Bruins One Match Away From Third Straight College Cup
Nov. 22, 2005
Bruins vs. Cavaliers in NCAA Quarterfinals
The fourth-ranked and top-seeded (regional) UCLA women's soccer team (20-1-2) hosts second-seeded Virginia (18-5-1) in the NCAA Quarterfinals this Friday at Drake Stadium beginning at 6:00 p.m. The winner advances to next week's NCAA College Cup, Dec. 2 and 4, in College Station, Texas. The Cavaliers head into Friday's match after posting victories over Liberty (4-0), Tennessee (3-0) and Cal State Fullerton (2-1) in early-round action. The Bruins are coming off three shut-out wins against Mississippi Valley State (9-0), Colorado (3-0) and Marquette (4-0). The Bruin Radio Network will be broadcasting the match via the internet at www.uclabruins.com. Live stats will also be provided through the website. Tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for youth and students with valid ID.
Lang on Fire
After scoring two goals in each of UCLA's early-round matches during the tournament, freshman forward Kara Lang tops the team in NCAA scoring with 13 points (6g, 1a). Additionally, Lang is now tied for third all-time at UCLA in NCAA scoring. Iris Mora, who ranks second to Lang this season with seven points (3g, 1a), is UCLA's all-time NCAA scoring leader (18 pts.). Nine different players have had either a goal or an assist through the first three rounds of action.
Team Records Fall
The Bruins broke two single-season team records with its victory over Marquette on Saturday. UCLA ran its unbeaten streak to 18 in a row, besting the old mark of 17 set during the 2003 season. The Bruins also posted their 16th shutout of the year, one more than the 15 registered by UCLA teams in 2000 and 2003. Another record will fall if the Bruins beat the Cavaliers on Friday, as this year's team will have set the school record for victories in a season with its 21st. Other single-season team records that could fall but won't be determined until the end of the season are lowest goals against average (0.41) and fewest goals allowed (10).
UCLA's NCAA Tournament History
UCLA takes 24-9 overall record in NCAA Tournament play into this Friday's matchup with Virginia. This year marks UCLA's 10th overall NCAA appearance in the 13-year history of the program. It is also the Bruins' ninth consecutive appearance. UCLA has made three trips to the NCAA College Cup (2000, 2003 and 2004), reaching the finals on two occasions (2000 and 2004). UCLA is the only team in this year's field to have played in the last two College Cups.
Did You Know?
Since the NCAA began seeding eight teams back in 1994, this is only the third time that all eight seeds have advanced to the quarterfinals. The other two times were in 1994 and 1998. The last time that the top four seeds all advanced to the College Cup was 1997.
Last of the Pac-10
Following losses by Arizona and Cal over the weekend, UCLA is the last member of the Pac-10 Conference still alive in this year's NCAA Tournament. The last Pac-10 team to advance farther than UCLA in tournament play was Stanford, who reached the quarterfinals back in 2002. The Bruins were upset by Texas A&M on penalty kicks in the third round that year. Stanford is also the last Pac-10 team other than UCLA to appear in a Final Four (1993).
Bruins Claim Third Pac-10 Title in a Row
With a pair of victories over the Arizona schools in the final weekend of conference play, UCLA locked up its third Pac-10 title in a row, becoming only the second school to three-peat (Stanford did it from 1993-96*). This year's Pac-10 race actually came down to the final match, as the Bruins needed a win over ASU to edge Cal by one point in the final standings. Bruin midfielder Danesha Adams helped UCLA clinch the championship by scoring in the 90th minute against the Sun Devils, giving UCLA the 2-1 victory. Freshman McCall Zerboni was the hero two days earlier against No. 23 Arizona, scoring the game-winner in double-overtime to give UCLA a 2-1 win in that match. (*There was no Pac-10 champion in 1995).
Player/Freshman of the Year Candidates
Defender Jill Oakes and forward Iris Mora were two of 15 players named as semifinalists for the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy, given annually to the top player in college soccer. Three finalists will be named at the men's College Cup on Dec. 9, with the winner being announced on Jan. 6. In addition, midfielder Danesha Adams and Oakes were two of 15 players named as finalists for Soccer Buzz National Player of the Year honors. Midfielder Christina DiMartino and forward Kara Lang were named finalists for Soccer Buzz's Freshman of the Year award.
Head Coach Jillian Ellis
Jillian Ellis is in her seventh season as head coach of the UCLA women's soccer team. The NSCAA/adidas National Coach of the Year in 2000, Ellis owns a 130-26-7 record at UCLA and is 149-44-7 overall, which includes two seasons at the University of Illinois. Ellis has guided the Bruins to the NCAA Tournament in each of her seven seasons, highlighted by three trips to the NCAA College Cup. (2000, 2003 and 2004). Her 2000 and 2004 squads reached the national championship games.
Defense Dominance in NCAA Play
UCLA has given up just four goals in its last 17 NCAA Tournament matches dating back to 2002. In fact, the Bruins, who gave up just one goal in six NCAA matches last year, have surrendered just one goal in their last nine tournament games. Jill Oakes, Bristyn Davis, Mary Castelanelli and Erin Hardy are the four members of this year's Bruin defense, which has given up only eight goals in 23 matches this season and is on pace to break the single-season mark of 10 set back in 2000.
UCLA In the Pac-10 Statistics
As a team, the Bruins rank first in the conference in every offensive category, including: points (172), goals (61), assists (50) and shots (408). Defensively, UCLA is tops in goals allowed (8), goals against average (0.34) and shutouts (16). On an individual level, senior Iris Mora ranks No. 1 in assists (12), while Danesha Adams and Kara Lang are tied for second in points (36). Adams also ranks second in game winning goals (8). Goalkeeper Valerie Henderson's 0.40 goals against average ranks No. 1 in the Pac-10.
UCLA In the National Statistics
UCLA ranks 14th in the country in scoring offense, averaging 2.65 goals per game. The Bruins check in at No. 2 in goals against average (0.34) and No. 5 in shutout percentage (0.70). Individually, Valerie Henderson's 0.40 GAA ranks sixth nationally.
Bruins in the Classroom
Defender Mary Castelanelli received two academic awards recently, earning ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District-8 First-Team honors, along with being named a Pac-10 Honorable Mention selection. Castelanelli, a junior from Lodi, Calif., has a 3.5 cumulative GPA and is majoring in civil engineering. Bruin goalkeeper Valerie Henderson also earned honorable mention accolades from the Pac-10.
Bruins at Drake Stadium
Win or lose against Virginia, the Bruins will be playing their final home match of the season at Drake Stadium this Friday. UCLA has been dominant on its home field in 2005, posting a 10-1-1 record. The Bruins, who have been playing at Drake Stadium since the 2000 season, own a 51-8 record at Drake in six seasons.
TOMORROW | 6:00pm PTLive