Sunday, November 27, 2011
COLLEGE: UCLA gets Louisville rematch
By Scott French
LOS ANGELES -- Beating Rutgers wasn't enough for many affiliated with UCLA's men's soccer program. They wanted a Louisville victory, too.
The Bruins got everything they wished for Sunday, romping to a 3-0 third-round triumph over visiting Rutgers to set up a quarterfinal showdown with Louisville, which kept them from the College Cup final four last year and won a season-opening showdown in August.
Chandler Hoffman netted his 17th and 18th goals of the season, the first just 42 seconds after kickoff, and fourth-ranked UCLA (17-4-1) advanced to the elite eight for the third straight year with an emphatic victory at Drake Stadium in front of an audience that included former Rutgers star Alexi Lalas and Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid and technical director Chris Henderson, both of whom have UCLA roots.
Victor Chavez (Fontana/A.B. Miller HS) tallied just before halftime, knocking home the rebound after Scarlet Knights goalkeeper Kevin McMullen parried a sizzling Kelyn Rowe shot from an abrupt angle, and Hoffman completed his fourth multigoal game of the campaign with a volley four minutes into the second half.
“I thought that we played well,” said Hoffman, who will be heading home to Birmingham, Ala., for the College Cup final four with a victory Saturday night at Louisville (14-6-2). “Scoring that goal in the opening munute was huge. Last week, we let Delaware hang around for way too long [in a 1-0 second-round victory], put us under a lot of pressure. So tonight we wanted to put them away early.”
Hoffman did that with his first touch, clinically finishing Patrick Matchett's ball across the box after a Ryan Hollingshead run from midfield. Hoffman also played the ball to Rowe to set up Chavez's 44th-minute goal, and Rowe and Hollingshead had assists on Hoffman's finale.
“[Hoffman has] a huge desire to put the team on his back and get us to College Cup and his hometown. What more can you ask for?” UCLA coach Jorge Salcedo said. “The goals that he scores, his hold-up play, his intelligence on the field have all be extremely helpful. ... He's in a great moment right now.”
The Bruins posted their seventh successive shutout, extending their no-goals streak to 646 minutes, 9 seconds, and their 10th in the last 13 games. They dictated play with a gorgeous possession game that left Rutgers (10-7-3), making its first elite-eight appearance in a decade, scrambling to close off space. The Scarlet Knights weren't bad, but the goals at the end of the first half and start of the second were too much to overcome.
“UCLA is going to have possession, but what's going to hurt you is when they penetrate the final third and start to get dangerous balls into the box and we don't defend with urgency,” said Dan Donigan, who is rebuilding Rutgers' once-powerful program after guiding St. Louis to seven NCAA appearances in nine seasons.
“Take no credit away from them, but to give up that goal that early against anybody, you're basically giving them that goal. And then the second goal, I just didn't think we defended with urgency. We didn't make the next play difficult for them, and a team like UCLA is going to make you pay.”
Donigan said he'd “be real curious to see if that was one of their better games. Because to me, they're a very, very good soccer team. ... I think they stand up well against anybody. We've played a lot of great teams -- Louisville, Uconn, South Florida and Maryland -- and UCLA's right there with them.”
Louisville, which lost to Akron in last year's final after rallying for a 5-4 quarterfinal victory over the Bruins in the Kentucky snow, won, 4-2, at fifth-seeded Maryland (14-4-3). The Cardinals beat the Bruins, 2-0, in the teams' openers this season, also in Louisville.
“Third time is a charm, hopefully,” Hoffman said. “Hopefully, the weather will be a little bit better than last year. ... We definitely want another shot at them. The way we played earlier this year was completely different than how we're playing now. We had a bunch of people in different positions, and so now we've sorted that out and figured out our rotations, so I think we'll be good.”
Salcedo said he didn't care if it was Louisville or Maryland.
“Any game in the quarterfinals would have been fine,” he said. “Our first game of the season ... I put my hand up. I didn't do a good job of preparing our team, and we tried some things. But fast-forward to where we are now, we're a much better team and a team that's equipped to go on the road, and we play to go out and play and get a result there.
“We're going to try to play our game and see who is a better team on the night.”
In other men's action:
Bruno Castro and Andrew Ribeiro scored in the first 19 minutes, and No. 2 Creighton (20-2-0) held on for a 2-1 victory over visiting UC Santa Barbara (15-7-1) in a third-round clash in Omaha. David Opoku tallied for the Gauchos in the 79th minute, but their search for an equalizer was hampered by red cards to the coaching staff in the 85th and to defender Tim Pontius (Yorba Linda/Servite HS) in the 88th. Creighton will face South Florida (13-3-4), which beat top-ranked New Mexico (18-0-4) on penalties following a scoreless draw.
The other quarterfinal matchups have West Coast Conference champion St. Mary's (11-6-5), a 3-2 overtime winner against Brown, visiting top-seeded North Carolina (19-2-2), which edged Indiana, 1-0, in overtime; and third-seeded Connecticut (19-3-2), which routed James Madison, 3-0, at home against Charlotte (16-4-2), which edged Akron, 1-0.
St. Mary's (11-6-5) at North Carolina (19-2-2)
UCLA (17-4-1) at Louisville (14-6-2)
Charlotte (16-4-2) at Connecticut (19-3-2)
South Florida (13-3-4) at Creighton (20-2-0)
Semifinals (Thursday at Pensacola, Fla.)
Franklin Pierce (21-0-1) vs. Lynn (14-4-2)
Millersville (14-6-2) vs. Fort Lewis (22-1-0)
Semifinals (Friday at San Antonio)
Montclair State (19-3-3) vs. Ohio Wesleyan (12-4-4)
Calvin (18-5-2) vs. Oneonta State (18-2-2)
Semifinals (Friday at Kennesaw, Ga.)
Stanford (23-0-1) vs. Florida State (18-6-1)
Wake Forest (18-3-4) vs. Duke (21-3-1)
Semifinals (Thursday at Pensacola, Fla.)
Grand Valley State (20-0-3) vs. Chico State (13-6-5)
St. Rose (22-1-1) vs. Armstrong Atlantic (18-2-3)
Semifinals (Friday at San Antonio)
Wheaton, Ill. (22-1-2) vs. Ithaca (15-3-3)
Messiah (20-0-1) vs. William Smith (20-0-1)
Second round (Monday-Tuesday at Orange Beach, Ala.)
Hastings (21-1-0) vs. St. Xavier (14-8-0)
Science & Arts of Oklahoma (14-8-0) vs. Azusa Pacific (13-3-3)
Rio Grande (18-2-0) vs. Belhaven (16-4-0)
William Carey (14-3-3) vs. Mobile (16-2-1)
Baker (18-1-1) vs. Huston-Tillotson (18-2-1)
Great Falls (16-4-0) vs. Grand View (17-2-2)
Bethel, Tenn. (14-2-2) vs. Southern Poly (16-2-2)
Hannibal-La Grange (16-4-1) vs. Lindsey Wilson (19-0-0)
Second round (Monday-Tuesday at Decatur, Ala.) Lindsey Wilson (18-0-2) vs. Oklahoma City (17-2-2)
Spring Arbor (19-2-1) vs. Concordia, Ore. (16-4-1)
Olivet Nazarene (17-2-2) vs. Baker (14-3-1)
Embry-Riddle, Fla. (17-2-1) vs. Martin Methodist (14-1-2)
Lee (19-2-0) vs. Houghton (17-3-1)
Westmont (13-6-0) vs. Point Loma Nazarene (19-1-2)
Mobile (18-3-1) vs. Graceland (10-6-4)
Hastings (19-2-1) vs. Azusa Pacific (14-2-2)
First round (Wednesday at Kissimmee, Fla.) Cal Baptist (15-5-0) vs. Southwestern Assemblies of God (10-7-4)
Cedarville (13-6-1) vs. Oakland City (11-5-1)
Judson (13-8-1) vs. Grace (10-7-4)
Palm Beach Atlantic (12-7-0) vs. Geneva (14-5-3)
First round (Wednesday at Kissimmee, Fla.) Cal Baptist (15-2-1) vs. Colorado Christian (5-15-1)
Mount Vernon Nazarene (10-8-2) vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan (13-6-1)
Trinity International (8-9-3) vs. Truett McConnell (8-10-1)
Grace (12-7-2) vs. Asbury (13-8-1)