With a good amount of Bruin players dispersed around the world with national team commitments and a 10-day goodwill trip to Japan scheduled during Spring Break, UCLA will play the majority of its spring games in April. The Bruins play both UC Irvine and the San Diego Lions on Apr. 5 at Irvine and return to North Athletic Field on Apr. 13 with a match against the alumni at 11am and Arizona State at 1pm. UCLA will face the U.S. Under-20 National Team on Apr. 19 at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista before closing out the spring campaign on Apr. 26 with a home match against the LA Blues.
This will be the first spring season for UCLA head coach Amanda Cromwell, who was hired in April of 2013 and promptly led the Bruins to their first-ever NCAA women's soccer championship.
"We're looking forward to getting back on the field," Cromwell said."This is a new opportunity for us because we didn't have last spring to train the girls. We see this as a chance to get better and develop as individuals and as a team."
"Having games every weekend is unique, but it also gives us a chance to play multiple players," she continued. "We still have a big roster, and this is something the players can look forward to because they will get a chance to play and show what they have this spring to try to earn playing time or starting positions."
UCLA will visit Japan during Spring Break Mar. 20-30, playing International Women's Club Champion INAC Kobe on Mar. 23 in Okinawa. INAC Kobe features several Japanese National Team players, including Homare Sawa, captain of Japan's 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup champion team and a former WUSA teammate of Cromwell. The Bruins will also visit a U.S. military base to conduct a kids' clinic during their stay in Okinawa before heading to Shizuoka, where they will play JFA Academy on Mar. 27. The Bruins will also visit Tokyo prior to returning to Los Angeles.
"We're super excited to go to Japan to play INAC Kobe," Cromwell said. "This experience, not only with the level of soccer but the cultural aspect of visiting another country, is going to be very special for this team. As a former player who has traveled and played internationally, I know how much a trip like this can affect the life of an 18-19-20 year-old. It can have a lasting impact on them that will help them mature and be better people and players."
2014 UCLA Women's Soccer Spring Schedule
March 9 - USC (North Athletic Field), 1pm
March 23 - INAC Kobe (@Okinawa, Japan), TBD
March 27 - JFA Academy (@Shizuoka, Japan), TBD
April 5 - at UC Irvine, 11am; vs. San Diego Sea Lions (@UC Irvine), 1pm
April 13 - Alumni Game (North Athletic Field), 11am; vs. Arizona State (North Athletic Field), 1 pm
April 19 - U.S. U-20 WNT (@ OCT-Chula Vista), 12:30pm
April 26 - LA Blues (North Athletic Field), 11am