Nov. 25, 2008
UCLA to Face Duke for Spot in NCAA College Cup
The top-seeded UCLA women's soccer team (21-0-2) is just one win away from booking its sixth straight appearance in the NCAA College Cup, as the Bruins host third-seeded Duke (15-5-3) in a quarterfinal encounter this Saturday at Drake Stadium beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for Saturday's match are $10.00 for adults and $8.00 for youth/students. The UCLA Radio Network will be broadcasting the match HERE.
The UCLA/Duke Series
UCLA and Duke have only met three times, with the Bruins leading the series 2-1. After losing the first meeting in 1996, UCLA has won the last two. The Bruins won the only NCAA Tournament meeting between the two teams, taking a 2-0 round of 16 victory during the 2004 playoffs at Drake Stadium.
UCLA Wins Cross-Town Showdown
UCLA was able to avenge its 2007 College Cup loss to its cross-town rival last Saturday, as the Bruins posted a 1-0 victory over USC in the round of 16 at Drake Stadium. Forward Kristina Larsen scored the game's only goal in the 13th minute of play, blocking in a ball that was being cleared off the line by a Trojan defender. UCLA, which had already owned a 2-1 regular-season victory over USC, dominated play for much of the night Saturday, owning a 17-6 advantage in the final shot count. It marked the Bruins' 10th victory in the last 11 meetings with its cross-town rival. UCLA also improved to 12-0 against USC in home matches.
Larsen Loves the Rivalry
UCLA scored a total of three goals in its two wins over USC this year and all three were put in by junior forward Kristina Larsen. After scoring twice in a 2-1 win at the LA Coliseum back on Oct. 24, Larsen put in her team-leading 11th goal of the year in the 13th minute last Saturday, helping the Bruins to a 1-0 win.
New Shutout Record Set
UCLA set a new school record for shutouts in a season last week, posting its 19th of the year in a 1-0 victory over USC. The old record was 18, set by the 2005 team that advanced to the NCAA Final that year.
Fewest Losses Ever
Regardless if UCLA goes on to win the title or not, the Bruins are still guaranteed to set a new school record for fewest losses in a season, as the Bruins take a 21-0-2 mark into this weekend's quarterfinal match with Duke. The current school record for fewest losses in a season is two, set three times: 2003 (20-2-3), 2005 (22-2-2) and 2007 (20-2-2).
School Win Record at 22
UCLA's 21 wins this season already ranks tied for second all time with the 2006 team that ended the year with a 21-4 mark. With their next win, the Bruins will tie the school record for victories in a season, joining the 2005 team that won 22 matches. It marks the fourth straight season (and sixth time in program history) that UCLA has reached 20 wins in a year.
Leroux Shining in Chile
Although she is unavailable to help UCLA in its quest for an NCAA title, freshman Sydney Leroux is certainly making the most of her time at the U-20 World Championships in Chile, helping the U.S. to a pair of early wins in group play. Leroux, who played her final match with the Bruins in the regular-season finale back on Nov. 9, scored two goals and added an assist in a 3-0 win over France on Nov. 19. She followed that up with a two-assist performance in another 3-0 win over Argentina on Nov. 22, guaranteeing the U.S. a spot in the quarterfinals. Team USA still has one more group match to play against China on Nov. 26.
Did You Know?
Two teams still alive in the tournament, Portland and Stanford, both have just one loss on the year and each came against UCLA.
Bruins Eyeing Two More Records
Although it won't be determined until the end of the season, UCLA will likely break the current single-season school records for goals allowed and goals against average. The Bruins have only surrendered four goals this season, well below the record of 10 given up by the 2000 squad. In addition, the Bruins' goals against average of 0.17 is on pace to break the 0.41 mark, also posted by the 2000 team.
UCLA Earns a No. 1 Seed for the Second Year in a Row
For the second year in a row - and third time in program history - the UCLA women's soccer team has earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The other top seeds this year are Notre Dame, North Carolina and Stanford. Below is the Bruins' seeding history in NCAA Tournament play.
Vote for UCLA's Jersey
Year Seed Result 2000 #6 Final (L to North Carolina, 2-1) 2001 #3 Quarterfinals (L to Florida, 1-0 2OT) 2002 #7 Rd. of 16 (L to Texas A&M 0-0 Pks) 2003 #4 Semifinals (L to North Carolina, 3-0) 2004 #14 Final (L to Notre Dame, 1-1 Pks) 2005 #1 Final (L to Portland, 4-0) 2006 #2 Semifinals (L to North Carolina, 2-0) 2007 #1 Semifinals (L to USC, 2-1)
Do you think that UCLA has the best jersey in college soccer? If you do, Top Drawer Soccer is currently running a contest on its website where fans can vote for the best looking jersey in the country. Voting for the first round ends on Thanksgiving so visit the Top Drawer Soccer website HERE to let your voice be heard.
Lang Leads NCAA Scorers
No current UCLA player has done better in the postseason than Kara Lang, who ranks second all time at UCLA in career NCAA Tournament scoring with 22 points (10g, 2a). Her best season came in 2005 when she scored seven goals to lead UCLA to the NCAA Final that year. Lang entered this year's tournament just two points behind Iris Mora (21 pts.), but ended up surpassing her with a goal and an assist in the Bruins' 5-0 win over Fresno State in the first round. Danesha Adams is the Bruins' career NCAA Tournament scoring leader with 41 points (19g, 3a).
Block That Kick!
Two of UCLA's biggest goals this year have been scored off of deflections from forward Kristina Larsen, who has an uncanny ability of getting in the way when opponents try to clear the ball. Her first goal by deflection came during a 2-1 double-overtime victory against Washington State on Oct. 10, as she jumped in the way of a clearance by Cougar goalkeeper Lindsay Parlee, sending the ball into the goal. Most recently, Larsen got her hip in the way of a ball being cleared off the line by a USC defender, sending that ball into the goal.