Dec. 2, 2009
UCLA-Stanford Rematch Set for This Friday in Texas
No. 1 seeds UCLA (21-2-1) and Stanford (24-0) will square off for the second time this season on Friday, as the two teams meet in game one at this week's NCAA College Cup in College Station, Texas. Match time is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. (CST) at the Aggie Soccer Stadium. It can be seen live on ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN360.com. The other semifinal that day features top-seeded North Carolina taking on second-seeded Notre Dame at 7:00 p.m. (CST). Friday's winners will meet in the NCAA Final on Sunday at Noon (CST).
The UCLA-Stanford Series
The Cardinal won the only meeting between the two teams this season, taking a 2-0 win over the Bruins on Oct. 18 at Stanford's Cagan Stadium. It marked Stanford's first win over UCLA since 2002, as the Bruins lead the all-time series 9-4-2. The two teams have never met in NCAA Tournament play.
Bruins Edge Pilots, 2-1 in NCAA Quarterfinal Match
UCLA trailed early but didn't panic last Saturday, eventually posting a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over No. 2 Portland in an NCAA Quarterfinal match at Drake Stadium. Although Danielle Foxhoven put the Pilots up 1-0 in just the third minute of play, it marked the Pilots' only shot of the half. In the meantime, Kylie Wright evened the match with her third goal of the year in the 31st minute, followed by the game-winning goal by Lauren Cheney in the 34th minute. UCLA's defense was spectacular, holding the nation's top offense (Portland ranks No. 1 nationally in goals per game - 3.61) to just one shot in the first 82 minutes of action. UCLA, which has knocked Portland out of the NCAA Tournament in three of the last four years, improves to 8-1 all-time against the Pilots.
Cheney Breaks UCLA Career Scoring Record
With her game-winning goal against Portland, senior Lauren Cheney moved into sole possession of first place on the UCLA career scoring list, as she now has 171 points on 70 goals and 31 assists. She surpasses Traci Arkenberg, who had 169 points from 1994-97. With her next goal, Cheney will tie Arkenberg in that career category as well.
On the Verge of 22
With its next win, UCLA will tie the school record for victories in a season with 22. UCLA posted its 20th victory of the season in its 3-0 win over Virginia two weeks ago, making it the fifth straight season that the team has reached the 20-win mark. The Bruins' school record of 22 victories in a season was set in both 2005 and 2008.
Bruins Complete Fourth Straight Undefeated Season at Home
With its win over Portland last Saturday, UCLA extended the nation's longest home unbeaten streak to 67 straight matches. The Bruins also upped their home winning streak to 62 in a row (last loss: Sept. 9, 2005). UCLA's four seniors will get to end their careers without ever losing a home match. The Bruins were 12-0 at home this season.
Leroux Sets New Postseason Scoring Record; Ties Cheney For Single-Season Goals
Sophomore forward Sydney Leroux recently surpassed Kara Lang as UCLA's new single-season leader for both points and goals in the postseason, as she currently has 16 points and eight goals in this year's playoffs. Lang owned both single-season school records after registering 15 points and seven goals in the 2005 NCAA Tournament. With her two goals against Virginia, Leroux also tied Lauren Cheney's single-season school goal record of 23. Cheney punched in her 23 as a sophomore in 2007. In addition to Leroux and Cheney, only two other UCLA players have scored more than 20 goals in a single season: Traci Arkenberg (22 in 1997) and Danesha Adams (21 in 2005).
Bruins Lead NCAAs in Goals
UCLA leads the College Cup field in goals scored, as the Bruins have notched 17 through the first four rounds. The only team close to UCLA is Notre Dame, which has scored 14. Below is the goal totals of the four teams still alive in this year's tournament.
Team Tournament Season Goals Goals 1. UCLA 17 69 2. Notre Dame 14 58 3. North Carolina 11 61 4. Stanford 8 78
Prior to this season, UCLA never had two players tally more than 40 points in the same year. However, Sydney Leroux and Lauren Cheney have done just that this year, as Leroux leads the team with 48 points and Cheney is close behind with 44. Together, they have accounted for 92 of the team's 210 points this year, or roughly 44 percent of the Bruins' scoring.
Did You Know?
Only three players have started all 24 matches this season and all three are defenders: Dea Cook, Lauren Barnes and Jenna Belcher. Freshman Zakiya Bywaters is the only other player to appear in all 24 matches, making 23 starts.
UCLA has scored under the 10-minute mark in 10 of 24 matches this season. The earliest goal this year came against Missouri when Sydney Leroux scored just 1:17 into the match. The Bruins are 18-0 when scoring first and 10-0 when scoring a goal under 10 minutes.
Opponent Time of First Goal Goal Scorer Illinois 3:15 Leroux Gonzaga 1:37 Larsen Missouri 1:17 Leroux 7:17 Lang UCSB 4:33 Leroux Pepperdine 6:55 Leroux Arizona 4:41 Larsen Oregon 3:32 Leroux Washington 6:50 Cheney San Diego 8:16 Wright Virginia 3:23 Cook
Below is a look at where UCLA and Stanford matchup in the five team categories that are monitored by the NCAA. National ranking in parenthesis.
UCLA Stanford Goals per game 2.88 (4) 3.25 (2) Goals against avg. 0.82 (51) 0.54 (8) Shutout pct. 0.50 (39) 0.58 (16) Winning pct. 0.89 (3) 1.000 (1) Save pct. 0.79 (167) 0.77(182)
Leroux Up for U.S. Soccer's Young Female Athlete of the Year Award
UCLA forward Sydney Leroux is one of five promising young players who are finalists for U.S. Soccer's Young Female Athlete of the Year Award. The speedy forward scored six international goals for the USA, including strikes against the U-20 teams of Norway, England, Germany and Canada. The Golden Ball and Golden Shoe winner at the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile figures to play a key role in the USA's run to the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Germany. The four other players in the running are: Tobin Heath, Christine Nairn, Kelley O'Hara and Katie Schoepfer. Senior Lauren Cheney, who won the award in 2007, is not eligible because she did not play on any youth teams over the last year. Cheney's most recent involvement with U.S. Soccer has mostly been at the senior level.
Belcher Earns First-Team All-Pac-10 Academic Honors
Headlined by first-team selection Jenna Belcher, the UCLA women's soccer team had a total of five players honored on the All-Pac-10 Academic Teams released last week. Belcher, a defender from Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., has been instrumental in helping the team rank second in the Pac-10 in both shutouts (12) and goals allowed (20). In the classroom, Belcher is a Communications Studies major who maintains a 3.70 cumulative grade point average. In addition to Belcher, junior Elise Britt (Santa Rosa, Calif.) was named to the All-Pac-10 Second Team, while junior Dana Wall (Scottsdale, Ariz.), senior Dea Cook (Acampo, Calif.) and senior Kara Lang (Oakville, ON, Canada) were all honorable mention selections.
No. 1 Losses
Both of UCLA's losses this year have come against teams that were ranked No. 1 at the time and are still alive in this year's tournament: Stanford and North Carolina.
Bruins Earn Third Straight No. 1 Seed
For the third year in a row, and fourth time in program history, UCLA was awarded one of the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. In addition to the last three years, UCLA was also a No. 1 seed in 2005. Listed below is the Bruins' all-time seeding history in NCAA Tournament play.
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) 2008 #1 Semifinals (L to North Carolina, 1-0) 2009 #1 ...
Cheney Called in With U.S. Women
U.S. Women's National Team head coach Pia Sundhage has called in 24 players for an 11-day training camp running from Dec. 5-15 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Bruin forward Lauren Cheney was one of just two college players called into the camp (North Carolina's Tobin Heath was called in but will not be attending). This will be the last action of the year for the U.S. women, who have compiled a record of 7-0-1 in full international matches in 2009.
Cheney Earns Fourth Straight First-Team All-Pac-10 Honor
Lauren Cheney recently became the first player in school history to earn first-team All-Pac-10 honors four years in a row. Cheney, who ranks second in the team in scoring with 44 points (17g, 10a), was the Bruins' only first-team selection this year. Forward Sydney Leroux (48 pts., 23g, 2a), was a second-team selection. She was joined on the second team by defenders Lauren Wilmoth and Lauren Barnes. Defender Dea Cook and forward Kristina Larsen received honorable mention acclaim, while freshmen Zakiya Bywaters and Chelsea Cline were named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team.
Sydney Leroux ranks ninth nationally in points per game, averaging 2.09. Lauren Cheney is close behind, ranking 11th in the country in that same category (1.91). In terms of goals per game, Leroux ranks sixth (1.0) and Cheney ranks 17th (0.72). Goalkeeper Chante' Sandiford's goals against average of 0.58 ranks 16th nationally.
Lang, Smith Suffer Season-Ending Injuries
UCLA redshirt senior women's soccer player Kara Lang and freshman Ahsha Smith both suffered season-ending injuries this year. Lang's came in the Bruins' match at Cal State Northridge on Sept. 25. The injury, which occurred in the 21st minute of UCLA's 2-0 win, is a re-tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee. Lang suffered a similar injury prior to her sophomore year at UCLA and was forced to redshirt the entire 2006 season. Lang had started all nine of UCLA's matches prior to her injury. She ends her season with seven points on three goals and one assist. Smith suffered a knee injury in practice following the Bruins' trip to the Bay Area in mid-October. She played in 14 matches, registers five points on a goal and three assists.
Cheney, Leroux, Barnes Named M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Candidates
At the beginning of the season, UCLA's Lauren Cheney, Lauren Barnes and Sydney Leroux were all named to the 2009 M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List. The list is comprised of 45 players across the country who have a legitimate shot a being named national player of the year by the end of the season. The M.A.C. Hermann Trophy winner is selected by Division I head coaches who are current members of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. The list will be cut down to 15 semifinalists in November. From there, the three finalists will be named in early December and will be invited to the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Mo., for a news conference on Jan. 8, 2010 to announce the winner. Cheney and Christina DiMartino were finalists for the award in 2007 and 2008, respectively.
Did You Know?
UCLA's string of seven consecutive NCAA Semifinal appearances is the second longest streak in tournament history. Only North Carolina, which advanced to the semifinals every year from 1982 to 2003, has been to more consecutive Final Fours.
Head Coach Jillian Ellis
Jillian Ellis is in her 11th season as head coach at UCLA. The 2000 NSCAA/adidas National Coach of the Year, Ellis owns a record of 216-36-12 at UCLA. Her 200th UCLA victory came just this season when the Bruins beat Utah back on Sept. 18. Her overall coaching record, which includes two seasons at the University of Illinois, stands at 235-54-12. She has led the Bruins to seven Pac-10 titles (2001, 2003-08) and seven appearances in the NCAA College Cup (2000, 2003-08).