After starting the season off with a three-game road trip, UCLA will have their home opener tonight as they host UNLV.
While the season opener boasted well for UCLA after defeating San Francisco 5-3, the last two games have not. The Bruins suffered a 2-3 loss in OT against number 6 ranked Maryland and then a 1-0 loss against Georgetown. That leaves UCLA with a 1-2 record coming into tonight’s match.
In the match against Georgetown last week, UCLA created multiple scoring opportunities, but could not convert. This was also the anthem of last season’s team. Once again, the team has the talent, but cannot seem to put the pieces together. I have probably said this countless times already and I will continue to until the team proves otherwise.
While there wasn’t a lot of danger in the early minutes of the game, the Hoyas found a hole in the defense and went up 1-0 in the 12th minute. From there on out, the Bruins created chances, but just couldn’t get the equalizer. In the second half, Salcedo made some tactical changes which helped the Bruins gain more possessions, but, ultimately, they could not find the back of the net.
Going into tonight’s game, UCLA has a big chip on their shoulders. They went from opening the season with a win to losing their next two games. However, tonight, history is on their side against the UNLV Rebels. UCLA has had success in their home openers winning five of their last eight home-openers and two of those victories were shutouts.
UCLA should be able to win against UNLV team which is unranked. If the Bruins can’t win against the Rebels at home, Athletic Director Dan Guerrero is going to have to start looking at Salcedo. Salcedo has underperformed with vast talent and, if things don’t start turning around now, his job should be on the line. Heck, his job should have been in danger when he had the number one recruiting class in the nation in 2015 and he barely got the team to the post-season.
Either way, UCLA needs to win tonight. While it is early in the season, the points now will come back to haunt them as the post-season nears. Especially if the Bruins want to dethrone current back-to-back champions Stanford (4-1). I don’t need to remind you that Stanford and UCLA are tied with 113 NCAA titles and they are both looking for number #114. Now is the time to start finding the right puzzle pieces that can connect to make #114 before it’s too late.