UCLA to Face USC This Friday in Coliseum Showdown
Oct. 21, 2008
LA Powers Collide This Friday in Coliseum Showdown
The third-ranked UCLA women's soccer team will play arguably its biggest match of the season this Friday, as the Bruins head across town to take on No. 9 USC at the Los Angeles Coliseum beginning at 7:00 p.m. The Bruins (13-0-2; 4-0 Pac-10) won last year's regular-season meeting 2-0 at Drake Stadium, however the Women of Troy (12-2-1; 2-1-1 Pac-10) avenged that loss with a 2-1 victory at the NCAA College Cup. This Friday's match will be televised on a tape-delayed basis by Fox Sports Net. Fans can also listen to the broadcast live via the UCLA Radio Network. Tickets for the match are $7 for adults and $5 for kids (under 12). Contact the USC Central Ticket Office for more information: 213-740-4672
Lexus Gauntlet Points on the Line
UCLA will be looking to pick up its first points of the season towards the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy this week, as USC currently leads the all-sports race 7.5 - 0. The Trojans have already picked up points with wins in men's water polo and women's volleyball.
Rivalry Match Could Break NCAA Attendance Record
USC is trying to break the NCAA single-game attendance record in its match with UCLA this week. The current record is 14,410, set during North Carolina's 2-0 victory over Notre Dame in the 1999 NCAA Final at San Jose's Spartan Stadium. The most fans ever to watch UCLA play was 9,566 in the 2000 NCAA Final, also at Spartan Stadium (seventh largest crowd in NCAA history). The regular-season single-game attendance record is 8,204, set when Texas A&M hosted North Carolina in 2006.
UCLA Dominates Series History
UCLA takes a 15-3-1 record against USC into this Friday's match. Prior to USC's win in last year's NCAA College Cup Semifinals, the Bruins had won eight straight in the series. UCLA has also outscored USC, 49-20 in the 19 total meetings between the two teams. The Women of Troy's last home win over UCLA came back in 1998.
After surrendering just two goals in the first 15 matches, UCLA is in the midst of perhaps its finest defensive season in school history. Prior to this year, the fewest goals ever given up by a UCLA team at this point in a season was five (2000). UCLA's 13 shutouts is also the third-highest single-season total in school history (record is 18 set in 2005). The Bruins' back line is led by regulars Erin Hardy, Lauren Wilmoth and Lauren Barnes. Dea Cook, Whitney Sharpe, Catherine Calvert and goalkeeper Ashley Thompson have also been instrumental in UCLA's defensive success. No team in the country has given up fewer goals than UCLA this year.
DiMartino Up to No. 2
Senior midfielder Christina DiMartino recently moved into second place all time at UCLA in career assists, recording the 28th of her career in the Bruins' 2-0 victory over Arizona on Sunday. She surpassed UCLA Hall of Fame member Traci Arkenberg, who had 27 from 1994-97. DiMartino still trails former teammate Iris Mora, who had 38 from 2002-05. With her next point, DiMartino will also move into the top 10 at UCLA in career scoring.
Success Against SC
No player on this year's team has had more success against USC than Lauren Cheney, as the Bruin forward has scored in all three meetings with her cross-town rival. As a freshman, she scored the first goal in the Bruins' 2-1 overtime victory in 2006. She scored again, and added an assist, in UCLA's 2-0 regular-season win last year. Cheney also had the Bruins' lone goal in the 2-1 College Cup loss last December.
Cheney Eyeing GWG Record
Junior Lauren Cheney is just four game-winning goals away from tying the UCLA career mark in that category. Cheney, who currently has 22 in her career, enters this Friday's match just four behind record holders Traci Arkenberg and Danesha Adams, who are tied atop the list with 26 apiece.
Bruins Check in at No. 3/4
UCLA is ranked No. 3 this week in polls issued by Soccer America and Soccer Buzz, while the Bruins check in at No. 4 in the NSCAA/adidas and Soccer Times national polls. UCLA, which has been ranked in the top 5 all season, has been ranked as high as No. 1 this year. Click HERE for the latest NSCAA/adidas Coaches' Poll.
UCLA's ranks No. 4 in the most recent RPI (ratings percentage index) listing this week. The Index is comprised by taking into account several factors, including: a team's winning percentage (25%), its opponents' winning percentage (50%), and the winning percentage of those opponents' opponents (25%). UCLA ended the 2007 season with the No. 1 RPI in the nation.
UCLA in the National Statistics
As a team, UCLA ranks No. 1 in the country in three categories: goals against average (0.13), shutout percentage (0.87) and save percentage (0.96). The Bruins also rank No. 3 in winning percentage (0.933) and No. 19 in scoring offense (2.47 gpg). Individually, goalkeeper Ashley Thompson ranks No. 1 nationally in goals against average (0.14) and save percentage (0.96). Lauren Cheney ranks No. 20 in points per game (1.92).
Bruins Among Select Group
UCLA (13-0-2), Stanford (14-0-1) and Notre Dame (16-0) are the only remaining undefeated teams in the NSCAA/adidas Top 25 rankings. Unranked Western Kentucky (12-0-3) is also undefeated on the season.
Bruins Going For Six in a Row
UCLA won its fifth consecutive Pac-10 Championship last season, becoming the first school in conference history to win five league titles in a row. The Bruins were undefeated in the Pac-10 last season, going a perfect 9-0. Since its five-year reign began in 2003, UCLA's record in conference play is an impressive 42-5-2. UCLA has the most Pac-10 titles all time with eight.
Super Sub Kristina Larsen
Although she has started only five matches, junior forward Kristina Larsen has been one of the key scoring threats for the third-ranked Bruins this season. Usually the first player off the bench, Larsen ranks second on the team in scoring with 16 points (7g, 2a). She also has three game-winning goals, most notably a golden goal in the second overtime period to defeat Washington State, 2-1 on Oct. 10.
UCLA, Stanford Take Early Control of Pac-10 Race
Five-time defending Pac-10 Champion UCLA has an excellent shot at making it six in a row this year, as the Bruins join Stanford as the only other unbeaten team in the conference. UCLA has a slight advantage in the fact that it will host the only scheduled meeting between the two teams this year (Oct. 31 at Drake Stadium). Both schools enter the week with identical 4-0 records in Pac-10 play. (Standings on page 3).
UCLA has had three different players earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors this year, as Christina DiMartino, Ashley Thompson and Kristina Larsen have all brought home the award. Below are the dates they won the award and their accomplishments.
Christina DiMartino (Sept. 23) - Scored two goals in a 3-0 victory over Miami on Sept. 19. Also had an assist in a 3-0 win over New Mexico on Sept. 21.
Ashley Thompson (Oct. 7) - Tied her single-game high for saves with seven in a 1-0 victory over Pepperdine on Oct. 3. Also added two more saves in the Bruins' 3-0 win over No. 19 San Diego two days later. Was credited with both shutouts on the week.
Kristina Larsen (Oct. 14) - With UCLA trailing Washington State, 1-0 in the final minute on Oct. 10, Larsen assisted on the game-tying goal at the 89:03 mark of the second half to help send the game into overtime. Once in overtime, her golden goal in the 102nd minute gave the Bruins the win. Larsen also had two goals and an assist in a 4-0 win over Washington two days later.
Bruins Break Consecutive Shutout Streak
This year's team broke the school record for consecutive shutouts, posting 10 in a row from Aug. 30 - Oct. 5. The old record was six, set in both 2000 and 2005. This year's streak was snapped when the Bruins surrendered just their second goal of the year in a 2-1 win over No. 25 Washington State on Oct. 10. The Bruins had played nearly 1,000 minutes (982 to be exact) of scoreless soccer until giving up that goal. UCLA has outscored the competition 37-2 this season.