Aug. 22, 2005
No. 3 BRUINS KICK OFF 2005 SEASON THIS FRIDAY
The third-ranked UCLA women's soccer team (0-0) will host Long Beach State (0-0) in the season opener for both teams this Friday at Drake Stadium beginning at 7:00 p.m. Despite the proximity of both schools, this will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams. UCLA will, however, play a familiar opponent when it travels to the University of San Diego (0-0) for a 6:00 p.m. match on Sunday. The Bruins and Toreros have meet every year since 1993, with UCLA leading the all-time series 11-1-2.
UCLA CHECKS IN AT NO. 3 IN NATIONAL POLLS
The Bruins begin the season ranked third behind Notre Dame and North Carolina in both the NSCAA/adidas and Soccer America national polls. Notre Dame is ranked first in NSCAA/adidas, while North Carolina checks in at No. 1 in Soccer America. Soccer Buzz also has the Bruins at No. 3. UCLA ended the 2004 season ranked second after falling to Notre Dame in the national championship match.
OAKES TABBED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN
Defender Jill Oakes was named to the Soccer Buzz Preseason Elite 12 Team, highlighting the nation's best players who are expected to make an impact this season. Oakes, who was the only Pac-10 player to earn the distinction, is coming off a season in which second-team NSCAA/adidas All-America honors. Other players on the Soccer Buzz Preseason Elite 12 Team are: Heather O'Reilly (UNC), Christine Sinclair (Portland), Katie Thorlakson (Notre Dame), Tiffany Weimer (Penn State), Lori Chalupny (UNC), Lara Dickenmann (Ohio State), Diana Matheson (Princeton), Lindsay Tarpley (UNC), Stephanie Lopez (Portland), Julie Ryder (Santa Clara) and Becky Sauerbrunn (Virginia).
BRUINS TABBED PAC-10 FAVORITES
Defending co-Conference champion UCLA has been voted as the favorite to win this year's Pac-10 women's soccer title, according to the Pac-10 Preseason Coaches' Poll released on Aug. 16. The Bruins, who were also named the favorites in 2004, received eight of 10 first-place votes, while Stanford (1) and Arizona (1) received the remaining first-place nods.
Although the Bruins lost Lindsay Greco, Kim Devine, Amy Fazio and Kendal Billingsley to graduation, head coach Jillian Ellis has supplemented the 2005 lineup with a recruiting class ranked by many as the second best in the country. New to this year's team are Canadian National Team star Kara Lang, NSCAA/adidas National High School Player of the Year Christina DiMartino and U.S. Youth National Team goalkeeper Kelsey Davis. They are joined by Catherine Calvert, Erin Hardy, Nicole Kleinert, Caitlyn Mac Kechnie, Rose Vandenberg, and twin sisters Blake and McCall Zerboni. Another new face to this year's squad is assistant head coach Joe Mallia, who was hired following the departure of Kat Mertz, who accepted the head job at UNLV.
ELLIS BEGINS SEVENTH SEASON IN WESTWOOD
Head coach Jillian Ellis is entering her seventh season at the helm of the UCLA women's soccer team. The NSCAA/adidas National Coach of the Year in 2000, Ellis owns a 110-25-5 record at UCLA and a 129-43-5 overall record, which includes two seasons at the University of Illinois. Ellis has guided the Bruins to the NCAA Tournament in each of her six seasons, highlighted by three trips to the College Cup (2000, 2003 and 2004). Her 2000 and 2004 squads reached the national championship games.