The UCLA Men’s Soccer team (9-7-1) welcomes the San Diego State Aztecs (9-4-4) to Drake Stadium tonight. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. PT. Here are the details of the game:
Opponent: San Diego State Aztecs
When: November 10, 2016, 6 p.m. PT
Where: Drake Stadium
SAN DIEGO STATE
The Aztecs are 3rd in the PAC 12 Conference (4-3-2), but UCLA could leap frog them with a win tonight. SDSU is also ranked #16 in the nation and has an RPI of #30. UCLA is unranked and has an RPI of #28.
In their only other meeting of the season on October 8th, UCLA beat the Aztecs, 1-0, in San Diego.
The Aztecs are led by junior forward Jeroen Meefout, who has four goals on the season. A trio of freshman, midfielders Pablo Pelaez and AJ Vergara, and forward Daniel Sagno, have also played very well.
Goalkeeper Adam Allmaras has played every minute in net for the Aztecs this season, with a 0.66 goals against average and 10 clean sheets. SDSU plays tight defense, only allowing 12 goals on the season in 17 games.
It is important that UCLA scores first, something the Bruins have not done in a while, as San Diego State is 9-0-2 when scoring first, 0-2-2 when their opponent scores first.
I am treating this as a must win for UCLA’s NCAA hopes (and Head Coach Jorge Salcedo’s job security). Yes, UCLA could still make the field of 48 even if it does not prevail tonight, but barely squeaking into the field for the second straight year after such high preseason expectations this year (and last) will leave a bad taste in the mouths of the Bruin faithful. A two game winning streak and 3rd place in the PAC 12 going into the NCAA tournament would be much preferred (although still not meeting preseason expectations).
It is senior night tonight, and UCLA will honor seven such Bruins, including Michael Amick, Abdullah Adam, Juan Cervantes, Nico Gonzalez, Willie Raygoza, Felix Vobejda and Gage Zerboni. It would be nice to send those guys off on a nice note at Drake Stadium.
Abu Danladi is hot, with two goals against Oregon State in a wild UCLA win on Sunday, 4-3. In particular, Danladi’s second goal was a beautiful, bending thing of beauty. Check it out:
Hopefully, we'll see more of this from Danladi tonight.
I am predicting that the game goes to extra time after a 1-1 draw in regulation, with UCLA pulling it out with a late goal in the second overtime period. UCLA, 2-1 in OT.