Eighth-Ranked UCLA Hosts No. 2 Portland in Women's Soccer Showdown
Sept. 25, 2007
UCLA and Portland Renew West Coast Rivalry
Eighth-ranked UCLA (4-2-1) and second-ranked Portland (7-1) will face off this week in one of the premier matchups of the college soccer season. The match is scheduled for this Friday at Drake Stadium beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for the match are $7 for adults and $5 for youth/students. UCLA students with a valid Bruin Card are admitted for free. Fans unable to attend the match can follow the free live audio and live stats available on UCLA's website.
The UCLA/Portland Series
The Bruins, who are coming off a victory over the Pilots in last year's NCAA Quarterfinals, lead the all-time series with Portland, 4-1. UCLA's 2-1 victory last season avenged a 4-0 loss to Portland in the 2005 NCAA Final. The Bruins own three more wins in the series, all 1-0 decisions (1997 NCAA 1st Rd., 2000 NCAA Semifinals, 2001 season opener). This Friday's match will mark only the second time that Portland has played at UCLA.
Did You Know?
Portland is the highest ranked team to visit Drake Stadium since Oct. 13, 2002 when Stanford, also ranked No. 2, edged the Bruins 1-0.
Cheney Named Soccer America National Player of the Week
Sophomore Lauren Cheney was named Soccer America's National Player of the Week on Tuesday, as the Bruin forward is coming off a five-goal weekend against Pepperdine and Hawai'i. Cheney scored the Bruins' lone goal in a 1-1 tie with Pepperdine on Friday. She came back on Sunday, scoring four goals in UCLA's 6-0 victory over Hawai'i. Her four goals tie a UCLA single-game record, as she becomes only the third Bruin player achieve this feat, following Traci Arkenberg in 1996 and Danesha Adams in 2005. Cheney was also named Pac-10 Player of the Week, and was named to the Soccer Buzz Team of the Week.
Home Unbeaten Streak Reaches 30
For Portland to avoid the upset this week it's going to have to do something that no team has been able to accomplish in nearly two years - beat UCLA at home. The Bruins take a 30-match unbeaten streak into this week's showdown, with their last home loss coming against Penn State on Sept. 9, 2005 (1-0 2OT). UCLA has one tie in the streak, a scoreless draw against Washington State on Oct. 23, 2005. The Bruins, who were a perfect 16-0 at home last season, own a 25-match home winning streak.
Bruins Check in at No. 8/9
UCLA is ranked No. 8 or No. 9 this week depending on which poll you look at. The Bruins are ranked No. 8 by NSCAA/adidas, and Soccer Buzz, while Soccer America lists the Bruins at No. 9. Portland is ranked No. 2 in NSCAA/adidas and Soccer America, checking in at No. 3 in Soccer Buzz. Santa Clara is the unanimous No. 1 team this week.
Welcome Back Kara!
Redshirt sophomore Kara Lang will make her first appearance of the season this week, as the Bruin forward missed the first seven matches of the year while representing Canada at the FIFA Women's World Cup in China. Canada, which went 1-1-1 at the tournament, failed to make it out of group play, making way for Lang's return to the Bruins. In fact, Friday will mark Lang's first appearance in a Bruin uniform in nearly two years, as she was forced to redshirt last season due to a knee injury. As a freshman in 2005, Lang ranked second on the team in scoring with 40 points (17g, 6a).
Tough Road Ahead
This Friday's match against No. 2 Portland will mark only the second time this season that the Bruins have faced a ranked team (UCLA lost to No. 7 Texas, 2-1 on Sept. 2). The road ahead, however, looks to be much tougher with four ranked opponents looming on the schedule. Top-ranked Santa Clara, No. 4 Stanford, No. 18 USC and No. 25 Cal are all ranked in this week's NSCAA/adidas Top-25.
Henderson Nominated for Lowe's Senior Class Award
Goalkeeper Valerie Henderson is one of 20 players who were nominated for the 2007 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for women's soccer. The award is presented annually in eight NCAA Division I sports to a senior student-athlete who excels both on and off the field. While the on-the-field performance during their collegiate soccer careers is a factor in determining candidates and the eventual winner, their personal character and off-the-field achievements in the classroom and community are major areas of focus. In addition to being a team leader on the field, Henderson has excelled in the classroom as well, earning a spot on the UCLA Director's Honor Roll (3.0 and above) every quarter of her career.
DiMartino Dishes It Out
Christina DiMartino is a big reason why UCLA leads the Pac-10 in assists with 20, as the Bruin junior already has a team-leading five this season. Three assists have been on goals by Danesha Adams, while the other two have went to Lauren Cheney. Look for DiMartino's assist total to jump even more now that Kara Lang is back from the World Cup. Not only does Lang provide another deadly scoring threat, her insertion into the lineup should push DiMartino into her more natural midfield role.
Adams Nears Two UCLA Career Records
Already UCLA's career leader in NCAA Tournament scoring (33 pts.), forward Danesha Adams has the chance of breaking two more school records this season. The senior from Ohio is just three game-winning goals shy of tying school record holder Traci Arkenberg, who had 26 from 1994-97. Adams, who entered the season with 21, upped her total to 23 after netting game winners against Illinois and San Francisco. Additionally, assuming she starts UCLA's 12 remaining regular-season matches, Adams will have started 87 career matches, putting her just one behind school record holder Whitney Jones, who started 88 from 2000-03. She would just need just two more starts during the NCAA Tournament to break the record.
Head Coach Jillian Ellis
Jillian Ellis is in her ninth season as head coach at UCLA. The 2000 NSCAA/adidas National Coach of the Year, Ellis owns a record of 157-32-9 (.816) at UCLA. Her overall coaching record, which includes two seasons at the University of Illinois, stands at 176-50-9 (.768). She has led the Bruins to five Pac-10 titles (2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006) and five appearances in the NCAA College Cup (2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006).