Aug. 3, 2012
Three UCLA women's soccer players - USA's Lauren Cheney and Sydney Leroux and Canada's Chelsea Stewart - have advanced to the semifinals, guaranteeing a medal to at least one Bruin. Leroux's second-half goal was one of the highlights of the day for UCLA Olympians.
In a rare occasion at the London Olympics on Friday, three UCLA women's soccer players were in action in the same match, as U.S. stars Lauren Cheney and Sydney Leroux took on Rosie White and New Zealand in a quarterfinal matchup at St. James' Park in Newcastle. After Abby Wambach put the U.S. up 1-0 in the 27th minute, Leroux added an insurance goal in the 87th minute to give the team an eventual 2-0 victory. Leroux had entered the match just six minutes before scoring her first goal of the Games. Cheney started and played the full 90 minutes for the U.S., while White played 13 minutes for New Zealand, coming on as a second-half substitute in the 77th minute.
Next up for Cheney and Leroux is a meeting with Team Canada, and current Bruin player Chelsea Stewart, in the semifinals on Monday at Old Trafford. Canada moved on following a 2-0 victory over host Great Britian on Friday at City of Coventry Stadium. Stewart, who had seen action as a substitute in Canada's three previous group matches at the Olympics, did not play on Friday.
Watch U.S.-New Zealand highlights here.
Women's Water Polo
Guided by former UCLA head coach Adam Krikorian, Team USA remained unbeaten, defeating China, 7-6, in its final preliminary-stage match. After being shut out in the first period, former UCLA standout Kelly Rulon scored the first goal for Team USA on a penalty shot to tie the match at 1-1 with 4:57 left in the second. Rulon also registered a steal and an assist in 16 minutes of action. Another Bruin all-star, Courtney Mathewson, added one steal on the day in 16 minutes. She failed to score a goal for the first time in the 2012 Olympics but also didn't attempt a shot against China. She has five goals in the Olympic Tournament.
The U.S. finished the preliminary round tied with Spain atop Group A with five points, but Spain earned the top spot due to the tiebreaker, making the Americans the group's second-seeded team for the knockout stage. The U.S. will play 2012 European champion Italy in Sunday's quarterfinals at 6:50am PT.
UCLA Hall of Fame volleyball player Karch Kiraly is an assistant coach for the U.S. women's team, which clinched Group B with a three-set sweep of Serbia (25-17, 25-20, 25-16). The U.S. (4-0 in the tournament) has one more group-play match remaining against Turkey on Sunday.
Former UCLA club rower Silas Stafford and his rowing partner Thomas Peszek finished second in a six-boat consolation final of the Men's Pair competition on Friday morning. Stafford and Peszek finished the race in 6:53.30 and crossed the finish line 3.37 seconds after first-place finishers Felix Drahotta and Anton Braun of Germany.
UCLA Women's Track & Field Head Coach Jeanette Bolden talks about the 1980 Olympic boycott. Read the article and listen to the podcast HERE.
The Orange County Register talks to UCLA Men's Volleyball Head Coach John Speraw after a "statement" victory by Team USA over Brazil.
Bleacher Report lists Jackie Joyner-Kersee as No. 6 in the list of the 10 Most Iconic U.S. Summer Olympians in History.
Coming Up Saturday
Rowing - UCLA's first medal opportunity comes bright and early at 1:40am PT in the lightweight double sculls final. Former UCLA rowing assistant coach Mark Hunter and partner Zac Purchase will compete for their second consecutive Olympic gold medal. They will race in lane 3 of the six-boat final. UCLA Ph.D student Julie Nichols and rowing partner Kristin Hedstrom will race in a consolation final of the women's lightweight double sculls at 2:40am PT. The races will be streamed live online and aired delayed on NBC at 12:45pm PT.
Men's Basketball - Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook are back in action with Team USA, which plays Lithuania at 6:30am PT. The game is televised live on NBC Sports Network and streamed online at NBCOlympics.com.
Men's Water Polo - The undefeated U.S. team, featuring UCLA alums Adam Wright and Chay Lapin, plays Serbia at 11:40am PT. Watch live on NBC and on NBCOlympics.com.
Men's Volleyball - Team USA, which has UCLA alums and coaches John Speraw and Michael Sealy on staff, plays Russia at 8:45am PT. NBC will have live coverage. Fans can also watch live online.
Track & Field - Women's pole vault qualification kicks of UCLA Track & Field's participation in the Olympics. Tori Pena will be in action at 2:20am PT, with delayed TV coverage at 8:15am PT on NBC. NBCOlympics.com will have live coverage.