Nov. 29, 2005
UCLA Advances to Third-Straight College Cup
The fourth-ranked and top-seeded (regional) UCLA women's soccer team (21-1-2) heads to College Station, Texas this week for the NCAA College Cup hosted by Texas A&M University. UCLA is scheduled to face Florida State (20-3-1) in the first-ever meeting between the two schools on Friday, Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m. (CST). This game can be seen live on ESPNU and will be shown tape-delayed on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 1:00 p.m. (CST) on ESPN2. The other semifinal on Friday features top-seeded Penn State (23-0-1) squaring off against No. 1 Portland (22-0-1) at 3:30 p.m. That game will be shown live on ESPN2. Friday's winners will meet in the NCAA Final on Sunday, Dec. 4 at Noon (live on ESPN2).
UCLA's NCAA Tournament History
UCLA takes 25-9 overall record in NCAA Tournament play into this Friday's matchup with Florida State. This year marks UCLA's 10th overall NCAA appearance in the 13-year history of the program. It is also the Bruins' ninth consecutive appearance. UCLA has now made four trips to the NCAA College Cup (2000, 2003, 2004 and 2005), reaching the finals on two occasions (2000 and 2004). UCLA first reached the College Cup in 2000, falling to North Carolina, 2-1 in the title match. The Bruins were also eliminated by the Tar Heels in the 2003 semifinals. UCLA lost to Nortre Dame in last year's final on penalty kicks.
Against the College Cup Field
Florida State, the Bruins' opponent on Friday, is the only team in this year's College Cup that UCLA has never faced before. UCLA leads the all-time series with Portland, 3-0, having beaten the Pilots twice during the NCAA Tournament. UCLA upset Portland, 1-0 in the NCAA First Round back in 1997, and registered another 1-0 victory in the 2000 NCAA Semifinals. The last meeting between the two teams was a 1-0 decision back in 2001. UCLA is 1-2 all-time against Penn State, with all three matches played at UCLA's Drake Stadium. The Nittany Lions' two wins were both in double-overtime (1-0 in 2002 and 1-0 in 2005). UCLA and Penn State have faced off once before during the NCAA Tournament, with the Bruins taking a 4-0 victory in the quarterfinals back in 2003.
Defense Dominance in NCAA Play
UCLA has given up just four goals in its last 18 NCAA Tournament matches dating back to 2002. The Bruins have also surrendered just one goal in their last 10 tournament games, and have registered 16 shutouts in their last 18 NCAA matches. Jill Oakes, Bristyn Davis, Mary Castelanelli and Erin Hardy are the four members of this year's Bruin defense, which has given up only eight goals in 24 matches this season and is on pace to break the single-season mark of 10 set back in 2000.
Adams Breaks NCAA Tournament Record
Midfielder Danesha Adams set two NCAA Tournament records in UCLA's 5-0 quarterfinal victory over Virginia last Friday. Her four goals was the most ever in a Division-I NCAA Tournament game. In addition, her eight points on the night was also a record, bettering the single-game mark of seven. She now has 12 points (5g, 2a) in UCLA's four NCAA Tournament matches this season.
Lang Leads NCAA Scoring
With 15 points in four tournament matches, freshman forward Kara Lang is just six points away from tying the record for most points in an NCAA Tournament (21). Lang is also just three goals away from tying the tournament record for goals (10). Portland's Christine Sinclair holds both records, as she had 10 goals and one assist in the 2002 NCAA Tournament. Lang, who has scored in every tournament match, already ranks third all-time at UCLA in NCAA scoring. Senior Iris Mora is UCLA's all-time NCAA scoring leader with 18 points (6g, 8a). A total of nine different players have had either a goal or an assist through the first four rounds of action.
Team Records Fall
The Bruins have broken three single-season team records in 2005, setting new marks for consecutive games unbeaten (19), shutouts (17) and victories (21). Other single-season team records that could fall but won't be determined until the end of the season are lowest goals against average (0.41) and fewest goals allowed (10).
Did you Know?
The UCLA men's tennis team was the last team to win an NCAA title in College Station, Texas. UCLA upset top-seeded and undefeated Baylor, 4-3 in the national championship match this past May at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center.
Bruins Gunning for NCAA Title No. 98
UCLA, which is looking to claim its first-ever NCAA title in women's soccer, leads the nation with 97 NCAA team championships. The Bruins have claimed total of 69 men's titles and 28 women's titles. The UCLA athletic program is coming off an impressive 2004-05 season in which it claimed three championships (m. tennis, m. water polo, w. water polo) and had five teams finish as national runner-up (m. volleyball, w. soccer, w. track & field, softball, w. golf). Stanford ranks second in overall NCAA team titles won (91).
Individual Records About to Be Broken
Goalkeeper Valerie Henderson and forward Iris Mora are very close to breaking two single-season individual records. With her next victory, Henderson will set the single-season record for wins with 20. Henderson is also on the verge of setting a new single-season low in goals against average, as hers currently stands at 0.38. With her next assist, Mora will break her own single-season mark of 14. Midfielder Danesha Adams is the only other player approaching a single-season record, as she stands just two goals away from tying the record of 22 set by Traci Arkenberg back in 1997. (see chart on page 3).
Bruins Claim Third Pac-10 Title in a Row
With a pair of victories over the Arizona schools in the final weekend of conference play, UCLA locked up its third Pac-10 title in a row, becoming only the second school to three-peat (Stanford did it from 1993-96*). This year's Pac-10 race actually came down to the final match, as the Bruins needed a win over ASU to edge Cal by one point in the final standings. Bruin midfielder Danesha Adams helped UCLA clinch the championship by scoring in the 90th minute against the Sun Devils, giving UCLA the 2-1 victory. Freshman McCall Zerboni was the hero two days earlier against No. 23 Arizona, scoring the game-winner in double-overtime to give UCLA a 2-1 win in that match. (*There was no Pac-10 champion in 1995).
Player/Freshman of the Year Candidates
Defender Jill Oakes and forward Iris Mora were two of 15 players named as semifinalists for the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy, given annually to the top player in college soccer. Three finalists will be named at the men's College Cup on Dec. 9, with the winner being announced on Jan. 6. In addition, midfielder Danesha Adams and Oakes were two of 15 players named as finalists for Soccer Buzz National Player of the Year honors. Midfielder Christina DiMartino and forward Kara Lang were named finalists for Soccer Buzz's Freshman of the Year award.
Head Coach Jillian Ellis
Jillian Ellis is in her seventh season as head coach of the UCLA women's soccer team. The NSCAA/adidas National Coach of the Year in 2000, Ellis owns a 131-26-7 record at UCLA and is 150-44-7 overall, which includes two seasons at the University of Illinois. Ellis has guided the Bruins to the NCAA Tournament in each of her seven seasons, highlighted by four trips to the NCAA College Cup. (2000, 2003, 2004 and 2005). Her 2000 and 2004 squads reached the national championship games. She ranks among the top-10 winningest active coaches.
Freshman Records Fall
Forward Kara Lang recently set new UCLA records for both points (38) and goals (16) by a first-year player. Former Bruins Sarah-Gayle Swanson and Traci Arkenberg held both freshman records until this season, as each had 14 goals and 32 points during their respective freshman seasons. Arkenberg was a freshman in 1994, while Swanson tied Arkenberg's marks in 2000.
UCLA In the Pac-10 Statistics
As a team, the Bruins rank first in the conference in every offensive category, including: points (187), goals (66), assists (55) and shots (424). Defensively, UCLA is tops in fewest goals allowed (8), goals against average (0.32) and shutouts (17). On an individual level, senior Iris Mora ranks No. 1 in assists (14), while Danesha Adams ranks first in points (44), goals (20) and game winning goals (9). Goalkeeper Valerie Henderson's 0.38 goals against average also ranks No. 1 in the Pac-10.
UCLA In the National Statistics
UCLA ranks 12th in the country in scoring offense, averaging 2.75 goals per game. The Bruins check in at No. 2 in goals against average (0.32) and No. 4 in shutout percentage (0.71). Individually, Valerie Henderson's 0.38 GAA ranks fifth nationally.
Mallia Heads West
First-year assistant head coach Joe Mallia joined the team in June after serving as head coach at Loyola College in Maryland for the past seven seasons. He took over for Kat Mertz, who was hired to be the head coach at UNLV. Prior to his arrival in Westwood, Mallia led Loyola to five-straight NCAA Tournament appearances. He owned an 89-45-9 overall record at Loyola. A four-year letterwinner at Old Dominion, Mallia works extensively with UCLA's goalkeepers.
Bruins in the Classroom
Defender Mary Castelanelli received two academic awards recently, earning ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District-8 First-Team honors, along with being named a Pac-10 Honorable Mention selection. Castelanelli, a junior from Lodi, Calif., has a 3.5 cumulative GPA and is majoring in civil engineering. Bruin goalkeeper Valerie Henderson also earned honorable mention accolades from the Pac-10.