No. 4 Bruins Open Up Pac-10 Play This Week
Oct. 3, 2006
Bruins Open Up Conference Play Against Bay Area Schools
After rounding out non-conference play last week, the fourth-ranked UCLA women's soccer team (9-2) will play its first two Pac-10 opponents of the season this week, hosting No. 10 Cal (7-1-2) on Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Stanford (7-4) on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. The marquee match of the weekend will be the top-10 showdown against the Golden Bears. UCLA, which has won six of the last seven matches in the series, owns an 8-4 advantage all-time over Cal. The Bruins posted a 2-0 victory last season up in the Bay Area. Against Stanford, UCLA is unbeaten in its last three meetings, leading that series 6-4-2. The teams played to a 0-0 draw last season.
Cal Match to Air on Fox Sports Net
Friday's match against Cal will air on a tape-delayed basis by Fox Sports Net. The first broadcast in Southern California will be on on Thur., Oct. 12 at 10:00 a.m. on Fox Sports Net Prime Ticket. It will be shown again that same day (1:00 p.m.) on Fox Sports West. In all, it is scheduled to air a total of 17 times on various Fox Sports Net affiliates throughout the country. Cara Capuano (play-by-play) and former UCLA All-American Tracey Milburn (color) will be calling the action.
Cheney Leads Bruins Past San Diego, Gonzaga
Freshman forward Lauren Cheney continued her hot streak over the weekend, scoring a pair of game-winning goals in UCLA wins over San Diego and Gonzaga. Cheney, who has scored in every match she has played in but one (Santa Clara), tallied two goals in a 3-0 victory over San Diego on Friday. Sophomore Christina DiMartino had the other goal in that contest. Cheney, who leads the Bruins in scoring with 16 points (8g, 0a), had the Bruins' lone goal in a 1-0 victory over Gonzaga on Sunday.
Bruins Up to No. 4 Nationally
Following a pair of wins over the weekend, UCLA moved up a spot from No. 5 to No. 4 in this week's NSCAA/adidas Coaches' Poll. UCLA, however, remained at No. 6 in Soccer America national rankings. In addition, the Bruins are check in at No. 4 (Soccer Times) and No. 5 (Soccer Buzz) in the two other weekly ranking lists.
Adams Earns First Cap, Assist With U.S. Women's National Team
Coming off an outstanding performance at the Under-20 FIFA World Championships in Russia, UCLA's Danesha Adams got her first taste of international competition at the senior level last week, as the Bruin junior was brought into camp with the U.S. Women's National Team in Carson, Calif. Adams did so well in the camp that she made the 18-player roster for an international friendly against Chinese Taipei this past Sunday. After coming in as a substitute in the 75th minute, Adams had an assist on a Megan Rapinoe goal in the 82nd minute. The U.S. eventually won the match 10-0. It marked the first time that Adams has ever been invited into camps with the full team.
Junior midfielder/forward Danesha Adams moved into second place all-time at UCLA in career goals when she put in the 36th of her career against UConn back on Sept. 10. If she continues at the current pace, she has an outside shot of catching former Bruin Traci Arkenberg, who had 71 goals from 1994-97. In addition, if freshman forward Lauren Cheney continues at her current pace of scoring in just about every match, she will challenge Arkenberg's single-season record of 22 goals set back in 1997. After missing the first four matches of the season while with the U-20s, Cheney has scored eight in seven games this season.
Home Field Advantage
With its 1-0 victory over Gonzaga this past Sunday, UCLA moved its home winning streak to 14 in a row dating back to last season. In fact, if you throw in a scoreless tie with Washington State last year, the Bruins are unbeaten in their last 19 home games.
Pac-10 Statistical Leaders
As a team, UCLA leads the Pac-10 in three categories - shutouts (8), shots (181) and corner kicks (57). Individually, Lauren Cheney ranks first in goals (8), goals per game (1.14) and game-winning goals (5). ï¿½
UCLA is listed in two categories of the national statistics this week. The Bruins are tied for fourth in shutout percentage (0.73) and tied for 20th in winning percentage (.818).
Fourth in a Row?
With conference play beginning this Friday, the Bruins are seeking an unprecedented fourth Pac-10 title in a row. UCLA won the title outright in 2003 and 2005, sharing the title in 2004 with Arizona. UCLA's record in conference play the last three seasons is an impressive 21-3-3. A Pac-10 title for the Bruins in 2006 would mark their fifth in six years and seventh overall since the Pac-10 began awarding women's soccer titles in 1993.
With three freshmen and a sophomore starting on defense, the Bruins feature what is likely one of the youngest back lines of any top-25 team in the country. Sophomore Erin Hardy is the veteran of the group, having started 25 of 26 matches as a freshman last season. The other three starters - Lauren Wilmoth, Lauren Switzer and Lydia Cook - are all freshmen. Playing its first two matches without senior Mary Castelanelli, who suffered a season-ending knee injury against Pepperdine on Sept. 24, the Bruin defense posted two shutouts. In all, the Bruins have registered a conference-best eight shutouts.
The Last Line of Defense
Having played in the NCAA finals the past two seasons, junior goalkeeper Valerie Henderson is as experienced as any player in the country at her position. Often times the most vocal player on the field, Henderson can usually be heard shouting directions to UCLA's younger back line players. She currently ranks second at UCLA in career shutouts with 30 and will tie Lindsay Culp (1996-99) for first all-time with her next shutout.
Youth National Team Bruins
A total of seven UCLA players have been featured on U.S. rosters for major international competitions at the youth level in recent months. Danesha Adams, Lauren Wilmoth, Bristyn Davis and Valerie Henderson were all part of the Jillian Ellis coached Under-21 U.S. squad that placed second at the Nordic Cup this past July in Norway. Adams and Henderson then teamed up with Lauren Cheney, Erin Hardy and Christina DiMartino on the Under-20 U.S. team that placed fourth at the FIFA World Championships in Russia this past September.
UCLA Picked as Pac-10 Favorite Again
For the third year in a row an early poll of conference coaches gave the nod to UCLA as the favorite to claim the Pac-10 title. The Bruins, who have earned at least a share of the title the last three years, have been tabbed the favorite in seven of the eight years since the Pac-10 began releasing a preseason coaches' poll back in 1999. The Bruins actually claimed the title in the year they were not picked to win it (2003).
Following UCLA Via the Internet
Fans and media unable to attend Bruin home matches in 2006 can follow the action live over the internet by either listening to the free audio broadcasts or by following the Gametracker LiveStats. Both are accessible by clicking links located at UCLA's official athletic website: www.uclabruins.com.
Castelanelli, Lang Out for the Season
Already without forward Kara Lang due to injury, the Bruins suffered another huge blow to their season on Sept. 24, as senior defender Mary Castelanelli suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Bruins' 3-0 victory over Pepperdine. Castelanelli, who had started all nine matches for the Bruins prior to getting hurt, was the lone upperclassman on the back line. She is not eligible for a medical redshirt. Lang, who suffered an ACL injury during the offseason, will likely redshirt the season. As a freshman in 2005, Lang ranked second on the team in scoring with 40 points (17g, 6a). She scored eight goals in six NCAA Tournament matches last season, helping the Bruins advance to the finals.
Adams, Henderson Named to M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List
UCLA juniors Danesha Adams and Valerie Henderson are two of 25 players who have been named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List, an early indicator for national player of the year recognition. The list, announced by the Missouri Athletic Club, was compiled by a panel of coaches from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). A list of 15 semifinalists will be announced in early November, with three finalists announced in late November. They will be invited to St. Louis on Saturday, Dec. 2, for the announcement of the winner at a press conference to be held in conjunction with the Men's College Cup.
Head Coach Jillian Ellis
Head coach Jillian Ellis is entering her eighth season at the helm of the UCLA women's soccer team. The 2000 NSCAA/adidas National Coach of the Year, Ellis enters the season with a school record of 141-29-7 (.816). She has guided the Bruins to four NCAA College Cups (2000, 2003, 2004 and 2005), including three trips to the finals (2000, 2004 and 2005). She owns an overall coaching record of 160-47-7 (.764), which includes two seasons at the University of Illinois. In addition to her work with UCLA, Ellis is also the head coach of the Under-21 U.S. Women's National Team, recently guiding the U-21s to a second-place showing at the 2006 Nordic Cup.