Top-Seeded Women's Soccer Team Begins NCAA Championship Play This Friday
Nov. 14, 2007
Top-Seeded UCLA to Face Cal State Fullerton in NCAA 1st Rd.
The top-ranked UCLA women's soccer team (16-1-2) earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Women's Soccer Championships and will host first and second round action this weekend at Drake Stadium. The Bruins open up this year's tournament against Big West champion Cal State Fullerton (12-7-2) this Friday at 5:30 p.m. That match will be followed by San Diego (15-2-3) vs. Oklahoma State (13-5-3) at 8:00 p.m. Friday's winners will meet in the second round on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Daily tickets are $9 for adults and $7 for youth/students. Live internet audio will be available for all UCLA matches. Game Tracker live stats will be provided as well (UCLA vs. CSUF / San Diego vs. Oklahoma State).
UCLA's NCAA Seeding History
Year Seed Result2000 #6 Final (L to North Carolina, 2-1)2001 #3 Quarterfinals (L to Florida, 1-0 2OT)2002 #7 Rd. of 16 (L to Texas A&M 0-0 Pks)2003 #4 Semifinals (L to North Carolina, 3-0)2004 #14 Final (L to Notre Dame, 1-1 Pks)2005 #1 Final (L to Portland, 4-0)2006 #2 Semifinals (L to North Carolina, 2-0)
Bruins Against the Field of 64
UCLA owns a 7-1-1 record against teams in this year's NCAA Tournament. The Bruins posted wins over Illinois, Santa Clara, Portland, Hawai'i, Cal, Stanford and USC. UCLA's loss came against Texas, while the Bruins' tie was with San Diego. The Bruins have outscored those nine teams 22-6.
UCLA Clinches Fifth Straight Pac-10 Championship
UCLA became the first school in Pac-10 history to win five straight conference titles, as the Bruins finished the year with a perfect 9-0 record in league play. UCLA entered the final weekend of the regular season needing only a tie in one of its final two games to earn at least a share of the title. The Bruins ended up clinching the title outright with a 2-0 victory over Washington State on Nov. 9. The Bruins have won four out of the five championships outright, sharing the 2004 title with co-champion Arizona.
Did You Know?
Since the conference began naming champions in 1993, only two Pac-10 schools have finished the season with perfect records in league play (Stanford in 1995 & 2002, and UCLA in 1997 and 2007). UCLA has now won eight of the 14 conference championships awarded.
Series History vs. CSUF, USD, Oklahoma State
UCLA takes a 10-0 all-time record against Cal State Fullerton into this week's first-round match. It actually marks the second year in a row that the two teams will meet in the NCAA Tournament, as the Bruins defeated the Titans, 3-1 in last year's second round at Drake Stadium. The two teams also met in the first round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament, a 3-0 UCLA win. The Bruins own a 13-1-3 advantage in their series with San Diego. The two teams played to a 0-0 draw this season in San Diego. UCLA and USD have met in three previous NCAA Tournaments (1999, 2003 and 2004), all Bruin victories. UCLA has never faced Oklahoma State in women's soccer.
Unbeaten Streak Reaches 18
After notching a pair of wins to cap off the regular season last weekend, UCLA pushed the nation's longest unbeaten streak to 18. The Bruins lost their season opener to Texas, 2-1, and have gone unbeaten ever since. UCLA has also won 13 in a row following a 1-1 tie with Pepperdine on Sept. 21.
Another Impressive Streak
UCLA also owns the nation's longest HOME unbeaten streak at 37 matches. The Bruins' last home loss came against Penn State back on Sept. 9, 2005 (1-0 2OT). There is one tie during the streak, a 0-0 match against Washington State on Oct. 23, 2005. Since then, UCLA has been on a 32-match winning streak, a mark which is also the longest in the nation.
Forward Lauren Cheney and midfielder Danesha Adams are both approaching two school records that could fall at any time. With 49 points and 20 goals, Cheney is within striking distance of Traci Arkenberg's single-season records in both those categories. Arkenberg set those records in 1997 when she had 52 points and 22 goals. Adams is on the verge of a UCLA career record, as her 25 game-winning goals is just one behind Arkenberg's 26. Another career milestone that Adams could achieve is the school record for most starts, currently held by Whitney Jones, who started 88 matches from 2000-03. Adams, who has started all 19 matches this year and 87 for her career, will tie that mark if she starts against Cal State Fullerton this Friday.
UCLA Ends Regular Season No. 1
UCLA was ranked No. 1 for the fifth straight week in the final NSCAA/adidas Coaches' Poll of the regular season released on Nov. 6. A new poll will not be released until following the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins are actually the unanimous No. 1 team in the country, finishing atop polls issued by Soccer Buzz, Soccer America and Soccer Times. UCLA has been ranked in the top 10 of every weekly poll this season.
Adams Named to Soccer Buzz Team of the Week
Midfielder Danesha Adams closed out the regular season in style, scoring three goals in two UCLA wins last week to earn a spot on the Soccer Buzz Team of the Week. Adams, who ranks second on the team in scoring with 30 points (11g, 8a), scored the Bruins' second goal in a 2-0 victory over Washington State on Friday, as UCLA clinched a record fifth straight Pac-10 Championship with that victory. Adams came back on Sunday to score two more goals, including the game winner, in a 3-0 victory over Washington, as UCLA became the first Pac-10 team to go undefeated in league play since Stanford in 2002.
Cheney Named Top Drawer Soccer's Player of the Year
UCLA striker Lauren Cheney was named Top Drawer Soccer's National Player of the Year on Nov. 9, as she was one of five Bruin players honored by the publication. Cheney was joined by third-team honorees Valerie Henderson and Lauren Barnes. Danesha Adams and Kara Lang were honorable mention selections.
Best in the West
Because the Bruins haven't faced all the top teams in the country, UCLA's No. 1 ranking is open to debate. What's not debatable, however, is UCLA's top billing on the West Coast, where the Bruins have taken on all the traditional powers and come out on top. The Bruins own wins over #2 Portland, #2 Stanford, #5 Santa Clara, #9 USC and #19 Cal.
Henderson on Pace for Another School Record
Senior goalkeeper Valerie Henderson, already the school record holder in career wins (72) and shutouts (38), is on pace to break yet another school record. Henderson currently owns a career goals against average of 0.60, better than school record holder Sarah Lombardo, who had an 0.64 average from 2001-03. Henderson's final average will not be determined until the end of the season.
In the Pac-10 Statistics
As a team, UCLA ranks No. 1 in the Pac-10 in nearly every major statistical category, including: goals (50), points (153), assists (53), goals allowed (10), shutouts (11) and goals against average (0.51). Individually, Lauren Cheney is tops in points (49), goals (20), assists (9) and game-winning goals (7). Goalkeeper Valerie Henderson leads the league in shutouts with eight.
Seven players have started all 19 matches this season, a high number considering that only two players started all 25 matches a year ago (Lauren Wilmoth and Stacy Lindstrom). Wilmoth, who has started every match of her UCLA career, is joined by Danesha Adams, Lauren Cheney, Lauren Barnes, Christina DiMartino, Kylie Wright and Valerie Henderson.
Mac Kechnie Suffers Season-Ending Knee Injury
UCLA took its eighth straight victory over USC on Oct. 26 but ended up suffering a major loss nonetheless, as midfielder Caitlyn Mac Kechnie tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee in the second half of the Bruins' 2-0 win. Mac Kechnie, a junior, was in the midst of her finest season yet, ranking fourth on the team in scoring with 15 points (4g, 7a). Her seven assists was tied for the team lead at the time of the injury.
All-Time NCAA Scoring Leaders
With 33 points on 15 goals and three assists, senior midfielder Danesha Adams is UCLA's all-time leader in NCAA Tournament scoring. She had four goals in last year's tournament, helping the Bruins reach their fourth straight College Cup. Despite playing in only one NCAA Tournament, sophomore Kara Lang ranks third on that list, putting in eight goals and one assist during the 2005 championships.
Junior defender Erin Hardy, who missed seven matches after suffering an LCL sprain to her right knee against Cal State Northridge on Sept. 16, made a successful return to the playing field against Stanford on Oct. 19. Hardy is the leader of a Bruin defense that has surrendered just 10 goals in 19 matches this season. UCLA ranks 11th nationally this week in goals against average (0.51).
Henderson Named Finalist for Lowe's Senior Class Award
Goalkeeper Valerie Henderson made it through the initial pool of 20 players and is now one of 10 finalists 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.
UCLA has been on fire offensively, outscoring its opponents 30-3 in its last 11 matches. Even more impressive is the fact that four of those matches were against top 20 teams (#2 Stanford, #5 Santa Clara, #9 USC and #19 Cal). Overall, the Bruins have outscored the competition 50-10 in 19 matches this year.
Busy Week for DiMartino, Wall Families
UCLA's Christina DiMartino and Dana Wall both have sisters playing on NCAA Tournament teams. DiMartino's sister, Gina, is a star forward on the Boston College women's soccer team, while Wall's sister, April, is a defender for top-seeded Stanford.
M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Semifinalists Announced Soon
UCLA's Lauren Cheney, Danesha Adams and Christina DiMartino are all listed on the 2007 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy Watch List - an early indicator for potential player of the year candidates. The list, which was compiled by a committee of Division I coaches, is expected to be narrowed to 15 semifinalists sometime in the next week. Three finalists will be named in early December in conjunction with the NCAA Division I College Cup. Those players will be invited to the Missouri Athletic Club on Friday, January 11, 2008, with the winner being announced during a nationally-televised news conference that evening.