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Women's Soccer Prepares for Regular Season
By: UCLA Athletics

Aug. 23, 1999

This Week: The Bruins (17-4-1 in 1998) conclude exhibition play in a match against Pepperdine (7-8-4 in 1998) on Tues., August 24 at 3 pm at UCLA's North Athletic Field. Regular season action begins on Sat., August 28 when UCLA meets Cal State Fullerton (8-10-1 in 1998) at Fullerton's Titan Stadium. The Titans, who finished fifth in the Big West Conference last year, return five starters with only one player, Amy Barnes, having scored more than one goal in 1998.

Preseason Poll: The Bruins are slated at No. 16 in the NSCAA preseason poll. Other NSCAA preseason ranked teams the Bruins will face this season include top-ranked North Carolina (Oct. 1), No. 4 (t) defending national champion Florida (Sept. 4), No. 21 Stanford (Oct. 22), No. 23 Wake Forest (Sept. 12) and No. 24 USC (Nov. 7).

Pac-10 Preseason Poll: UCLA has been selected as co-favorite with Stanford to win the1999 Pacific-10 Conference women's soccer title in a preseason conference coaches poll. The two-time defending conference champion Bruins garnered four of the 10 first-place votes cast.

Head Coach Jillian Ellis: New head coach Jillian Ellis will make her regular-season coaching debut Saturday when UCLA meets Cal State Fullerton. She replaces Todd Salda?a, who was selected to head the UCLA men's soccer program earlier this year. For the past two seasons, Ellis served as head coach of the University of Illinois women's soccer program. In her two years there she led the Illini to a 19-18 overall record and a Big Ten Tournament berth in 1998.

Leading the Offense: Junior forward/midfielder Venus James, UCLA's third leading scorer in 1998, is off to an impressive start this season. Against the UCLA Alumni in an exhibition game this past Saturday, James played a pivotal role in the 4-0 shutout victory. In the fifth minute of play, the 1998 third-team All-Far West selection assisted sophomore Lauren Emblem in the game's first goal. Minutes later James stole the ball past the midfield, charging past defenders to notch a goal in the 69th minute of play.

Tournament Bound: After Saturday's game versus Cal State Fullerton, the Bruins embark on two back-to-back tournaments. At the USC Tournament, the Bruins face the defending national champion Florida Gators on Sat., September 4 and then meet Maryland on Mon., September 6. That same week, the Bruins travel to North Carolina for the Wake Forest Tournament, battling UNC Charlotte on Fri., September 10 and then facing off with the host Demon Deacons on Sun., September 12. The Bruins return home Fri., Sept. 17 in a home opener against UC Irvine.

Fila Soccer Challenge: On Fri., September 3, the first-ever Pre-Fila Women's Soccer Challenge Golf Tournament will be held at Brookside Golf Course. Entry fees are $75/player and proceeds will be donated to UCLA Women's Soccer. To participate in the Tournament, contact Maureen Kelly at 310-206-0197.

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