Aug. 26, 2003
Bruins Start Season at Top-Ranked Santa Clara . . .
Fifth-ranked UCLA opens up the 2003 season this Friday, facing 2002 NCAA Runner-Up and No. 1-ranked Santa Clara in a 7:00 p.m. showdown at Santa Clara's Buck Shaw Stadium. The Bruins and Broncos met last season at UCLA's Drake Stadium, with Santa Clara winning in overtime, 2-1. The Broncos lead the all-time series, 4-0. The Bruins will face another ranked opponent on Sunday, taking on No. 13 Pepperdine at 1:00 p.m. in Malibu. UCLA leads that series, 4-2, having won the last four meetings.
Bruins Ranked Top-5 in Both Major Polls . . .
Both the NSCAA/adidas and Soccer America national polls have UCLA in the top-five to start the year. In the NSCAA/adidas poll, UCLA checks in at No. 5 nationally after ending 2002 ranked No. 7. In Soccer America, the Bruins debut at No. 3 in the country. Complete polls at bottom of page.
Pryce Named Soccer America Preseason All-American . . .
Pryce, a first-team NSCAA/adidas All-American in 2002 and a two-time All-Pac-10 selection, is one of just 11 players on Soccer America's Preseason All-America Team. As a junior last season she was one of 15 finalists for the Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, awarded to the top player in NCAA soccer. She also helped the Bruin defense rank second in the Pac-10 in goals allowed (13), goals against average (0.57) and shutouts (12). Most recently, she helped the Under-21 U.S. National Team capture its fifth straight Nordic Cup title.
Stanford, UCLA Named Teams to Beat in Pac-10 . . .
The Pac-10 Preseason Coaches' Poll was released on Aug. 19 and the Bruins were picked to finish second with four first-place votes. Defending Pac-10 Champion Stanford led the list with six first-place votes. UCLA and Stanford were the only two schools to receive any first-place votes. The others in order were: ASU, USC, Cal, Washington, Washington State, Oregon State, Arizona and Oregon.
No. 2 Recruiting Class Ready For Action . . .
According to Soccer America, the seven new freshmen on this year's team make up the No. 2 rated recruiting class in the nation. Stephanie Kron, Bristyn Davis and Mary Castelanelli headline this talented group, as all three could see playing time early on. Caitlin Ursini, Michelle Gleason, Jessica Harris and Christina Eskridge round out this talented group.
Bruins Missing Three Key Players to Start the Year . . .
Injuries have sidelined three returning players expected to make a significant impact this season. Jill Oakes is still recovering from an injury suffered in the NCAA Tournament against USC, while both Katie Rivera and Crystal James suffered injuries in the offseason. Head coach Jillian Ellis is still hopeful that Oakes and Rivera will be available to play later in the year. James, a junior, will most likely redshirt and still have two years of eligibility remaining.
NSCAA/adidas 1. Santa Clara 2. North Carolina 3. Portland 4. Stanford 5. UCLA 6. Texas A&M 7. Penn State 8. UConn 9. Texas 10. Notre Dame 11. Virginia 12. Nebraska 13. Pepperdine 14. Tennessee 15. Florida State 16. Cal 17. Michigan 18. West Virginia 19. USC 20. Clemson 21. Florida 22. SMU 23. Maryland 24. BYU 25. Purdue
Soccer America 1. North Carolina 2. Stanford 3. UCLA 4. Santa Clara 5. Texas 6. Notre Dame 7. Portland 8. Penn State 9. Virginia 10. Pepperdine 11. West Virginia 12. Tennessee 13. Florida State 14. Arizona State 15. Connecticut 16. California 17. Texas A&M 18. Maryland 19. Clemson 20. Nebraska 21. USC 22. Villanova 23. Auburn 24. Duke 25. Charlotte