Nov. 20, 2007
Bruins and Cavaliers to Meet in NCAA Round of 16 This Friday
Top-seeded UCLA (18-1-2) and fourth-seeded Virginia (13-3-6) will battle this week for a spot in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Women's Soccer Championships, as the two teams meet in the round of 16 this Friday at Drake Stadium beginning at 6:00 p.m. Tickets for the match are $10 for adults and $8 for youth/students. Fans unable to attend can follow the Game Tracker live stats.
UCLA vs. Virginia History
UCLA and Virginia have meet four times in women's soccer, with the Bruins leading the all-time series 2-1-1. The two teams have met only once during the NCAA Tournament, as the Bruins took a 5-0 win over the Cavaliers in the 2005 quarterfinals. UCLA's Danesha Adams scored an NCAA Tournament record four goals in that match.
UCLA's NCAA Tournament History
Year / Seed / Result
1995 / First Round (L to Washington, 2-1)
1997 / Quarterfinals (L to Notre Dame, 8-0)
1998 / Second Round (L to BYU, 2-0)
1999 / Rd. of 16 (L to Santa Clara, 7-0)
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)
Bruins Look Strong in Early-Round Action
UCLA advanced to the round of 16 following a pair of wins in the first and second rounds last weekend at Drake Stadium. The Bruins opened up the tournament with a 3-1 victory over Cal State Fullerton on Friday night. Junior Christina DiMartino had a hand in all three Bruins goals, as she finished the match with a goal and two assists. DiMartino added two more assists on Sunday in UCLA's 4-0 victory over No. 22 Oklahoma State. Senior Danesha Adams also had a pair of goals in that match, as the Bruins booked a spot in the round of 16 for the ninth straight season.
On a Roll
UCLA takes a 15-match winning streak into this Friday's showdown with Virginia. The Bruins also own a 20-match unbeaten streak, as UCLA's lone loss on the year came in the season opener against No. 9 Texas. Even more impressive is the Bruins' record at home, as UCLA owns the nation's longest home winning streak at 34 in a row. The Bruins' last home loss came against Penn State back on Sept. 9, 2005 (1-0 2OT).
Cheney Ties Single-Season Record
With her next goal or assist, forward Lauren Cheney will break the single-season school record for points, as she currently has 52 for the year. That number ties her with former Bruin Traci Arkenberg, who had that same number in 1997. Cheney entered the NCAA Tournament with 49 points, but moved up to 52 after tallying a goal and an assist in the Bruins' 4-0 victory over Oklahoma State in the second round.
Adams Breaks Mark for Most Starts
Danesha Adams has started more matches than any player in UCLA history, as the Bruin senior broke that mark with her 89th career start in the second round against Oklahoma State. She surpassed Whitney Jones, who started 88 matches from 2000-03. Another record that Adams could tie or break is the career mark for game-winning goals currently held by Traci Arkenberg, who had 26 from 1994-97. Adams has 25.
Cheney Named Pac-10 Player of the Year; Ellis Coach of the Year
Bruin forward Lauren Cheney became the first UCLA player since Nandi Pryce in 2003 to earn Pac-10 Player of the Year honors, as she earned the conference's top award last week. In addition, UCLA's Jillian Ellis was named coach of the year, as a total of eight Bruin players took home all-conference honors. In addition to Cheney, the Bruins' first-team selections were midfielders Danesha Adams and Christina DiMartino, along with goalkeeper Valerie Henderson. Defender Erin Hardy and forward Kara Lang were named to the second team. Midfielder Kylie Wright was UCLA's lone honorable mention selection, while she and defender Lauren Barnes were named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team. It marked the second coach of the year honor for Ellis, who also won the award in 2003.
Bruins Against the Round of 16
UCLA owns a 3-1 record this season against the 16 teams that are still alive in the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins own wins over Portland (2-1 OT), Stanford (2-0) and USC (2-0), while UCLA's lone loss on the year was to Texas in the season opener (2-1).
UCLA Clinches Fifth Straight Pac-10 Championship
UCLA became the first school in Pac-10 history to win five straight conference titles, as the Bruins finished the year with a perfect 9-0 record in league play. UCLA entered the final weekend of the regular season needing only a tie in one of its final two games to earn at least a share of the title. The Bruins ended up clinching the title outright with a 2-0 victory over Washington State on Nov. 9. The Bruins, who were picked as the favorite by conference coaches at the beginning of the season, have won four out of the five championships outright, sharing the 2004 title with co-champion Arizona.
Did You Know?
Since the conference began naming champions in 1993, only two Pac-10 schools have finished the season with perfect records in league play (Stanford in 1995 & 2002, and UCLA in 1997 and 2007). UCLA has now won eight of the 14 conference championships awarded.
Cheney, DiMartino in Running for U.S. Soccer Award
UCLA's Lauren Cheney and Christina DiMartino make up two of the five candidates in the running for this year's U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year Award. This award is designed to highlight a young, up-and-coming player, who has excelled at the Youth National Team level for U.S. Soccer within the last calendar year. Cheney, who has played with the Full U.S. team in the last year, was recently a member of the U-20 squad that finished second at the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil. DiMartino was a member of the U-21 team that captured the 2007 Nordic Cup title in Finland. The three other candidates are: Rachel Buehler (Stanford), Kelly O'Hara (Stanford) and Tobin Heath (North Carolina). If either Cheney or DiMartino win the award, it will mark the second year in a row that a UCLA player has taken it, as Danesha Adams earned the honor in 2006. A link to the voting can be found at www.ussoccer.com
UCLA Ends Regular Season No. 1
UCLA was ranked No. 1 for the fifth straight week in the final NSCAA/adidas Coaches' Poll of the regular season released on Nov. 6. A new poll will not be released until following the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins are actually the unanimous No. 1 team in the country, finishing atop polls issued by Soccer Buzz, Soccer America and Soccer Times. UCLA has been ranked in the top 10 of every weekly poll this season.
All-Time NCAA Scoring Leaders
With 33 points on 15 goals and three assists, senior midfielder Danesha Adams is UCLA's all-time leader in NCAA Tournament scoring. Adams, who had four goals in last year's tournament, already has two through the first two rounds. Despite playing in only one NCAA Tournament, sophomore Kara Lang ranks third on that list, putting in eight goals and one assist during the 2005 championships.
Cheney Named Top Drawer Soccer's Player of the Year
UCLA striker Lauren Cheney was named Top Drawer Soccer's National Player of the Year on Nov. 9, as she was one of five Bruin players honored by the publication. Cheney was joined by third-team honorees Valerie Henderson and Lauren Barnes. Danesha Adams and Kara Lang were honorable mention selections.
Best in the West
Since the Bruins haven't faced all the top teams in the country, UCLA's No. 1 ranking is open to debate. What's not debatable, however, is UCLA's top billing on the West Coast, where the Bruins have taken on all the traditional powers and come out on top. The Bruins own wins over #2 Portland, #2 Stanford, #5 Santa Clara, #9 USC and #19 Cal.
Henderson on Pace for Another School Record
Senior goalkeeper Valerie Henderson, already the school record holder in career wins (74) and shutouts (38), is on pace to break yet another school record. Henderson currently owns a career goals against average of 0.60, better than school record holder Sarah Lombardo, who had an 0.64 average from 2001-03. Although she will likely break that mark, Henderson's final average will not be determined until the end of the season.
In the Pac-10 Statistics
As a team, UCLA ranks No. 1 in the Pac-10 in nearly every major statistical category, including: goals (57), points (174), assists (60), goals allowed (11), shutouts (12) and goals against average (0.51). Individually, Lauren Cheney is tops in points (52), goals (21), assists (10) and game-winning goals (8). Goalkeeper Valerie Henderson leads the league in shutouts with eight.
Six players have started all 21 matches this season, a high number considering that only two players started all 25 matches a year ago (Lauren Wilmoth and Stacy Lindstrom). Wilmoth, who has started every match of her UCLA career, is joined by Danesha Adams, Lauren Barnes, Christina DiMartino, Kylie Wright and Valerie Henderson.
Lost in the shuffle of UCLA's "big name" players has been super freshman Kylie Wright, arguably one of the main reasons why the Bruins have done so well this year. Although her statistics don't pop off the page (she has two assists on the year), Wright is heavily involved in nearly every play in the midfield. Her ability to win tackles and distribute the ball effectively has been a huge boost for the Bruins this season. She is one of just six players to have started every match this year.
Mac Kechnie Done for the Year
Midfielder Caitlyn Mac Kechnie tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee in the second half of the Bruins' 2-0 win over USC back on Oct. 26. It was a huge blow for the Bruins, as she was in the midst of her finest season yet, ranking fourth on the team in scoring with 15 points (4g, 7a) at the time of her injury. Her seven assists was also tied for the team lead.
Junior defender Erin Hardy, who missed seven matches after suffering an LCL sprain to her right knee against Cal State Northridge on Sept. 16, made a successful return to the playing field against Stanford on Oct. 19. Hardy is the leader of a Bruin defense that has surrendered just 11 goals in 21 matches this season. UCLA ranks ninth nationally this week in goals against average (0.51).
Henderson Named Finalist for Lowe's Senior Class Award
Goalkeeper Valerie Henderson made it through the initial pool of 20 players and is now one of 10 finalists for the 2007 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for women's soccer. The award is presented annually in eight NCAA Division I sports to a senior student-athlete who excels both on and off the field. While the on-the-field performance during their collegiate soccer careers is a factor in determining candidates and the eventual winner, their personal character and off-the-field achievements in the classroom and community are major areas of focus.
M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Semifinalists Announced Soon
UCLA's Lauren Cheney, Danesha Adams and Christina DiMartino are all listed on the 2007 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy Watch List - an early indicator for potential player of the year candidates. The list, which was compiled by a committee of Division I coaches, is expected to be narrowed to 15 semifinalists sometime in November. Three finalists will be named in early December in conjunction with the NCAA Division I College Cup. Those players will be invited to the Missouri Athletic Club on Friday, January 11, 2008, with the winner being announced during a nationally-televised news conference that evening.
Adams Continues to Climb
Although she won't break the UCLA career scoring record, senior Danesha Adams moved into second place on that list earlier this season. Adams, who entered the year in the third spot with 102 points, quickly took over the No. 2 position from Iris Mora (104 pts). Adams currently has 136 points, second only to Traci Arkenberg, who had 169 points from 1994-97.
UCLA Freshmen Part of Nation's No. 1 Recruiting Class
After signing a pair of No. 2 rated recruiting classes in each of the last two years, head women's soccer coach Jillian Ellis brought UCLA to the top of the recruiting charts this year, as the Bruins' 2007 class was ranked No. 1 in the nation according to Soccer Buzz Magazine. In addition, three of UCLA's freshmen were named to the prestigious Parade Magazine All-America Team. It marks the second No. 1 class for Ellis, who also brought in the nation's top class in her first recruiting season at UCLA back in 2000. In fact, seven of the eight classes she has signed since becoming head coach in 1999 have been ranked in the top 10 nationally. UCLA edged No. 2 Florida State and No. 3 North Carolina in this year's recruiting class rankings. UCLA's three Parade All-Americans are Lauren Barnes (D, Upland, Calif.), Kylie Wright (MF, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) and Sarah Salazar (MF, Broken Arrow, Okla.).
UCLA's Recruiting Class Rankings (2000-2007)
2007 - 1
2006 - 2
2005 - 2
2004 - 16
2003 - 3
2002 - 2
2001 - 7
2000 - 1
Head Coach Jillian Ellis
Jillian Ellis is in her ninth season as head coach at UCLA. The 2000 NSCAA/adidas National Coach of the Year, Ellis owns a record of 171-32-9 (.828) at UCLA. Her overall coaching record, which includes two seasons at the University of Illinois, stands at 190-50-9 (.781). She has led the Bruins to six Pac-10 titles (2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007) and five appearances in the NCAA College Cup (2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006).