Sunday, January 21

Around the League: UCLA men’s soccer set to end season with lowest win rate in 70 years


Stanford, Washington and California are the three teams with the strongest records in Pac-12 play this year. Stanford’s final three conference matches are against UCLA, San Diego State and California – three teams the Cardinal have already beaten. (Ken Shin/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Stanford, Washington and California are the three teams with the strongest records in Pac-12 play this year. Stanford’s final three conference matches are against UCLA, San Diego State and California – three teams the Cardinal have already beaten. (Ken Shin/Daily Bruin senior staff)


Men’s soccer
Nicholas Yekikian, assistant Sports editor

With No. 4 Stanford’s (14-1-2, 8-0-1 Pac-12) 5-1 drubbing of UCLA (7-9-1, 4-5-0) last week, the Cardinal clinched their fourth consecutive Pac-12 title.

The Cardinal have been at the top of the conference all year, and was the only Pac-12 team to have remained in the national top-25 teams all year long.

Stanford has conceded just nine goals all year and has scored more than 40. The Cardinal secured more than 25 goals in conference play, and their regular season hasn’t even ended yet.

The California Golden Bears (11-5-0, 6-3-0) and Washington Huskies (12-5-1, 5-3-1) occupy the second and third spots in the Pac-12, respectively.

Both teams have just one game left, and if California suffers a loss to Stanford and Washington wins against Oregon State (6-11-0, 3-6-0), their positions in the conference will flip, giving Washington the runner-up spot in the Pac-12.

The Bruins also have just one game left to play, but are headed for their worst season in nearly 70 years. Their current winning percentage of .441 is the worst since 1948, a season in which UCLA only played five games and won just two.

Whether or not UCLA secures a win against San Diego State (5-13-0, 0-9-0) on Sunday, 2017 will mark the sixth time in program history the Bruins have failed to break even – a program that celebrated it 80th anniversary this year.

Cross country
Nicholas Yekikian, assistant Sports editor

This Friday men’s and women’s cross country teams from the Pac-12 will all meet in Seattle for the 2017 NCAA West Regionals.

Among the teams headed to the meet are No. 4 Stanford, No. 10 UCLA and No. 13 Oregon.

Though No. 5 Colorado is in the Pac-12, it will not be going to the West Regional meet and instead head to the NCAA Mountain Regional.

Every athlete who competes this weekend will be vying for a spot at the NCAA championship meet on Nov. 18, and the Cardinal and Bruins will be the fastest teams from the Pac-12 at the meet, with the Ducks coming in just behind them.

At the Pac-12 championships, Stanford took home the event win with Grant Fisher, Steven Fahy and Alex Ostberg finishing first, third and fourth, respectively. Junior Robert Brandt led the way for the Bruins, and Cooper Teare was first for the Ducks.

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At this point in the collegiate cross country season, teams are still vying for conference championships, and that’s exactly what teams from around the Pac-12 will be doing this weekend. After that, it’s onto the national championship meet. (Eric Evans Photography)

Those five men were the fastest at the Pac-12 meet when Colorado’s entrants were deducted, but the introduction of teams like Pepperdine, Cal State Fullerton and the University of the Pacific means they will face more competition than they are used to – more than 600 entrants total – when they race Friday morning.

Men’s water polo
Ryan Smith, assistant Sports editor

The NCAA men’s water polo rankings are set to undergo shuffling at the top Wednesday.

No. 1 USC (22-2, 1-1 MPSF) fell to No. 2 California (18-1, 2-0) in Berkeley on Saturday afternoon. The 6-3 defeat was the Trojans’ first loss since they fell to the Bruins at the MPSF tournament in late September.

The Golden Bears are now in a position to overtake the No. 1 ranking in the country for the first time since mid-September, when they fell to the then-No. 4 Bruins at the MPSF tournament.

No. 3 UCLA (17-3, 0-2) dropped its second game in as many weeks after falling to No. 4 Stanford (16-3, 1-1). The Bruins are the only team in the Big Four without a conference win, while the Cardinal have now won 10 straight games after starting the season 6-3.

UCLA also played against No. 11 San Jose State (13-12) on Sunday, and claimed a 14-6 win.

The conclusion of regular season play this weekend will mark the start of postseason play, which begins Nov. 18 with the MPSF conference tournament at Stanford University. More information on that tournament will become available following this weekend’s games.

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Assistant Sports editor

Yekikian is an assistant Sports editor. He was previously a Sports reporter for the women's volleyball and track and field beats.


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