Nov. 14, 2006
Bruins to Host Third-Seeded Florida in NCAA Round of 16
The second-seeded UCLA women's soccer team (19-3) cruised through the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament over the weekend, booking a spot in the round of 16. Next up for UCLA is a showdown with third-seeded Florida (15-5-1) at Drake Stadium on Friday, Nov. 17 at 7:00 p.m. The winner will meet either top-seeded Texas or unseeded Portland in the quarterfinals at a site yet to be determined. Tickets for Friday's match are $9 for adults and $7 for youth/students.
UCLA vs. Florida Series History
UCLA and Florida have faced off three times before, with the Gators owning a 2-1 series advantage. The two teams last met in the NCAA Quarterfinals back in 2001, as the Gators posted a 1-0 overtime victory over the Bruins at Drake Stadium. In 2000, UCLA recorded a 4-0 victory in Gainesville, while Florida won the first-ever meeting between the two teams back in 1999 (3-1).
Did You Know?
UCLA is making its eighth-straight appearance in the NCAA Round of 16. The last time the Bruins failed to advance this far was back in 1998 after losing to BYU in the second round. In 1999, Jillian Ellis became head coach and the Bruins' deep runs in the NCAA Tournament began.
Possible Quarterfinal Scenarios
Should UCLA advance to the quarterfinals, the Bruins are facing a matchup with either top-seeded Texas or unseeded Portland. A Texas victory in the round of 16 assures that the quarterfinals will be in Austin. If both Portland and UCLA were to win, that quarterfinal would be at Drake Stadium on Nov. 24 at 6:00 p.m.
Adams On Fire in NCAA Victories over UNLV, LMU
Junior midfielder Danesha Adams was nearly unstoppable over the weekend, scoring four goals in victories over UNLV and Cal State Fullerton in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament at Drake Stadium. Adams scored twice in the Bruins' 6-1 victory over UNLV in the first round on Friday. She connected on a penalty kick, and a 35-yard shot that bounced off the crossbar before going in. She equaled that performance in a 3-1 victory over Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, as she hooked up twice with Christina DiMartino on scoring opportunities. Adams ranks second on the team in scoring with 25 points (11g, 3a).
Home Winning Streak Moves to 25
With two victories over the weekend, UCLA upped its home winning streak to 25 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 14-0 at Drake Stadium this season, take a 13-match winning streak in home NCAA Tournament matches into this Friday's game with Florida. UCLA's last home loss during the NCAA Tournament was to Texas A&M back in 2003.
UCLA's NCAA Seeding History
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 Rd. of 16 . . . .
* 2005 marked the first year of regional seeding
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 picked up her 54th career win two days later against Cal State Fullerton, now has 16 wins on the season.
Another 20-Win Season?
With 19 victories, UCLA is on the verge of reaching the 20-win mark for the second year in a row and fourth time in program history. 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 last week. 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.
Closing in on NCAA Title #100
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.
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 25 points (11g, 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. The winner will be determined in voting by NSCAA Division I member coaches.
Adams Named to U.S. Gold Cup Roster
Danesha Adams was recently selected as one of three collegiate 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 this past Sunday 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.
Following UCLA Via the Internet
Fans and media unable to attend Bruin home matches in 2006 can follow the action live over the internet by either listening to the free audio broadcasts or by following the Gametracker LiveStats. Both are accessible by clicking links located at UCLA's official athletic website: www.uclabruins.com.
Cheney Ties Two Freshman Marks
Lauren Cheney is knocking on the door of a few freshman records, as her seven game-winning goals ties her with former Bruin Traci Arkenberg, who also had seven as a freshman back in 1994. Cheney also recently tied injured sophomore Kara Lang's freshman record of 17 goals set last season. With 34 points, Cheney is six points behind Lang's freshman record of 40.
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 four.
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 14 goals in 22 matches. That ties the 2001 Bruin team gave up just 14 goals, ranking fifth-best all-time at UCLA. The Bruins' 13 shutouts this season also 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 this past 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.
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 151-30-7 (.822). 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 170-48-7 (.771), 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.