After the 2017 season, the Bruins finished with a winning percentage of .417 – their worst since 1948.
Two years later, the 2019 season has come to an end, and the Bruins have managed to post a .417 percentage again.
Despite junior forward Milan Iloski being tied for first in the nation in goals scored, UCLA men’s soccer (6-9-3, 2-6-2 Pac-12) accrued just six wins in the regular season – its fewest since 1955, when the Bruins won five of eight regular season games.
UCLA did, however, face some of the top programs in the nation, including Georgetown and Stanford – ranked No. 3 and No. 4 by the United Soccer Coaches, respectively. UCLA also had meetings with No. 6 Washington and No. 8 Indiana.
On four separate occasions, the Bruins lost by one goal to a top-five team. Against then-No. 2 Indiana, UCLA’s second match, the Bruins fell 2-1 in double overtime. On Oct. 24, against then-No. 1 Washington, UCLA fell 1-0 after keeping the game scoreless for nearly 66 minutes.
In both games against Stanford, the Bruins were shut out in 1-0 Cardinal victories.
“It was challenging,” said coach Ryan Jorden. “We played one of the toughest schedules in America and were extremely close all the time to beating a team. … Certainly, we can play with anybody. We played four teams in the top 10 and we were right there with them.”
But in a number of matches, UCLA allowed its opponent to score within the first five minutes of play, often trailing for the remainder of the game.
Against both Oregon State and Washington in the first weekend of conference play, UCLA allowed goals in the first three minutes. And then, on Oct. 6, UCLA conceded a goal to San Diego State in just the second minute.
In its final nonconference match against San Diego on Oct. 17, UCLA conceded two goals in just over two minutes of regulation.
The Bruins finished with a 2-6-2 record in the Pac-12, their worst showing in conference play in program history. Although the men’s soccer program was a member of the Pac-10 from 2000 to 2010 and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation from 1992 to 1999, UCLA has never posted fewer than three wins in its respective conference.
Iloski was the Bruins’ leading scorer with 17 goals, accounting for almost 59% of all UCLA goals. Seven other Bruins found the back of the net for UCLA, but none of them were able to tally more than two goals on the year.
Iloski was also responsible for over a third of the Bruins’ total shots and 43% of UCLA’s shots on target. Overall, UCLA was outscored by its opponents 38-29.
The Bruins also allowed the most goals of any team in the conference, posting just two shutouts – neither of which came at home.
Despite UCLA’s limited success in his first year as head coach, Jorden said he’s excited for the Bruins’ offseason and the potential progress his squad can make over the remainder of the school year.
“We get to train a lot more,” Jorden said. “Because the fall games come up so fast, we don’t get real training sessions in. It’ll be exciting to know that we can do a lot of training, we need our guys to really tactically develop, physically develop and technically grow. It’s going to be an exciting six months for us.”