Oct. 28, 2008
No. 2 Stanford, Cal Visit Drake Stadium This Friday and Sunday
In arguably the biggest women's soccer match in the country this week, No. 2 Stanford visits No. 3 UCLA in a battle that features two of the three remaining undefeated teams in the nation. The Bruins (14-0-2; 5-0 Pac-10) enter Friday's match looking to build on the momentum of a thrilling 2-1 victory over cross-town rival USC last week. The Cardinal, who have not won at Drake Stadium since 2002, are 16-0-1 overall and 6-0 in conference action. Friday's match will begin at 5:00 p.m. The Bruins return to action on Sunday, hosting Cal (10-5-1; 3-2-1 Pac-10) at Noon. A special Senior Day ceremony honoring seven UCLA players will take place prior to that contest. As always, both Bruin matches this weekend can be heard live via the STANFORD / CAL
Fans who buy a ticket to see the UCLA women play this weekend will also get to stay and watch a Bruin men's match afterwards. The UCLA men are scheduled to host Cal at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, and Stanford at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. One ticket is good for both matches each day.
Race for the Pac-10 Title
With both UCLA (5-0) and Stanford (6-0) undefeated in confernce play, Friday's winner will take over sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 standings. The Bruins will have two matches remaining after this weekend, traveling to Oregon and Oregon State to round out the regular season next week. Stanford wraps up its schedule against Cal on Nov. 8. Click HERE to access the latest Pac-10 standings.
Larsen Lifts Bruins Past USC, 2-1
Junior Kristina Larsen enjoyed the biggest match of her UCLA career last week, scoring both goals in a 2-1 victory over cross-town rival USC before a series record 7,804 fans at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Friday. Larsen scored the game's first goal in the 27th minute, helping the Bruins take a 1-0 lead into the half. After the Women of Troy tied the match in the 50th minute, Larsen then scored her second goal by heading in a corner kick at the 60:30 mark. That goal, her ninth of the season, ties her for the team lead in goals with Lauren Cheney. Larsen, who ranks second on the team in scoring with 20 points (9g, 2a), also has four game-winning goals on the season. Friday's win avenges a 2-1 loss to USC at last year's NCAA College Cup.
As expected, Kristina Larsen was honored by just about every soccer publication for her two-goal effort against USC last Friday. On Tuesday, she was named Soccer America's National Player of the Week, the first such honor of her career. She was also named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for the second time this season. Soccer Buzz and Top Drawer Soccer also had Larsen on their teams of the week.
UCLA/USC Replays on Fox
Fans who missed last Friday's UCLA/USC match can still catch it several Fox affiliates this week. The Bruins' 2-1 win is scheduled to air on the following dates:
Oct. 28 / FSN Prime Ticket / 11 p.m.
Oct. 29 / Fox College Sports / 7 a.m.
Oct. 30 / Fox College Sports / 1 a.m. and 7 a.m.
Oct. 30 / Fox Soccer Channel / 8 p.m.
Oct. 31 / Fox College Sports / 5 a.m.
* All listings are Pacific Standard time
Cheney to Play Friday
Lauren Cheney missed the final 17 minutes of last Friday's USC match after injuring her ankle in a collision with a Trojan player. The injury was not serious, however, and she is expected to be in the lineup when the Bruins take on Stanford this Friday.
The UCLA/Stanford Showdown
Friday's contest between UCLA and Stanford features two traditional Pac-10 powers, as the two schools have earned at least a share of 13 of the 14 conference titles awarded in women's soccer (exception: Washington won the title outright in 2000). UCLA leads the conference with eight overall Pac-10 Championships while Stanford ranks second with six. The Bruins lead the all-time series 8-4-2, taking a five-match unbeaten streak against the Cardinal into this Friday's showdown (Stanford's last win in the series came in 2002). Another aspect that makes this week's matchup so intriguing is that it features the nation's best defense (UCLA - 0.18 goals against avg.) against the country's fifth-ranked offense (Stanford - 3.29 goals per game).
Bruins Maintain No. 3 Spot
For the fifth week in a row, UCLA checks in at No. 3 in the latest national rankings issued by Soccer America. The Bruins, however, could move up next week with a win over No. 2 Stanford this Friday. UCLA is ranked No. 4 in the latest NSCAA/adidas Coaches' Poll, as Portland owns the No. 3 spot on that list. The Bruins' highest ranking this season was No. 1 (Sept. 8).
UCLA One of Three Unbeatens
UCLA (14-0-2), Stanford (16-0-1) and Notre Dame (18-0) are the only remaining undefeated teams in the country this week. Western Kentucky was included in the group until falling 4-3 to North Texas on Sunday.
NCAA Selection Show Coming Up
The 64-team draw for the 2008 NCAA Women's Soccer Championships will be announced on Monday, Nov. 10 on ESPNews (Time TBA). Given their high ranking and record, the Bruins will likely host early-round action at Drake Stadium. This year's NCAA College Cup will be held, Dec. 5 & 7, in Cary, NC.
DiMartino Moves into Top 10
Senior Christina DiMartino recently moved into the top 10 at UCLA in career scoring, notching the 69th point of her career on an assist in the Bruins' 2-1 victory over USC on Friday. She is now tied for No. 10 on the list with Bristyn Davis, who also had 69 points from 2003-06. Only a junior, Lauren Cheney already ranks No. 3 at UCLA in career scoring with 119 points.
Thompson Ranks No. 1
Senior goalkeeper Ashley Thompson continues to rank No. 1 nationally in both goals against average (0.20) and save percentage (0.942). If she continues at the current pace, she could break several UCLA single-season records, including the marks for wins, goals against average and shutouts.