ramirez, and Jack Fellner all scoring hat tricks. Later that same day, the Bruins turned to #6-ranked UC Santa Barbara and dominated the Gauchos in a convincing 10-4 victory, with Paul Reynolds leading the Bruins with a hat trick. The next day, the Bruins took on #4-ranked Cal in the Bears' home pool, and UCLA came up with a big win in the tourney semi-final, dropping the Golden Bears, 6-5. In a tight game, UCLA finally grabbed the winner with only 4:29 left through Anthony Daboub's second goal of the match. Finally, in an epic showdown in the tourney final, the Bruins took on #1-ranked Southern Cal, and pulled out a huge fourth-quarter comeback to drop the hated Trojans, 9-8, and grab the NorCal Invitational tourney title. Led by a Lovre Milos' hat trick, the Bruins entered the fourth quarter trailing 6-7, but with three goals to Southern Cal's one, including the winner by Cristiano Mirachi with only 2:47 left in the match, the Bruins grabbed a huge win. With the four huge wins, the Bruins now stand at 10-0, are sure to slide up to #1 in the rankings, and will next be in action against Pepperdine this Friday.
Alright folks, those are your non-revenue sports related bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse for this Wednesday afternoon. Stay tuned as we begin to switch back into football mode as our Bruins prepare to take on a tough Utah team in Salt Lake City a week from tomorrow. Fire away in the comment thread with your thoughts, additions, opinions, etc. as we count down to next Thursday.