It sure looked like a game-of-the-year candidate (at least in SoCal) when it was scheduled, and expect Harder Stadium to be rocking, but Friday night’s UCLA-at-UC Santa Barbara clash has lost some of its luster.
The Bruins, ranked fifth in the preseason poll, are No. 13 after a less-than-convincing 4-1-1 start, and the Gauchos, ranked eighth to start the year, aren’t even gathering votes after an 0-2-2 start, even with shutout victories last weekend over No. 6 Harvard and Buffalo at New Mexico’s tournament.
UCLA is freshman-heavy, and two of their best -- U.S. U-20 national-teamer Victor Chavez (Fontana/A.B. Miller HS) and Kelyn Rowe -- scored and assisted goals in a 3-2 overtime victory Sunday over San Diego. Sophomore Evan Raynr (Calabasas/Viewpoint HS) netted the winner in the 95th minute.
The Bruins played Cal Poly to a scoreless draw last Friday night in San Luis Obispo.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Cal State Fullerton got its first win, beating Pitt, 2-0, Sunday at West Virginia’s tournament and the heroes were Kevin Venegas (Lakewood/Los Alamitos HS) and Oscar Aguero (Anaheim/Katella HS). Venegas scored both goals from Aguero set pieces, the first a free kick in the 18th minute and the second a corner kick 11 minutes later.
COLLEGE CUP: ESPN this week announced the times of the men’s College Cup final four in Santa Barbara. The Dec. 10 semifinals will be played at 5:30 p.m. (on ESPNU, with replay on ESPN2 at 11 a.m. Dec. 11) and 8 p.m. (ESPN2 and ESPNU), and the Dec. 12 final begins at 1 p.m. (ESPN2). All-session tickets are $40 for adults and $30 for children 3 through eighth grade and can be purchased by calling (805) 893-UCSB or by going here.
NOTES: UC Irvine (5-1-0) dropped from 10th to 18th in the NSCAA poll after losing for the first time, a 2-0 decision at Sacramento State. The Hornets are the first team to score on UCI, with Chris Bettencourt tallying early in the first half and assisting his cousin Adam Bettencourt early in the second. … Loyola Marymount has lost three in a row after a 3-0 start, falling last weekend at Sacramento State and San Jose State. All-American candidate Rafael Baca (Lawndale/Animo Leadership HS) scored his first goal for the Lions on a penalty kick against SJSU, which pulled out a 2-1 victory on Steve Sanchez’s 88th-minute goal. SJSU has beaten four SoCal teams: UC Riverside, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge and LMU. … Cal State Fullerton led West Virginia in its first game last weekend, on the third goal of the season by Nick Posthuma (Pasadena/St. Francis HS), but two errors by goalkeeper Trevor Whiddon turned into WVU goals in a 3-1 loss. Whiddon bounced back with six saves to shut out Pitt two days later. … Cal State Northridge got a taste of No. 1, and it was bitter. Akron, which takes on No. 2 Tulsa on Friday (Fox Soccer Channel, 5 p.m.), routed the Matadors, 3-0.
Friday: Cal Poly 0, UCLA 0, OT
Sunday: UCLA 3 (Rowe 45, Chavez 55, Raynr 95), San Diego 2 (Carminatti 13, 57), OT
This week: Friday at UC Santa Barbara, Sunday at Cal State Fullerton
BIG WEST CONFERENCE
CAL STATE FULLERTON (1-3-2)
Friday: West Virginia 3 (Doue 55, 73, og Whiddon 86), Cal State Fullerton 1 (Posthuma 27)
Sunday: Cal State Fullerton 2 (Venegas 18, 29), Pittsburgh 0
This week: Sunday vs. UCLA
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE (0-5-1)
Friday: Akron 3 (Kitchen 5, Nagbe 28, Barson 43), Cal State Northridge 0
Sunday: Illinois-Chicago 2 (Huffman 62, Tracy 84), Cal State Northridge 1 (Ball 47)
This week: Friday at San Francisco, Sunday vs. Air Force
UC IRVINE (5-1-0)
Sunday: Sacramento State (C. Bettencourt 5, A. Bettencourt 52), UC Irvine 0
This week: At UNLV tournament -- Friday vs. Cal State Bakersfield, Sunday at UNLV
UC RIVERSIDE (2-3-0)
Thursday: UC Riverside 0, Cal State Bakersfield 3 (Menjivar 24, Zardes 41, Luedtke 61)
This week: Friday vs. Air Force, Sunday vs. Loyola Marymount
WEST COAST CONFERENCE
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT (3-3-0), Westchester
Friday: Sacramento State 1 (Alvarez 70), Loyola Marymount 0
Sunday: San Jose State 2 (Yniguez 3, Sanchez 88), Loyola Marymount 1 (Baca pen. 49)
This week: Thursday at Cal Poly, Sunday at UC Riverside