Sept. 7, 2007
LOS ANGELES - Powered by a hat trick from senior Danesha Adams, the sixth-ranked UCLA women's soccer team picked up its first victory of the season on Friday, posting a 4-2 victory over Illinois in the first match of the 2007 UCLA Women's Cup at Drake Stadium. UCLA, which also had a goal from junior Christina DiMartino, improves to 1-1 on the season. With the loss, the Fighting Illini drop to 1-2 overall.
Adams put the Bruins on the board in the 25th minute when a misplayed back pass by the Illini defense resulted in a breakaway opportunity. Adams sprinted through the defense, drawing out goalkeeper Lindsey Carstens before slipping a ball into the right corner of the goal.
The Bruins took a 1-0 lead into the half, but Illinois answered back a little more than seven minutes after play resumed, as Laura Knutson lofted a ball over the outstretched hands of UCLA goalkeeper Valerie Henderson. Chichi Nweke was credited with the assist.
The game wasn't tied for long, however, as UCLA took a 2-1 lead less than two minutes later on a strike by DiMartino. Sophomore Kristina Larsen slipped a ball through the Illini defense, giving DiMartino a breakaway goal at the 54:20 mark.
Just when it looked like UCLA was going to take control, Illinois tied the match up again, this time on a goal by Emily Zurrer in the 61st minute. A loose ball in the box resulted in a scrum and eventually the ball ended up in the back of the net.
With the score tied 2-2, Adams took over. Her second goal of the match came in the 64th minute on a perfectly placed left-footed strike into the top right corner. She notched the hat trick in the 84th minute on yet another through ball, this time sent in by DiMartino.
Adams' six points on the evening moved her into second place all time on the UCLA career scoring charts. She entered the match with 102 points, two behind Iris Mora's 104. Her 108 points put her second to only Traci Arkenberg, who had 169 from 1994-97.
Meanwhile Bruin goalkeeper Valerie Henderson continues to add to her UCLA career record for wins, as she picked up the 57th of her career on Friday. She played the full 90 minutes making five saves, including several crucial ones down the stretch.
UCLA returns to action on Sunday, hosting San Francisco at 1:30 p.m.