NCAA SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS : UCLA Midfielder Woolfolk Is Seeking Second Title


Brian Woolfolk, the only UCLA men’s soccer player who was with the team when the Bruins won the 1990 NCAA championship, is an improbable fellow to have a chance of winning his second national title.

But as UCLA heads into a quarterfinal game of the NCAA tournament Sunday, when it plays Charleston at 1 p.m. on the North Soccer Field, that is exactly what Woolfolk can do.

Woolfolk, a senior, was the only walk-on to make the 1990 team, although he did not play because he was redshirted.


Just making the team, which also won a national championship in 1985, was a moral victory for Woolfolk. He was not recruited at Wilcox High School in Santa Clara because his teams never advanced past the first round of the playoffs. As a result, few college coaches saw him play.

Although Woolfolk’s skills were solid when he tried out for UCLA in the summer of 1990, his fitness level was not. He never would have passed his first two-mile, 12-minute fitness test demanded by Coach Sigi Schmid were it not for former UCLA and now U.S. national team goalkeeper Brad Friedel.

Friedel had completed his test when he noticed Woolfolk struggling on the other side of the track. Friedel sprinted across the infield and hollered: “Woolfolk! With me!” Together, they crossed the finish line, Woolfolk being timed at 11:59 to just make the team.

The 1990 team also was loaded with superstars, three of whom--Friedel, Joe-Max Moore and Cobi Jones--played on last summer’s U.S. World Cup team. UCLA advanced to the quarterfinals in 1991 but had a dry spell the next two years.

Should they win Sunday, the Bruins will advance to the NCAA final four, which will be at Davidson, N.C., Dec. 9 and 11.

UCLA (17-4) defeated Alabama Birmingham, 3-2, in overtime and Southern Methodist, 4-2, to reach to the quarterfinals.


In other quarterfinal games, Brown (13-3-1) will play at Rutgers (13-9-3) today and, on Sunday, James Madison (20-2-2) will play at Virginia (19-3-1) and Cal State Fullerton (14-6-2) will play at Indiana (21-2).