Nov. 23, 2007
LOS ANGELES - Sophomore Lauren Cheney's golden goal in the 98th minute gave the top-seeded UCLA women's soccer team a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over fourth-seeded Virginia on Friday evening in the NCAA Round of 16 at Drake Stadium. With the win, UCLA (19-1-2) advances to the quarterfinals where it will host second-seeded Portland next Friday at 6:00 p.m. It will mark the second straight year that UCLA and Portland will meet in the quarterfinals.
Cheney scored the game-winning goal at the 97:46 mark, as she received a ball just beyond the top of the Virginia box. With her back to the goal, she spun to her left and quickly fired a right-footed shot that sailed just over the hands of Cavalier goalkeeper Chantel Jones.
"I'm just so proud of this team's ability to fight back and not give up," said UCLA head coach Jillian Ellis. "I think they showed incredible resilience and kept believing. To be able to tie it up and then get the result is just fantastic."
UCLA found itself less than eight minutes away from elimination after Virginia broke a scoreless tie in the 76th minute. Cavalier forward Shannon Foley notched her 10th goal of the season, dribbling a ball into the left side of the UCLA box before bending in a kick into the far corner, giving Virginia a 1-0 advantage at the 75:29 mark.
The Bruins, however, were able to answer back in the 83rd minute, as sophomore Kristina Larsen tied things up with a left-footed strike from just inside the Virginia box. The goal was setup by Cheney, who beat several Virginia defenders before playing it to Larsen.
With a goal and an assist on the night, Cheney broke the UCLA single-season scoring record for points, as she now has 55 on the year. She entered the match tied with Traci Arkenberg, who had 52 points in 1997. Cheney also tallied her ninth game-winning goal of the season, tying Danesha Adams for the single-season record.
UCLA outshot Virginia 15-7 on the night. The Bruins are in the NCAA Quarterfinals for the fifth straight year and eighth time in program history. Bruin goalkeeper Valerie Henderson finished with four saves, while Jones, who made several spectacular saves to thwart a number of UCLA scoring chances, finished with a match-high seven.
It marks the second time that UCLA has knocked Virginia (13-4-6) out of the postseason, as the Bruins took a 4-0 victory over the Cavaliers in the 2005 quarterfinals.