Oct. 10, 2006
Gauntlet Points on the Line This Week in Battle of Cross-Town Rivals
The fourth-ranked UCLA women's soccer team (11-2; 2-0 Pac-10) takes its five-match winning streak across town this week, taking on USC (7-2-3; 0-0-2 Pac-10) this Sunday at McAlister Field beginning at 1:00 p.m. USC leads the season-long race for the Lexus Gauntlet 5-0 by virtue of a men's water polo victory earlier in the year. A UCLA win on Sunday would even the score.
The Bruins, who own a 14-2-1 advantage in the all-time series against the Women of Troy, take a nine-match unbeaten streak against USC into Sunday's showdown. The last two meetings between USC and UCLA have been decided on golden goals in double-overtime (both 3-2 UCLA victories). USC's last win in the series was eight years ago (5-4 at home on Nov. 1, 1998). A total of four matches have been decided in overtime.
Bruins Open Up Pac-10 Play with Sweep of Bay Area Schools
UCLA is coming off an impressive start to the conference portion of its season, as the Bruins posted wins over No. 4 Cal and Stanford to begin Pac-10 play. UCLA began the weekend with a 4-1 victory over No. 10 Cal on Friday evening. That match was followed up by a 2-0 shutout (UCLA's ninth of the season) over Stanford on Sunday. Junior Danesha Adams had the game-winning goal in both victories.
Cal Match to Air on Fox Sports Net
Last Friday's match against Cal will air on a tape-delayed basis by Fox Sports Net. The first broadcast in Southern California will be this Thursday at 10:00 a.m. on Fox Sports Net Prime Ticket. It will be shown again that same day (1:00 p.m.) on Fox Sports West. It is scheduled to air a total of 17 times on various Fox Sports Net affiliates throughout the country. Cara Capuano (play-by-play) and former UCLA All-American Tracey Milburn (color) called the action.
Bruins Ranked No. 4 in NSCAA/adidas, No. 6 in Soccer America
For the second week in a row UCLA remained in the same position in both major ranking lists, checking in at No. 4 in this week's NSCAA/adidas Coaches' Poll and No. 6 in Soccer America's national rankings. The Bruins, who were ranked No. 1 at the beginning of the season, are also ranked No. 4 in this week's Soccer Buzz and Soccer Times polls. Notre Dame is the unanimous No. 1 in every poll.
Freshman Cheney Leads Conference in Scoring
With 10 goals on the season, freshman forward Lauren Cheney leads the Pac-10 in several offensive categories. In addition to ranking first in goals, she is also tops in points (20), points per game (2.22), goals per game (1.11), and game-winning goals (5). After missing the first four matches of the season while representing the U.S. at the FIFA U-20 World Championships in Russia, Cheney has scored in every match but two (Santa Clara and Stanford).
In the Pac-10 Team Statistics
As a team, UCLA leads the Pac-10 in points (70), goals (25), goals per game (1.92), shutouts (9), shots (213) and corner kicks (69).
Home Winning Streak Moves to 16
Following a pair of home wins over the weekend, UCLA moved its home winning streak to 16 in a row dating back to last season. In fact, if you throw in a scoreless tie with Washington State last year, the Bruins are unbeaten in their last 21 home matches. UCLA is 10-0 at home this year and will tie the school record for most home wins in a season with its next victory.
Junior midfielder/forward Danesha Adams moved into second place all-time at UCLA in career goals when she put in the 36th of her career against UConn back on Sept. 10. If she continues at the current pace, she has an outside shot of catching former Bruin Traci Arkenberg, who had 71 goals from 1994-97. In addition, if freshman forward Lauren Cheney continues at her current pace of scoring in just about every match, she will challenge Arkenberg's single-season record of 22 goals set back in 1997. Cheney has scored 10 goals in nine matches this season.
As a team UCLA is listed in two categories of the national statistics this week. The Bruins are 10th in shutout percentage (0.69) and tied for 9th in winning percentage (.846). Individually, goalkeeper Valerie Henderson is ranked 25th in goals against average (0.56).
Fourth in a Row?
With conference play just underway, the Bruins are looking to become the first Pac-10 team to win four consecutive conference titles. UCLA won the title outright in 2003 and 2005, sharing the title in 2004 with Arizona. UCLA's record in conference play the last three seasons is an impressive 23-3-3. A Pac-10 title for the Bruins in 2006 would mark their fifth in six years and seventh overall since the Pac-10 began awarding women's soccer titles in 1993.