Nov. 20, 2009
LOS ANGELES - Forward Sydney Leroux continued her remarkable play in the postseason on Friday, scoring a pair of goals to help the top-seeded UCLA women's soccer team to a 3-0 victory over Virginia in the NCAA Round of 16 at Drake Stadium. With the win, the Bruins (20-2-1) advance to play second-seeded Portland (21-1) in next Saturday's quarterfinals. That match will be at Drake Stadium beginning at 5:00 p.m. The Pilots defeated Virginia Tech, 4-1 on Friday night.
Defender Dea Cook got things started for the Bruins a little over three minutes into Friday's match, heading in a corner kick sent into the box from Lauren Barnes. Both of Cook's goals this year have been headers off of corner kicks, as she scored the exact same way in the Bruins' 5-0 victory over San Diego State in the second round.
Leroux then gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead in the 42nd minute, as she knocked in her seventh goal of the postseason on a shot to the left corner from about 15 yards out. Both Lucretia Lee and Lauren Cheney were credited with assists on that goal. With her team-leading 10th assist of the year, Cheney upped her career point total to 169, tying her with Traci Arkenberg for the UCLA career lead.
Virginia's best chance of the night came in the 85th minute when Jess Rostedt managed to sneak behind the Bruin back line for a breakaway at the goal. Bruin goalkeeper Chante' Sandiford came off her line to challenge Rostedt, prompting her to cut to her left and eventually slip before she could get a shot off.
After the close call by Rostedt, the Bruins put the game out of reach in the 89th minute on Leroux's second goal of the match. Barnes sent a corner kick into the box that was batted around by several players. Somehow the ball found Leroux, who beat a pair of Cavalier defenders to slip in a close-range shot to the right corner. That goal by Leroux, her 23rd of the season, ties Cheney for the single-season school record. Cheney was also a sophomore when she knocked in her 23 goals in 2007. It also marked Leroux's eighth goal of the postseason, besting Kara Lang's single-season school record of seven set in 2005.
UCLA posted its 20th win of the season on Friday, giving the team 20 wins for the fifth year in a row. It also puts the Bruins in the NCAA Quarterfinals for the seventh straight season.
UCLA has played Portland five previous times in the postseason, owning a 4-1 record. The two teams have squared off in three of the last four NCAA Tournaments. The Pilots beat the Bruins in the 2006 NCAA Final, however UCLA has won the last two meetings, both quarterfinal encounters in Los Angeles.