Men's Week 1: Three things we learned this weekend

The 2015 men's college season opened this weekend. No. 1 UCLA and No. 2 Virginia both prevailed with 1-0 decisions, while No. 3 Georgetown settled for a 0-0 tie at FGCU on Friday night. No. 4 Stanford fell at No. 17 UC Santa Barbara for its first loss to the Gauchos in 11 years. Darius Madison, one of the stars of Virginia's 2014 championship team, had an immediate impact at his new team, UMBC.

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1. Freshmen will give UCLA returnees competition.

UCLA, No. 1 in the Soccer America Men's Preseason Top 25, has its deepest team in years. Eight starters from the team that reached the 2014 Men's College Cup final are back, and three other players who played in the shootout loss to Virginia played in the 2015 season opener against New Mexico.

But the Bruins' freshman class had an immediate impact as center back Malcom Jones had the winning goal in a 1-0 win over the Lobos Saturday in Westwood. The goal came in the 62nd minute on a play that began with a corner kick by Jose Hernandez. The Mexican-born Hernandez is a product of the Real Salt Lake's academy product in Casa Grande, Arizona, and was played two games for the USL Real Monarchs. Jackson Yueill, who has spent time with the U.S. under-18 national team, teamed up with sophomore star Abu Danladi for a good opportunity in the first half.

Seven freshmen got playing time as the Bruins passed their first test of the season. Next up: at Maryland Friday night. “Our overall performance was good," said Bruins coach Jorge Salcedo, "and one that we can build on to get better for our next match against Maryland.”

2. Wait is worth it for UC Santa Barbara.

Last year, UC Santa Barbara fell to Stanford, 4-1, giving up three goals in the first 11 minutes in Palo Alto. The Gauchos weren't determined to let that happen again, focusing on the rematch for eight months. This time, No. 17 UCSB shut down the No. 4 Cardinal, earning a 1-0 victory before 3,312 fans that signals the Gauchos are ready to battle for West Coast supremacy.

"We took a lot of pride into tonight's game," said UCSB head coach Tim Vom Steeg. "Last year, we gave up three goals in 11 minutes and we've been playing that video for eight months waiting for this game. Stanford has been picked as a Final Four contender and they showed nothing to disprove that tonight. All in all, we learned a lot about our team tonight and the potential that we have. "

Freshman keeper Justin Vom Steeg -- Tim's son who will be off this week to join the U.S. U-20s -- made a pair of tough saves early and was helped by a strong game from center backs Sam Strong and Jeff Quezada, and holding midfielder Kevin Feucht as U.S. international Jordan Morris was held to just one shot in 65 minutes of action. Nick DePuy, 2014 Big West Offensive Player of the Year, scored with a header past Stanford keeper Andrew Epstein in the waning minutes of the first half for the game's only goal.

Men's Top 25 Matchups, Week 1:
FRIDAY, AUGUST 28
No. 17 UC Santa Barbara 1 (DePuy 42) No. 4 Stanford 0.
No. 6 Maryland 0 No. 9 Notre Dame 0.
No. 25 Old Dominion 0 No. 20 Coastal Carolina 2 (Camargo 17, Follensbee 54).
SATURDAY, AUGUST 29
No. 2 Virginia 1 (Corriveau 38) No. 15 Charlotte 0.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 30
No. 13 Indiana 0 No. 10 Notre Dame 1 (Ueland 109)
No. 25 Old Dominion 4 (Henriquez 18, 21, 48, Klosterhalfen 46) No. 19 Akron 1 (Macchione 76).

3. Darius Madison's transfer gives UMBC big boost.

UMBC, the 2014 Cinderella Story of college soccer, suffered heavy graduation losses but got a last-minute boost as senior Darius Madison, who started on Virginia's 2014 national championship team, joined the Retrievers. The Washington Post reported that Madison was kicked off the Cavs' team "for team rules violations" but allowed to transfer and play immediately at UMBC.

The Retrievers fell behind Fairfield, 2-0, in the season opener that drew 2,874 fans at Retriever Stadium. But they got goals from Joseph Pratt and Kennedy O'Shea in the 69th and 87th minutes to earn a 2-2 tie. Madison set up O'Shea for the equalizer.

Peter Caringi returned just three starters from last year's team that reached the College Cup. In the 2015 opener, UMBC started three freshmen (Riley Collins, Kyle Saunderson and Tyler Ward) and a transfer (Bill Kerr) along the backline.
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