Tuesday, February 25

Men’s soccer sees strong scorers in Beavers, Huskies as it enters conference play

Sophomore midfielder Cody Sundquist was not selected to the starting lineup in 2018, but has made four starts in the Bruins' last five games to kick off the 2019 season. Coach Ryan Jorden said he has been impressed with the level of play from new faces in his starting lineup so far. (Axel Lopez/Daily Bruin senior staff)

The Bruins are about to face two teams which a combined 15 different players who have scored.

Meanwhile, only four individuals have found the back of the net for the Bruins.

UCLA men’s soccer (3-2) will play its second and third consecutive road games when it faces Oregon State (3-3) on Thursday and No. 12 Washington (5-1) on Sunday to begin Pac-12 conference play. Eight players have scored for Oregon State, while seven have tallied goals for Washington.

“We know that we’ve played a very good schedule to this point,” said coach Ryan Jorden. “We’ve played some top teams so hopefully that has prepared us in starting conference (play) where we know there are going to be more top teams.”

Junior forward Milan Iloski has accounted for seven of the Bruins’ 10 goals. Sophomore midfielder Cody Sundquist, junior midfielder Eric Iloski and junior midfielder Marcony Pimentel each have one.

Despite the difference in individual contributions, Oregon State and Washington have notched just one and two more goals than Bruins’ 10, respectively.

Through the Bruins’ five nonconference matches, three of their opponents have been top-10 teams. Against then-No. 3 Maryland, Milan Iloski picked up three of his seven goals in the Bruins’ 3-2 win over the defending national champions.

UCLA will first take on Oregon State on Thursday. The Bruins split the series with the Beavers last year, winning once at home but losing in the away fixture. Oregon State comes into Thursday night’s matchup with losses to Coastal Carolina, Grand Canyon and UC Santa Barbara.

Defenders Eric Diaz and Adrian Crespo, and midfielder Joel Walker lead the Beavers with two goals apiece. Oregon State also sits 11th in the nation in assists as the Beavers are averaging 2.5 per game.

The Bruins average 2.4 assists per game with Sundquist leading the team in assists with three. Sundquist was not a starter for the Bruins in 2018 but made seven appearances off the bench.

Jorden said the fresh faces in his starting lineup have made impacts during his first year of coaching.

“Any time you put a team together, you’re going to have players that you need to come in who weren’t in the first (team) in the previous year and impact it,” Jorden said. “We’ve got players of really good quality and their aptitude for wanting to learn and get better as a group every week has been terrific so far.”

The Huskies will enter Sunday’s matchup against the Bruins ranked No. 12 in the nation – the Bruins fourth ranked opponent in seven games this season.

Midfielder Lucas Meek leads the team with three goals, while three other players are tied for second with two goals apiece. Washington has also posted four shutout wins, including an away victory against then-No. 16 Michigan State.

Huskies goalkeeper Bryce Logan leads the team with 17 saves in four games played, while UCLA sophomore goalkeeper Justin Garces has recorded 20 saves in five.

Garces, who was injured in the 85th minute of the Bruins’ match versus CSUN, was practicing as of Tuesday and is likely to play for the Bruins on Thursday, according to Jorden.

Kickoffs against Oregon State and Washington are set for 7 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.

Assistant Sports editor

Tay is currently an assistant Sports editor on the baseball, men's soccer, men's tennis, cross country and women's tennis beats. He was previously a reporter on the men's tennis beat.

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