No. 14 UCLA Advances to NCAA Title Match
Dec. 3, 2004
Cary, NC - The No. 14-seeded UCLA women's soccer team advanced to its second-ever national championship game Friday, upsetting No. 7 Princeton, 2-0 in the NCAA College Cup Semifinals at the SAS Soccer Park in Cary, NC. UCLA (18-6) will take on the winner of No. 4 Notre Dame and No. 16 Santa Clara in Sunday's title match slated for 1:00 p.m. (EST).
'We are obviously thrilled to move forward,' said UCLA head coach Jillian Ellis. 'Our hat goes off to Princeton. I thought that they were a tremendous team with great attacking flair. They're one of the best teams we've played all season. I thought we had our work cut out for us and I'm really proud of the effort of our players. We're just really excited to move forward.'
Freshman midfielder Danesha Adams, who has scored four of the Bruins' nine goals in the NCAA Tournament, tallied what proved to be the game winner in the 48th minute. Junior forward Iris Mora collected a ball in the middle of the field, turned and chipped the ball behind the Princeton defense and into space. Adams used her speed to slash through the Tigers' back line and was able to take a touch before striking a low right-footed shot into the bottom left corner of the goal. Princeton goalkeeper Madeleine Jackson made a diving attempt at the ball but was unable to deflect it.
'It was basically the same play that we ran in the Ohio State game,' said Adams of her goal. 'I thought I had an opportunity to put the game away early (in the second half) and that's what I tried to do.'
UCLA, which outshot the Tigers, 9-3 on the day, added an insurance goal in the 65th minute on an unassisted strike by sophomore forward Bristyn Davis. Davis, who now has a team-leading 14 goals on the year, dribbled to the center of the field and unleashed a 30-yard shot that appeared to catch Jackson off guard. The Bruins move to 13-1 when Davis has either a goal or an assist.
UCLA's back line of Mary Castelanelli, Amy Fazio, Kendal Billingsley and Kim Devine turned in another solid performance Friday, posting its fifth-consecutive shutout in the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins, who have outscored their opponents 9-0 in five NCAA matches, entered the College Cup as the only team yet to give up a goal in tournament play. In addition to the defense, freshman goalkeeper Valerie Henderson has an impressive match, consistently coming off her line to thwart several Princeton attacks.
The Bruins are making their second appearance in the NCAA title match after falling to North Carolina, 2-1 in 2000. UCLA defeated Portland, 1-0 in the semifinals that year. The Bruins are 21-8 all time in NCAA Tournament play.