Oct. 26, 2007
LOS ANGELES - In a battle that featured the last two undefeated teams in the Pac-10 Conference, top-ranked UCLA got a pair of second-half goals from Lauren Cheney and Kara Lang to down No. 9 USC, 2-0 before 3,345 fans at Drake Stadium on Friday. The Bruins, who have now won eight straight over their cross-town rival, improve to 12-1-2 overall and 5-0 in conference play.
"It's fantastic," said UCLA head coach Jillian Ellis, who is now 9-0-1 in matches against USC. "We were excited for this game and we hung in there and got the result. USC came out and had us on our heels, but we regrouped in the second half and came out on top. It was a great team effort."
Cheney, who has been unstoppable as of late with six goals in the Bruins' last four games, scored her team-leading sixth game-winning goal of the season on Friday. She broke a scoreless tie in the 51st minute when she lofted a ball to the far post, just past the outstretched hands of USC goalkeeper Kristen Olsen. Senior Danesha Adams was credited with the assist, as she chipped a ball over the Trojan defense to set up the goal.
Cheney, who entered the week leading the nation in goals per game (1.41), now has a conference-best 17 goals on the season. She has tallied either a goal or an assist in 12 of 15 matches this season.
Although the Trojans picked up their intensity following the goal, managing a few close scoring opportunities in the next 10 minutes, Lang dashed USC's hopes of a comeback at the 64:03 mark with her fourth goal of the season. After Cheney fed her a ball at the top right corner of the box, Lang took a touch before unleashing a right-footed shot into the bottom left corner. Olsen got a jump on it but couldn't quite punch it wide, as the Bruins moved out to a 2-0 advantage. UCLA held USC scoreless for the remaining 25 minutes to come away with the win.
The Bruins' defense has yet to surrender a goal in Pac-10 play, as UCLA has outscored its conference opponents 10-0 in five matches. Goalkeeper Valerie Henderson made five saves on the night, picking up her 12th victory of the season. UCLA out-shot USC, 14-13 on the night.
The Bruins improve to 16-2-1 all time against USC. Not only has UCLA won eight in a row, but the Bruins also own an 11 match unbeaten streak against the Trojans. USC's last win in the series came back in 1998.
UCLA's home unbeaten streak moves to 35 matches, the longest in the country. The Bruins have not lost at home since Sept. 9, 2005.
USC, which falls to 11-2-2 and 3-1-1 in the Pac-10, entered Friday's match with their highest-ranking in program history (No. 2 in Soccer Buzz and No. 9 in NSCAA/adidas).
UCLA rounds out its home schedule next week, hosting Arizona State on Friday at 7:00 p.m. followed by a meeting with Arizona on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Both of those matches will be at Drake Stadium.
Notes: - Both Catherine Calvert and Caitlyn Mac Kechnie were injured in the second half and did not return. Calvert was hit in the back on a play in the USC box. Mac Kechnie suffered a knee sprain ... With 3,345 fans in attendance on Friday, it marked the second-highest attended home game in UCLA history next to the 3,466 fans who watched UCLA take on Arizona State back on Oct. 14, 2001 ... Friday's match was part of a doubleheader with the Bruin men's soccer team, who defeated Oregon State, 2-1 ... UCLA extended its unbeaten streak to 14 matches ... The Bruins are also on a nine-game winning streak ... UCLA earned five points in the race for the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy, giving the Bruins a 10 - 2.5 lead over USC in the season-long race ... Bruin fans are still encouraged to "Vote for Val" for the Lowe's Senior Class Award. You can do so by clicking HERE