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MORNING BRIEFING: UCLA's struggles continue
by Paul Kennedy, October 14th, 2008 1:30PM



It's been another up-and-down season for UCLA, which failed to have a winning season for the first time in 41 years as an NCAA varsity sport in 2007.

The Bruins' 3-2 overtime win over Cal on Friday was followed by a 2-1 loss to struggling Stanford on Sunday that left them at 3-4-5. Those results followed four straight ties.

Injuries have hurt the Bruins, who welcomed back star Kyle Nakazawa for 23 minutes against Cal and 17 minutes against Stanford. He has started only five games because of an injury after starting his first 50 games at UCLA.

The Bruins' offense has come through -- Michael Stephens and Maxwell Griffin have six goals apiece -- but UCLA has struggled on defense, despite the presence of U.S. U-20 goalie Brian Perk.

In each of the last five games, UCLA has allowed two goals. Earlier, the Bruins fell to Wake Forest and Indiana by 3-0 scores.

Again, injuries have been an issue. Brad Rusin missed a game with a bruised toe, while fellow defender Luis Serrano has only managed to start six games.

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