No. 16 Bruins Open '99 Season with Alumni Game August 21

Aug. 19, 1999

Exhibition Games - The Bruins begin the 1999 season with the Alumni Game on Sat., August 21. The scrimmage will feature some of UCLA's all-time soccer greats, such as Sonja Munevar, Sue Stonehouse (formerly Skendarian), Tiffany Brown, Rhiannon Tanaka and Mari Meinhart. Kickoff is at 3 pm on the North Athletic Field. Following the scrimmage against Bruin alumni, the '99 squad will face the Pepperdine Waves (7-8-4 in 1998) on Tues., August 24 at 3 pm on the North Athletic Field. Regular season action starts on Sat., August 28 when UCLA meets Cal State Fullerton at Fullerton's Titan stadium.

Preseason Polls - The Bruins are slated at No. 16 in the NSCAA preseason poll. Other NSCAA preseason ranked teams the Bruins will face this season include top-ranked North Carolina (Oct. 1), tNo. 4 defending national champion Florida (Sept. 4), No. 21 Stanford (Oct. 22), No. 23 Wake Forest (Sept. 12) and No. 24 USC (Nov. 7).

Pac-10 Preseason Polls - UCLA has been selected as co-favorite with Stanford to win the 1999 Pacific-10 Conference women's soccer title in a preseason conference coaches poll. The two-time defending conference champion Bruins garnered four of the 10 first-place votes cast.

Season Outlook - With an impressive 17-4-1 record and a 7-2-0 record in the Pac-10 in 1998, the UCLA women's soccer program has established itself as one of the nation's powerhouses. Last year, the Bruins claimed the Pac-10 championship for the second consecutive year and advanced to the second round of NCAA playoffs. Under the leadership of new head coach Jillian Ellis, who replaces Todd Saldana, the 1999 Bruins look to continue and even surpass last season's success. With ten returning starters, the Bruins have a strong chance of achieving these goals.

Heading the list of forwards is sophomore Staci Duncan. Last season's leading scorer, she will look to lead the Bruins in the offense. Junior Venus James adds much experience to the squad. A member of the U.S. Women's Under-21 National team, she played in all 22 games last season and started in 14 of them. Junior Tracey Milburn and newcomer Jessica Winton will also be big contributors. Sophomores Courteney Cosso and Sarah Lazaro round out the talent at the forward position.

UCLA's midfield has tremendous depth and experience. Sophomores Breana Boling and Vanessa Clark figure to give the Bruins a strong presence in the midfield. Senior Bree Edwards, senior Beth Thompson, sophomore Lauren Emblem, junior Janine Altman, junior Rochelle Ouchi and rookie Tracey Winzen will also help in the midfield.

Leading UCLA's defense will be senior captain and first-team All-Far West selection Skylar Little. The Bruin defense also returns three extremely talented players in Karissa Hampton, Krista Boling and Bethany Bogart. Freshmen Courtney Arrigo, Mary Stuart and Brooke Flamson will also play important a role in the defense.

Senior Lindsay Culp will lead the goalkeepers this season, while sophomore CiCi Peterson and freshmen Emily Koch and Katie Greenwood will compete for playing time.

Combining UCLA's talent and depth with arguably one of the most competitive schedules to date, 1999 UCLA women's soccer will definitely prove an exciting season.

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