Nov. 21, 2006
Bruins and Pilots to Battle for Spot in the NCAA College Cup
In a rematch of last year's NCAA Final, the second-seeded UCLA women's soccer team (20-3) will host unseeded Portland (17-3-3) this Friday evening at 6:00 p.m. in the NCAA Quarterfinals. The winner will meet either top-seeded North Carolina or second-seeded Texas A&M in the semifinals on Dec. 1 in Cary, NC. Tickets for this Friday's match are $9 for adults and $7 for youth/students. They can be purchased at the Drake Stadium ticket window just prior to the match.
Following the Action LIVE
Fans unable to attend Friday's match can either listen over the internet or follow the Gametracker live stats, both free and accessible through UCLA's website: uclabruins.com.
UCLA vs. Portland
UCLA is one of only a few schools in the country with a winning record against Portland, owning a 3-1 advantage in the all-time series. Three of the four meetings have come during the NCAA Tournament. Prior to last season's loss in the NCAA Final, the Bruins had posted three-straight shutouts over the Pilots.
1997 - UCLA def. Portland, 1-0
NCAA 1st Rd. at Portland, Ore.
2000 - UCLA def. Portland, 1-0
NCAA Semifinals at San Jose, Calif.
2001 - UCLA def. Portland, 1-0
CSUF Fila Classic at Fullerton, Calif.
2005 - Portland def. UCLA, 4-0
NCAA Final at College Station, TX
Did You Know?
UCLA is making its fourth-straight appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals. The last time the Bruins failed to advance this far was back in 2002 after losing to Texas A&M on penalty kicks in the third round.
Home Unbeaten Streak Moves to 26
With its victory over Florida last Friday, UCLA upped its home unbeaten streak to 26 matches. The Bruins have not lost at home since a 1-0 loss to Penn State back on Sept. 9, 2005. Additionally, the Bruins, who are 15-0 at Drake Stadium this season, take a 14-match winning streak in home NCAA Tournament matches into this Friday's game with Portland. UCLA's last home loss during the NCAA Tournament was to Texas A&M back in 2002.
UCLA's NCAA Seeding HistoryClosing in on NCAA Title #100
Yr. Seed Result 2000 #6 Finals (L, 2-1 to UNC) 2001 #3 Quarterfinals (L, 1-0 to Florida) 2002 #7 Rd. of 16 (L, 0-0 PKs to Texas A&M) 2003 #4 Semifinals (L, 3-0 to UNC) 2004 #14 Finals (L, 1-1 PKs to Notre Dame) 2005 #1* Finals (L, 4-0 to Portland) 2006 #2 Quarterfinals . . . . . . .
* 2005 marked the first year of regional seeding
With 99 NCAA team titles, the UCLA Athletic Program is on the verge of making history as the first school to reach No. 100. The women's soccer team is also in a unique position, as it will be the first UCLA team with a shot at achieving this feat. UCLA has never won an NCAA title in women's soccer, while the men's volleyball team has the most NCAA championships at the school with 19.
Cheney, Adams Leading the Way in NCAA's
After leading the Bruins in scoring during the regular season, it's no surprise that freshman forward Lauren Cheney and junior midfielder Danesha Adams are playing their best soccer when it matters most, as both players have scored in all three NCAA Tournament matches. Adams, who ranks second on the team in scoring with 27 points (12g, 3a), leads the Bruins in the postseason with 10 points on five goals. Cheney, the team scoring leader with 37 points (18g, 1a), has three goals and one assist in the playoffs. Together they have combined for eight of the Bruins' 12 goals in the NCAA Tournament. Both are tied for the team lead in game-winning goals this season with seven apiece.
Cheney Sets New Freshman Goal Record
Lauren Cheney recently set a new UCLA freshman record for goals, knocking in her 18th of the season in the Bruins' 3-2 victory over Florida in the round of 16. The old record was set by injured sophomore Kara Lang, who had 17 as a freshman last season. Cheney can also set the freshman record for game-winning goals with her next game winner, as she is currently tied atop the charts with former Bruin Traci Arkenberg, who had seven game winners as a freshman back in 1994. Cheney, who currently has 37 points, is just three off the freshman record of 40, also set by Lang last year.
Henderson New Career Win Leader
With the Bruins' 6-1 victory over UNLV in the first round, goalkeeper Valerie Henderson set a new school record for career wins with 53. She entered the weekend tied with Lindsay Culp, who had 52 victories from 1996-99. Henderson, who recently picked up her 55th career win in the Bruins' victory over Florida, now has 17 wins on the season.
20 Wins Again
UCLA's win over Florida last week was the 20th of the season for the Bruins, marking the fourth time in program history this has been accomplished. The Bruins have previously reached 20 wins in 2001 (20-3), 2003 (20-2-3) and 2005 (22-2-2). UCLA has twice come up just short, posting 19 wins in 1997 and 2000.
All-Pac-10 Honors Announced
First-team selections Lauren Cheney, Christina DiMartino and Danesha Adams headlined a group of eight UCLA women's soccer players who received All-Pac-10 honors on Nov. 9. In addition to her selection to the first team, Cheney was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year. Goalkeeper Valerie Henderson was named to the second team. The Bruins' honorable mention selections were Erin Hardy, Stacy Lindstrom and Bristyn Davis.
Adams Named Semifinalist for M.A.C. Hermann Trophy
Junior midfielder Danesha Adams was recently named one of 15 semifinalists for the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy, an annual award given to the top player in college soccer. Adams currently ranks second on the team in scoring with 27 points (12g, 3a). She is also tied for the team lead in game-winning goals with seven. Bruin goalkeeper Valerie Henderson was named to the "Watch List" for the award at the beginning of the season, however did not make the semifinal list.
Adams Named to U.S. Gold Cup Roster
Danesha Adams was recently selected as one of three college players who were named to the U.S. roster for the upcoming Gold Cup, an event that will hopefully help the U.S. qualify for the 2007 Women's World Cup. At 20 years old, Adams is the youngest and least-capped player on the roster. She recently made her lone appearance for the U.S. senior side on Oct. 1 vs. Chinese Taipei. The U.S. will take on the winner of the Mexico-Trinidad & Tobago quarterfinal on Wednesday, Nov. 22, in one of the Women's Gold Cup semifinals at the Home Depot Center. The winner of that game will qualify directly to the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup being held Sept. 10-30 in China.
UCLA Wins Fourth-Straight Conference Title
UCLA recently became the first Pac-10 school to win four-straight conference titles, as the Bruins downed Oregon State, 4-0 in the final match of the regular season on Nov. 5 in Corvallis. With the victory, the Bruins earned the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, finishing the season with an 8-1 mark in Pac-10 play. It marks the seventh overall title for UCLA, more than any other school in the Pac-10.
Soccer Buzz Names Player/Freshman of the Year Finalists
In addition to being named a semifinalist for the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy, midfielder Danesha Adams was also recently named one of 14 players selected to Soccer Buzz Magazine's player of the year list. UCLA's Lauren Cheney and Lauren Wilmoth are also two of 14 players who are in contention for Soccer Buzz Freshman of the Year.
Bruins End Regular Season at No. 3
UCLA is ranked No. 3 in the final regular-season polls issued by NSCAA/adidas, Soccer America, Soccer Buzz and Soccer Times. The Bruins, who began the season ranked No. 1 in Soccer America and Soccer Buzz, have been ranked in the top-10 all season.
Adams Earns First Cap, Assist With U.S. Women's National Team
Coming off an outstanding performance at the Under-20 FIFA World Championships in Russia, UCLA's Danesha Adams got her first taste of international competition at the senior level back in early October, as the Bruin junior was brought into camp with the U.S. Women's National Team in Carson, Calif. Adams did so well in the camp that she made the 18-player roster for an international friendly against Chinese Taipei. After coming in as a substitute in the 75th minute, Adams had an assist on a Megan Rapinoe goal in the 82nd minute. The U.S. eventually won the match 10-0. It marked the first time that Adams has ever been invited into camp with the full team.
The U-20 Experience
With five players on the team, UCLA had more players on the U.S. U-20 World Championship team than any other school in the country. Erin Hardy, Lauren Cheney, Danesha Adams, Christina DiMartino and Valerie Henderson all took part in the event, which took place in Russia. The U.S. advanced to the semifinals, eventually falling to China on penalty kicks. The U.S. finished fourth after losing to Brazil in the third-place match. Adams earned the Bronze Ball in Russia, an award given to the tournament's third best player.
Dishing It Out
With a team-high seven assists, midfielder Christina DiMartino has been the Bruins' top playmaker this season. Standing at just 5-2, her ability to sneak past opposing defenders before laying the ball off has been a big reason for UCLA's success. It's also no surprise that UCLA's top two scorers - Lauren Cheney and Danesha Adams - have benefitted most from DiMartino's penetrating runs, as each have three goals set up by the speedy sophomore. DiMartino can find the back of the net too, as she ranks third on the team in goals with five.
Young Defense Holding Its Own
Senior Bristyn Davis is the lone veteran on a back line that features two freshmen and a sophomore. Erin Hardy (So.), Lydia Cook (Fr.), and Lauren Wilmoth (Fr.) round out a defense that has surrendered just 16 goals in 23 matches. In addition, the Bruins' 13 shutouts this season ranks in the top-five all-time.
Youth National Team Bruins
A total of 16 UCLA players have been involved with the U.S. Youth National Team program at some point and time during their careers. In fact, several have been featured on U.S. rosters for major international competitions in recent months. Danesha Adams, Lauren Wilmoth, Bristyn Davis and Valerie Henderson were all part of the Jillian Ellis coached Under-21 U.S. squad that placed second at the Nordic Cup this past July in Norway. Adams and Henderson then teamed up with Lauren Cheney, Erin Hardy and Christina DiMartino on the Under-20 U.S. team that placed fourth at the FIFA World Championships in Russia in September.
Castelanelli, Lang Out for the Season
Already without forward Kara Lang due to injury, the Bruins suffered another huge blow to their season on Sept. 24, as senior defender Mary Castelanelli suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Bruins' 3-0 victory over Pepperdine. Castelanelli, who had started all nine matches for the Bruins prior to getting hurt, was the lone upperclassman on the back line. She is not eligible for a medical redshirt. Lang, who suffered an ACL injury during the offseason, is redshirting the season. As a freshman in 2005, Lang ranked second on the team in scoring with 40 points (17g, 6a). She scored eight goals in six NCAA Tournament matches last year, helping the Bruins advance to the finals.
In the Classroom
Injured defender Mary Castelanelli was recently named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District-VIII team. The senior from Lodi, Calif. carries a 3.53 GPA and is majoring in civil engineering. She had started the first nine matches for the Bruins this season before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Pac-10 All-Academic honors were released this week, with Castelanelli and sophomore midfielder Catherine Calvert earning second-team acclaim. Calvert is undecided with a 3.76 GPA. Goalkeeper Valerie Henderson and midfielder Christina DiMartino were named honorable mention selections.
Head Coach Jillian Ellis
Jillian Ellis is in her eighth season as the head coach of the UCLA women's soccer team. The 2000 NSCAA/adidas National Coach of the Year, Ellis owns a school record of 152-30-7 (.823). She has guided the Bruins to four NCAA College Cups (2000, 2003, 2004 and 2005), including three trips to the finals (2000, 2004 and 2005). She owns an overall coaching record of 171-48-7 (.772), which includes two seasons at the University of Illinois. In addition to her work with UCLA, Ellis is also the head coach of the Under-21 U.S. Women's National Team, recently guiding the U-21s to a second-place showing at the 2006 Nordic Cup.