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Rutgers men's soccer hosts UCLA in regular season finale

The Rutgers men's soccer team hosts UCLA in its final regular season game before postseason play begins.  – Photo by Rutgers Men's Soccer / Twitter

Tomorrow, the Rutgers men’s soccer team will come back to Piscataway to take on UCLA. The Scarlet Knights (8-3-5, 4-2-2) will look to win their final regular season game and ride a three-game win streak heading into the Big Ten Tournament.

Rutgers is coming off of back-to-back 2-1 victories over Michigan and Penn State. On the road against the Nittany Lions (5-5-4, 2-2-3), the Knights jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period.

Penn State would get a goal back in the second period, but thanks to the heroic efforts of freshman goalkeeper Ciaran Dalton, that would be all the Nittany Lions would score and Rutgers got the 2-1 road win. This marked the third road win of the season for the Knights.

Out in the Pac-12, the Bruins (8-5-1, 3-3-1) have had an up-and-down season and currently sit in third place in the conference. The strength of this UCLA team has been its defense, as the Bruins' opponents are only averaging 10.2 shots per game and .79 goals per game.

The defensive effort has been helped out by goalkeeper Nate Crockford. This season, Crockford has 39 saves and a .780 save percentage.

Though the defense has been great, UCLA has struggled to score goals this season. The Bruins have only scored more than 2 goals in a game once and average only 8.7 shots per game and 1.21 goals per game. Jose Contell is tied for the team lead with 3 goals, two assists and 8 points.

Rutgers has struggled defensively this season, allowing its opponents to average 10.4 shots per game and average 1.81 goals per game. That said, the Knights have shown improvement over their last two games, only allowing their opponents to score 1 goal in each game. Dalton has been a strong presence in between the sticks. He currently has 37 saves on the season and a .698 save percentage.

The Rutgers attack has been its strength this season. The Knights have scored 37 goals, which leads the Big Ten by 7 goals. They are taking on average 14.4 shots per game and scoring on average 2.31 goals per game.

The Rutgers attack has been led by the trio of senior forward MD Myers, senior midfielder Jackson Temple and junior midfielder Jason Bouregy. Myers is having a fantastic season on the Banks, as his 13 goals are tied for the NCAA Division I lead. 

Myers also has 30 points on the season, putting him first in the conference. Last week, Myers was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.

Meanwhile, Bouregy leads the Big Ten with eight assists. On top of his eight assists, Bouregy has 3 goals and is third on the team with 14 points.

Temple is tied for second in the conference with seven assists. Expect Myers, Bouregy and Temple to combine down the wings and in the middle of the pitch against UCLA.

The game will kick off at noon and will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network as the Knights look to end the regular season on a high note.


For more updates on the Rutgers men's soccer team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.


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