Bruins Look Ahead To NCAA Tournament

Nov. 8, 1999

LOS ANGELES - No. 14 UCLA (14-4-1 overall, 6-2-1 Pac-10) earned a first round bye for the 1999 NCAA women's soccer tournament. UCLA will play the winner of the San Diego-San Diego State match on Saturday, November 13 at 1 pm at UCLA's North Athletic Field. On Wednesday, November 10, San Diego State (15-6 overall, 6-1 Mountain West) heads to Torero Stadium to battle crosstown rival No. 20 University of San Diego (15-4 overall, 5-2 West Coast Conference) in an NCAA first round matchup. Kickoff time is at 7 pm.

UCLA vs. San Diego State
UCLA is 5-1-1 in the series against San Diego State and last defeated the Aztecs 3-0 earlier this season. San Diego State is coached by Chuck Clegg, who is in his eighth year. The Aztecs were conference co-champions along with Brigham Young and Utah and were runner-ups at the inaugural Mountain West Conference Tournament, losing the final to Brigham Young in overtime this past Saturday. Senior forward Lori LaCoursiere, the school's season and career record holder for goals, assists and points, leads the '99 squad with 36 points (11g, 14a). Goalkeeper Katherine Judkins, who has played in 16 of the team's 21 games this season, leads the Aztec defense with an impressive 0.96 goals against average. This is San Diego State's second appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Last year, the Aztecs advanced to the round of 16.

UCLA vs. San Diego
The Bruins own a 3-1-2 series advantage over San Diego but did not meet the Toreros this season. The Bruins and Toreros last met in 1998 when they tied 2-2 in Westwood. The Toreros, under the direction of third year head coach John Cossaboon, finished the regular-season with a 15-4 mark, the best record in school history. San Diego has several ties to UCLA's soccer program. Sophomore Leila Duren, the Toreros' starting keeper, redshirted a season at UCLA before transferring to San Diego. Junior forward Gina Poltl is the sister of former UCLA midfielder Tom Poltl, who graduated last year. The Toreros, who finished second in the West Coast Conference this season, are paced by senior forward Sufia Waki, a transfer from San Diego State, who leads the team with 11 goals, seven assists and 29 points. Last year, the Toreros finished with a 12-6-2 mark, but did not compete in the post-season.

UCLA in the NCAAs
UCLA is 2-3 all-time in the NCAA tournament and will be making its fourth appearance in the post-season. This year marks UCLA's second straight bye. In their first trip to the playoffs, the Bruins lost to Washington 2-1 in 1995. In 1997, UCLA recorded the school's best post-season finish ever, advancing all the way to the quarterfinals. UCLA knocked off No. 7 seed Portland 1-0 in the first round, joining Notre Dame as the only team to hand the Pilots a home playoff loss. Midfielder Beth Thompson recorded her first collegiate goal in the 43rd minute to lead UCLA to its first playoff victory in school history. In the second round, UCLA traveled to Dallas, defeating SMU 3-2 behind goals from Shannon Thomas, Venus James and Sarah Miller. UCLA then went on to battle No. 2 seed Notre Dame in the quarterfinals, taking an 8-0 loss to the Fighting Irish. Last year, the Bruins earned a first round bye but fell 2-0 BYU in the second round.

In the most anticipated match of the season, UCLA handed USC a 3-0 upset, single-handedly eliminating the Trojans from first-place conference contention. UCLA came up big the entire game, putting together 15 shots while dominating the Trojans and holding them to only three shots in the entire game. Sophomore midfielder Lauren Emblem sparked the Bruin attack, providing the crucial game-winner in the 15th minute when her shot >from 10 yards out found the upper-right corner of the net. The Bruins extended their lead to 2-0 when midfielder Venus James cleared the ball and sent it to sophomore forward Staci Duncan, who dribbled down the length of the field, dodged two defenders and fired in a shot from 15 yards out in the 54th minute of play. UCLA put the match away with 76:03 on the clock when sophomore midfielder Breana Boling connected on a header off midfielder Bethany Bogart's corner kick.

UCLA in the Polls
With a weekend win over then-No. 11 USC, UCLA moved up six notches from last week to the No. 14 slot in the NSCAA poll. In other polls, UCLA is ranked No. 14 in High Tech Women's Soccer and No. 16 in Soccer America.

Pac-10 Finish
After Sunday's upset over the then-conference-first-place Trojans, UCLA dashed USC's chances of reclaiming what would have been their second consecutive Pac-10 crown. The preseason conference co-favorite Stanford Cardinal captured the coveted title, ending the season with a 7-1-1 conference mark. UCLA avoided a fourth place finish, placing third behind the second place Trojans.

Leading the Offense
Freshman forward Jessica Winton continues to lead the Bruins with 26 points (11g, 4a), which place her sixth in the Pac-10. In goals scored, Winton is tied for second in the conference. Her 11 goals this season put her atop UCLA's scoring list, and she is only three goals shy of breaking the freshman record of goals scored in a season (14 by Traci Arkenberg in 1994). In addition, Winton is only the second freshman in school history to have recorded a hat trick (Sept. 10 vs. UNC Charlotte). For her sensational performance against UNCC, she was awarded the UCLA/MET-Rx Student Athlete of the Week award for the week of Sept. 6-12. Also leading the offense is Duncan, whose goal against USC over the weekend helped place her second on UCLA's scoring list with ten goals. She and Winton are the only two players on the '99 squad to have scored goals in double digits. Junior forward Tracey Milburn is currently tied with Duncan with 23 points (9g, 5a).

Bruin Defense
The Bruin defense, led by senior Skylar Little, junior Karissa Hampton and sophomore Krista Boling, has traditionally been a strong feature of UCLA women's soccer, and this year is no exception. The "No Goal Patrol," the self-proclaimed title of the Bruin defense, continues to hold back opponents. On the season, UCLA has recorded nine shutouts, including a four-game shutout streak from Sept. 6-17, which ties for longest consecutive shutout streak ever. The '99 Bruin defense has also held opponents to five or less shots in seven games and five or less shots on goal in 13 games. This past Sunday, the No Goal Patrol helped upset Pac-10 rival USC, blanking the Trojans 3-0.

Guarding the Net
Both senior Lindsay Culp and sophomore CiCi Peterson have done an excellent job this season guarding the net for the Bruins. Culp has ranked among the nation's best this year, ranking as high as No. 2 with her 0.32 goals against average (through games played Oct. 10), and also led the conference in individual goalkeeping throughout most of the regular-season. Culp ends the regular-season with a 1.25 GAA, ranking fifth in the Pac-10, while Peterson is third with a 1.24 GAA.

Senior Leadership
Bruin seniors Skylar Little, Bree Edwards and Lindsay Culp have been key factors in UCLA's success this year. Defender Little is one of only four players to have started all 19 of UCLA's games this season, while midfielder Edwards has started 14 games. Little, the '99 Wake Forest Invitational MVP, was named to Soccer America's Team of the Week for the week of Sept. 6-12 for her stifling defense during the tournament. Edwards has played a key role in helping the Bruin defense smother opponents and has pitched in two assists this season. Culp has played in 12 games this season and earned 5.5 of UCLA's seven shutouts. With Culp in goal, the Bruins are 10-2.

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