The UCLA men's soccer team won't have Bill Thompson, last year's leading scorer, in the lineup in its opener Friday at the University of Akron. But the Bruins will have eight starters and 18 lettermen from last year's 13-5-4 team that went to the Western Regional playoffs.
Senior forward Thompson, who had 13 goals last season, has a stress fracture in his right leg and will be out six weeks.
Among returning starters are senior goalkeeper Anton Nistl, who needs six more shutouts to break the UCLA career record of 30, and three other three-year lettermen: defender-midfielder Will Steadman, midfielder Steve Black and forward Chris Roosen . Junior midfielder Ray Fernandez, who had 17 points on five goals and seven assists and finished as the Bruins' second-best scorer, is also back.
The Bruins will play Saturday at Cleveland State and open at home at 3 p.m. Tuesday against Southern California College.
The Pepperdine and UCLA women's volleyball teams will open the regular season this week, the Waves against USC, ranked 16th nationally, at 7:30 tonight at Firestone Fieldhouse and the No. 1 Bruins at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Loyola Marymount. Pepperdine will also play host to No. 14 San Diego State at 8 p.m. Wednesday. UCLA, defending Pacific 10 Conference champion, will be led by All-American middle blockers Daiva Tomkus and Elaine Young and outside hitters Jenny Crocker, Samantha Shaver and Jenny Evans. All-American setter Ann Boyer is the only one of last year's starter's who completed her eligibility. Traci Broadway and Jennifer Gratteau are trying to replace her.