Leading men’s soccer scorer Milan Iloski holds team high by 13 goals
Junior forward Milan Iloski has tallied 15 goals this season for UCLA men’s soccer and is tied for the lead in goals scored in the NCAA. He has posted 13 more goals than the next-highest scoring Bruin. (Liz Ketcham/Photo editor)
By Marcus Veal
Oct. 23, 2019 1:32 a.m.
The Bruins haven’t had the conference’s leading goal-scorer since the 2013 season.
Junior forward Milan Iloski has a chance to change that for UCLA men’s soccer (5-6-2, 1-3-1 Pac-12) as he has 15 goals scored through 12 games – nine more scores than the next best player in the Pac-12.
In the 4-2 win over Cal State Northridge on Sept. 15 – UCLA’s fifth game of the season – Iloski struck the back of the net twice, picking up his sixth and seventh goals of the year.
Conference play started the week after against No. 1 Washington and Oregon State – two teams that double teamed Iloski in and around the box, holding him to two shots on the Bruins’ weekend in the Pacific Northwest.
“I’ve scored a lot of goals this year, so I’m getting used to the attention because of that,” Iloski said. “For me in the first 10 to 15 minutes, I’m always picking up spots that are open and available and it’s about finding the right spaces. They can’t follow me everywhere and I can still impact the game despite being marked for all of it.”
The Huskies and Beavers will be visiting Wallis Annenberg Stadium for a rematch with the Bruins on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.
Since the first time UCLA duked it out with Washington and Oregon State, Iloski has scored eight times, including a five-goal outing in a 5-2 win over San Diego State. He sat out the game against No. 18 University of San Diego because of an adaptor strain, but Iloski said he should be back for Thursday’s game against the Huskies.
“Hopefully I’m back for Washington and can put together a good performance,” Iloski said.
Iloski has over twice as many goals as the Pac-12’s next leading scorer, but there is an even bigger score sheet discrepancy between him and the rest of the Bruins’ squad.
Iloski still holds seven more goals than the rest of the Bruins’ scorers combined. Junior midfielder Marcony Pimentel sits in second for UCLA, with two goals on the season.
Six other Bruins have scored one goal apiece.
Everybody who has checked into a game for UCLA so far this season has put up at least one shot, but only four Bruins have tallied more than five shot attempts. Iloski leads the team in shots with 44.
“(Iloski is) a dangerous player and we like to play in a way that will set him up to score, based on how the system works,” Pimentel said. “We know they’re going to double him, but if we play consistently disciplined as a group and keep crashing the box with three or four people, we’ll be fine.”
Coach Ryan Jorden said UCLA has a lot of players who can step up and score when they get the chance, despite their lack of statistical output.
“It’s just about getting the final pass down and capitalizing on the final product,” Jorden said. “We know we’re capable of scoring goals in lots of ways, we just need a guy to slap it in the back of the goal at the end. We’re working on it.”