Pac-10 Title on the Line This Week for Third-Ranked Bruins
Nov. 1, 2006
Bruins Head to Oregon With Pac-10 Title on the Line
The third-ranked UCLA women's soccer team (16-2 overall; 7-0 Pac-10) can wrap up the conference title this week, as it will play its final two matches of the regular season in Oregon this Friday and Sunday. Action begins this Friday in Eugene, as the Bruins and Oregon Ducks will meet up for a 7:00 p.m. showdown at Pape Field. UCLA owns a six-match winning streak against Oregon, leading the all-time series 8-1. The Bruins then round out the regular season on Sunday, taking on Oregon State at 11:00 a.m. in Corvallis. UCLA leads that series 9-2, owning a four-match series winning streak.
UCLA will win the Pac-10 title outright with at least one victory in its final two matches. In fact, even a tie will give the Bruins at least a share of the conference title. The only team with a shot at catching the Bruins is Stanford, which currently has a 6-1-1 record with one match to play. If the Bruins and Cardinal were to share the title, UCLA would get the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament since it won the head-to-head meeting.
Did You Know?
If UCLA wins the 2006 Pac-10 title, the Bruins would be the first team in the conference to win the league title four-straight years. UCLA already leads the conference in all-time titles with six.
Vying for a Top Seed
Although the Bruins can settle for a tie and still win the conference, UCLA most likely will need two victories this weekend for any chance a receiving one of the four No. 1 seeds to the NCAA Tournament. Notre Dame and North Carolina, both ranked ahead of UCLA, are two other teams that will likely receive a top seeding leaving two spots open. The Bruins were awarded a No. 1 seed last year, advancing all the way to the finals. The 64-team draw for the 2006 NCAA Tournament will be announced live on ESPNews sometime between Noon-1:00 (PST) on Nov. 6. This year's NCAA College Cup is in Cary, NC.
Bruins Maintain No. 3 Ranking
For the second week in a row, the Bruins hold the same ranking in every national poll, checking in at No. 3 in NSCAA/adidas, Soccer America, Soccer Buzz and Soccer Times. The Bruins, who began the season ranked No. 1 in Soccer America and Soccer Buzz, have been ranked in the top-10 all season.
Henderson Nears Career Win Mark
With 51 career victories, junior goalkeeper Valerie Henderson stands just two wins shy of setting a new UCLA career record, currently held by Lindsay Culp, who had 52 victories from 1996-99.
Cheney Chasing Lang's Freshman Marks
Lauren Cheney is knocking on the door of a few freshman records, as her six game-winning goals put her just one behind Kara Lang's freshman record of seven set last season. In addition, Cheney's 14 goals is just three behind Lang's record of 17.
Davis Named to Soccer America's Team of the Week
Senior defender Bristyn Davis was one of 11 players selected to this week's Soccer America Team of the Week after helping the Bruins to a pair of shutouts over Washington and Washington State. Davis also contributed on the offensive side of the field as well, registering an assist against Washington in a 2-0 victory on Friday and scoring the game-winning goal against Washington State in a 2-0 win on Sunday.
Domination at Home
Whichever team draws UCLA in the first round of the NCAA Tournament will be facing a 23-match home unbeaten streak, as the Bruins have not lost at home since a 1-0 loss to Penn State back on Sept. 9, 2005. The Bruins, who are 12-0 at Drake Stadium this season, take an 11-match winning streak in home NCAA Tournament matches into this year's postseason. UCLA's last home loss during the NCAA Tournament was to Texas A&M back in 2003.
UCLA in the National Statistics
With 14 goals in 14 matches, freshman forward Lauren Cheney ranks fourth nationally in goals per game (1.00) and 10th nationally in points per game (2.00). In addition, goalkeeper Valerie Henderson ranks 14th in goals against average (0.50). As a team, the Bruins rank fifth in winning percentage (.889), 14th in shutout percentage (0.67) and 17th in goals against average (0.55).
Head Coach Jillian Ellis
Jillian Ellis is entering her eighth season as the head coach of the UCLA women's soccer team. The 2000 NSCAA/adidas National Coach of the Year, Ellis owns a school record of 148-29-7 (.823). 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 167-47-7 (.771), 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.