UCLA continue their road trip as they make their way to the east coast to take on No. 6 Maryland.
The Bruins’ season opener last weekend could not have gone any better. Not only did they take the win, they scored five goals with two of them coming from redshirt senior Brian Iloski. With his first career brace, Iloski earned an honorable mention in Top Drawer Soccer’s Team of the Week.
The last time the Bruins scored five goals in one game was back in 2003 against Penn State. With the five goals, UCLA ranks as the No. 2 offense in the country and No. 9 in points per game with 12.
Maryland is going to be a big challenge for UCLA in their second game of the season. The Terps are ranked sixth while the Bruins climbed six spots this week to #15.
While the offense looks to be on the right path, it’s the defense that worries me. In their season opener, the Bruins defeated San Francisco 5-3. Four of those five goals came in the first half, two of which came from Brian Iloski. As I mentioned in the season preview, Iloski is going to be a crucial player with a lot of goals coming from him. His brace, or two goals in a row, made a difference. While the offense surged, the defense didn’t. They let the Dons score three goals. Against an unranked team such as San Francisco, it didn’t matter since UCLA was the better team, but against #6 Maryland, it could be the difference between victory and defeat. The defense has to play better tonight if they want to hand Maryland their first season loss.