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Elon set to take on #1 UCLA in NCAA men's soccer tournament

The Phoenix will play the Bruins in a match scheduled for 11 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday in Los Angeles.  

The Elon University men's soccer team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history after a 4-1 shootout win over the Clemson Tigers on penalty kicks in front of 3,348 fans at Rudd Field on Nov. 21.

Elon (15-4-3) left for Los Angeles on Friday afternoon to face the tournament's overall No. 1 seed, UCLA, on Sunday, Nov. 24, at Drake Stadium on the UCLA campus.

In Thursday's win at Rudd Field, Elon had the highest attendance of any NCAA Division I venue for the first round of the NCAA men's soccer championships. The official attendance at Elon was 3,348, more than 600 more than the next largest crowd at first-round sites.

INFORMATION FROM THE UCLA ATHLETICS WEBSITE:

Live Coverage — Fans can follow the match on the internet via a live audio broadcast at uclabruins.com. Greg Mescall and Erin Cole will have the call live from Drake Stadium. Fans can also follow the match via Gametracker. Links are available at uclabruins.com on the events calendar on the front page.

Bruins Reach Tournament For 31st Consecutive Year — UCLA earned its 31st consecutive and 41st overall NCAA Tournament berth by receiving an at-large bid and earning the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, the first time they have been the No. 1 overall seed since the 2003 season.

UCLA vs. Tournament Field — 11 of UCLA's 18 regular season matches this season came against teams that made the NCAA Tournament, with the Bruins owning a record of 7-2-2 against those teams.
In The Rankings — UCLA finished the regular season ranked No. 1 by the NSCAA and College Soccer News. The Bruins are also ranked No. 2 by Soccer America and Top Drawer Soccer. In the NCAA RPI, UCLA finished the regular season at No. 1. Elon is ranked No. 18 by Soccer America, No. 22 by College Soccer News, No. 24 by the NSCAA and No. 25 by Top Drawer Soccer. The Phoenix finished the regular season ranked No. 26 in the NCAA RPI as well.

How They Got Here: UCLA — UCLA received an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament after finishing second in the Pac-12 Conference. The Bruins earned the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament and a bye in the first round by virtue of their 11-3-4 overall record and 6-1-3 conference record. UCLA finished the season winning its final four matches and has suffered only one loss in its last 12.

How They Got Here: Elon — Elon advanced to the NCAA second round after defeating Clemson at home 1-1 (4-1 on PKs) to pick up its first NCAA Tournament victory in school history. The Phoenix earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament by winning the Southern Conference Tournament title for the third straight season after finishing second in the regular season with a conference record of 4-2-0. Elon currently sports a 15-4-3 overall record heading into its matchup with UCLA. Junior forward Jason Waterman leads the Phoenix with 12 goals and seven assists on the season to give him a team-leading 31 points. Southern Conference Player of the Year Daniel Lovitz will anchor the midfield for Elon, as he has scored four goals and notched six assists in 17 matches. Finally, head coach Darren Powell is in his ninth season at the helm of Elon and received Southern Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2013.

The Series With Elon — This will be the first all-time meeting on the soccer field between UCLA and Elon. The Bruins have played five all-time matches against Southern Conference opponents, winning four of them. UCLA is 3-1 all-time against Davidson, last playing the Wildcats in 2010, and is 1-0 vs. Furman, with the only meeting coming in 1994.

Defending Drake — The Bruins hold a record of 15-5 in NCAA Tournament games at Drake Stadium and are 101-20-16 all-time at Drake Stadium, good for a .796 winning percentage. UCLA finished the 2013 regular season with a 6-2-1 home record. In addition, the Bruins are drawing well at the turnstiles, leading the conference in average home attendance at 1,164. On the road UCLA is averaging a crowd of 2,056, also a Pac-12 best.

 

Dan Anderson,
Staff
11/22/2013 6:20 PM