No. 3 UCLA to Host No. 18 USC This Friday Night
Oct. 28, 2009
No. 3 UCLA to Host No. 18 USC This Friday at 7:00 p.m.
In what is annually one of the biggest soccer matches in all of Los Angeles, the third-ranked UCLA women's soccer team (14-2-1; 5-1 Pac-10) hosts No. 18 USC (12-5; 5-1 Pac-10) this Friday at Drake Stadium beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for the match are $7 (adults) and $5 (youth/students) and can be purchased upon entrance to the stadium. UCLA students are admitted for free with a valid BruinCard ID.Following the Action Live
Friday's match will be broadcast live to the nation on the Fox Soccer Channel as part of the NSCAA Game of the Week. Mark Rogondino will be calling the action alongside color analyst Lisa Grubb. For those who do not get the Fox Soccer Channel, the match can also be heard for free via the internet on the UCLA Radio Network. Gametracker live stats will also be available HERE.
Senior Day This Friday
Prior to Friday night's match, UCLA will be honoring five seniors who will be playing in their final regular-season home contest. Those seniors are: Dea Cook, Lauren Wilmoth, Kristina Larsen, Lauren Cheney and Kara Lang. Since arriving in Westwood in 2006, this year's senior class has posted an impressive 77-9-5 overall record
The UCLA/USC Series
UCLA takes an 18-3-1 all-time record against USC into this Friday's contest. The Bruins won both meetings last year, taking a 2-1 win in the regular season match at USC, along with a 1-0 victory in the NCAA Round of 16 at Drake Stadium. UCLA has won 10 of the last 11 meetings with USC.
Bruins Sweep Oregon Schools to Improve to 5-1 in Pac-10 Play
UCLA outscored both Oregon and Oregon State, 8-1 in two conference victories over the weekend. The Bruins started with a 5-1 win over the Ducks on Friday night, as Sydney Leroux and Lauren Cheney each had two goals in that match. UCLA then notched a 3-0 victory over Oregon State on Sunday. The Bruins, whose sole conference loss was against unbeaten Stanford, are currently in second place in the Pac-10 at 5-1.
Cheney, Leroux Honored
Both Lauren Cheney and Sydney Leroux were honored for their outstanding play last week. Cheney was named to teams of the week by both CollegeSoccer360.com and Top Drawer Soccer. She had seven points on two goals and three assists in wins over both Oregon and Oregon State. Leroux, who was named to the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week, had six points on three goals.
Bruins Ranked No. 3/5 Nationally
The Bruins moved up one spot to No. 3 in this week's NSCAA/adidas Coaches' Poll. Despite its two convincing wins over the weekend, UCLA actually slipped from No. 4 to No. 5 in this week's Soccer America rankings. The Bruins are also ranked No. 3 in the Soccer Times coaches' poll. The NSCAA/adidas rankings can be found HERE.
Pac-10 Title Race Heating Up
Unlike the last two seasons, where UCLA was a perfect 9-0 in Pac-10 play, the Bruins need a little help this year if they are going to capture their seventh straight conference championship. UCLA is currently in second place in the Pac-10 with a 5-1 record. Stanford, which handed UCLA its lone loss, stands atop the league at 6-0. The Bruins' only chance to win the Pac-10 title will be if the Cardinal drops one of its last three matches against either Arizona, Arizona State or Cal.
UCLA Listed at No. 6 in Latest RPI Report
UCLA is listed at No. 6 in the latest Division I Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) released by the NCAA on Oct. 19. The Ratings Percentage Index is an important criteria used by the NCAA to determine the 64-team field for the Division I Women's Tournament.
RPI Top 10
2. North Carolina
5. Florida State
7. Wake Forest
8. Boston College
10. Notre Dame
As a team, UCLA ranks fifth nationally in winning percentage (.853) and 10th in goals per game (2.71). Individually, Sydney Leroux ranks sixth in goals per game (0.94) and ninth in points per game (2.0). Goalkeeper Chante' Sandiford ranks 17th nationally in goals against average (0.56).
Goalkeeper Battle This Week
This week's UCLA-USC showdown will feature two of the best goalkeepers in the Pac-10 Conference. UCLA redshirt sophomore Chante' Sandiford leads the Pac-10 in goals against average, taking an 0.56 mark into the week. She also ranks first in the league, with USC's Kristin Olson, in shutouts with seven. Olson leads the Pac-10 in saves with 80.
No. 1 Losses
Both of UCLA's losses this year have come against teams that were ranked No. 1 at the time. The Bruins fell to the nation's preseason No. 1 team, North Carolina, in their season opener. More recently, UCLA lost to current No. 1 Stanford on Oct. 18. UCLA is 4-0-1 against the five other top 25 teams it has faced this year.
Cheney Movin' on Up
Senior Lauren Cheney is starting to make an impression in the UCLA scoring charts, as she recently moved into second place all-time in two career categories. With 151 career points, Cheney trails only Traci Arkenberg, who had 169 points from 1994-97. Cheney's 62 career goals is also second all-time behind Arkenberg's 71. In addition, with her next game-winning goal, Cheney will tie current UCLA leaders Arkenberg and Danesha Adams, who are tied atop the career chart with 26 apiece.
Freshmen Zakiya Bywaters, Chelsea Cline, Lucretia Lee, Ahsha Smith and Sophie Metz have all seen significant playing time this season. Bywaters, a midfielder from Las Vegas, has seen the most action of any freshman, starting 15 of the Bruins' 17 matches to date. She leads the team in assists with seven, and ranks fourth in scoring with 11 points (2g, 7a). The four other freshman have all played in at least 14 games.
Did You Know?
UCLA owns a perfect 12-0 record all-time against USC in home matches.
After missing five matches due to a foot injury, junior midfielder Kylie Wright made a successful return to the Bruin lineup during the Bruins' Bay Area trip two weeks ago. She had started all eight matches prior to her injury.
Lang Suffers Season-Ending Injury
UCLA redshirt senior women's soccer player Kara Lang suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Bruins' match at Cal State Northridge on Sept. 25. The injury, which occurred in the 21st minute of UCLA's 2-0 win, is a re-tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee. Lang suffered a similar injury prior to her sophomore year at UCLA and was forced to redshirt the entire 2006 season. Lang had started all nine of UCLA's matches prior to her injury. She ends her season with seven points on three goals and one assist.
UCLA's M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Candidates
At the beginning of the season, UCLA's Lauren Cheney, Lauren Barnes and Sydney Leroux were all named to the 2009 M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List. The list is comprised of 45 players across the country who have a legitimate shot a being named national player of the year by the end of the season. The M.A.C. Hermann Trophy winner is selected by Division I head coaches who are current members of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. The list will be cut down to 15 semifinalists in November. From there, the three finalists will be named in early December and will be invited to the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Mo., for a news conference on Jan. 8, 2010 to announce the winner. Cheney and Christina DiMartino were finalists for the award in 2007 and 2008, respectively.
After appearing in just seven matches in her first two years at UCLA, redshirt junior Jenna Belcher is enjoying a breakout season in 2009. Belcher, who transferred from Santa Clara following her freshman season, has started all 17 matches this year. She has been instrumental in helping the Bruins' to nine shutouts this year. She has helped on the offensive side of the field as well, registering five points on one goal and three assists.
Home Unbeaten Streak at 62
UCLA takes the nation's longest home unbeaten streak into this week's showdown with USC, as the Bruins have not lost in 62 straight home contests (last loss: Sept. 9, 2005). UCLA's home winning streak, which is also the longest in the country, is at 57.
WPS Players on the Move
Of the six former UCLA players currently involved with the Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) league, three will likely be with new teams when the 2010 season opens up in the spring. Danesha Adams, formerly of the Chicago Red Stars, was picked up in the expansion draft (2nd Round - 11th overall) by the newly-formed Philadelphia Independence. She will be joined in Philadelphia by Valerie Henderson, who was traded to Philly from the Los Angeles Sol on Oct. 7. McCall Zerboni, who was Henderson's teammate on the Sol, is currently a free agent. Christina DiMartino (FC Gold Pride), Jill Oakes (Chicago Red Stars) and Mary-Frances Monroe (Boston Breakers) are all expected to stay with their current teams.
NCAA Tournament Selections
Teams will find out their postseason fate on Nov. 9, as the NCAA Tournament Selection Show will air live on ESPNews at 5:00 p.m. (PST). If the Bruins are given a high seed, UCLA will likely host at least the first and second rounds at Drake Stadium.
Cheney, Leroux Named Soccer America Preseason All-Americans
Forwards Lauren Cheney and Sydney Leroux were recently two of 22 players in the country named Soccer America's Preseason All-America first and second teams. Cheney, a senior from Indianapolis, Ind., was the Bruins' first-team selection. She has led the Bruins in scoring in each of her three seasons in Westwood. Leroux, a sophomore from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is one of the most promising young players in the country, having led the Under-20 U.S. National Team to a world championship in 2008.
Lieberman Joins Staff
Former Bruin player Louise Lieberman is in her first season on the UCLA coaching staff. She was named assistant coach in February, replacing Shannon MacMillan, who was with the program for two seasons. Lieberman arrived at UCLA after serving the last three years as Director of Coaching for the highly-competitive LA Rampage Futbol Club. As a player at UCLA, she was a second-team All-Pac-10 selection in 1995. She played in 78 games during her four-year career, helping the program claim its first two Pac-10 Championships in 1997 and `98. After UCLA, she played one year for the WUSA's Washington Freedom during the league's inaugural season of 2001.
Head Coach Jillian Ellis
Jillian Ellis is in her 11th season as head coach at UCLA. The 2000 NSCAA/adidas National Coach of the Year, Ellis owns a record of 209-36-12 at UCLA. Her 200th UCLA victory came just this season when the Bruins beat Utah back on Sept. 18. Her overall coaching record, which includes two seasons at the University of Illinois, stands at 228-54-12. She has led the Bruins to seven Pac-10 titles (2001, 2003-08) and seven appearances in the NCAA College Cup (2000, 2003-08).
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