UCLA Plays for First NCAA Women's Soccer Championship
NCAA Final @ Cary, N.C. UCLA vs. Florida St. Sunday, Dec. 8 - 12:00 pm PT/3:00 pm ET TV: ESPNU / Watch ESPN Live Stats - ncaa.com
Bruins Playing for National Title The second-ranked and No. 2 seed UCLA women’s soccer team (21-1-3) will play for a spot in history on Sunday as the Bruins look to win their first-ever NCAA title and UCLA’s nation-leading 110th. UCLA will face third-ranked and No. 1 seed Florida State (23-1-3) in the championship match at WakeMed Park in Cary, N.C. at 3 pm ET/12pm PT. The match will be televised live on ESPNU.
UCLA will be playing in its fourth national final and first since 2005. Florida State has played in one prior final, losing in 2007 to USC in College Station, 2-0. The Seminoles, who have made seven College Cup appearances, including three consecutive, are also seeking their first NCAA championship.
Regardless of the outcome, women’s soccer will crown its 10th different champion and second first-time winner in three years. (Stanford won its first championship in 2011.)
UCLA’s College Cup History UCLA has advanced to the College Cup nine times, most recently in 2009, holding a 4-8 overall record. The Bruins have been to three previous finals, in 2000 (2-1 loss to North Carolina), 2004 (loss in PKs, 4-3, to Notre Dame) and 2005 (4-0 loss to Portland). UCLA is 2-4 in College Cups held in Cary. The Bruins had a streak of seven consecutive College Cup appearances from 2003-09.
UCLA Against the NCAA Field UCLA posted an 9-1-1 record against members of the 64-team NCAA Tournament field during the regular season, picking up victories over Northeastern (4-0), No. 2 seed Marquette (2-1), Notre Dame (1-0), Duke (2-1), San Diego State (2-0), Washington State (2-0), Stanford (2-1 in double overtime), California (1-0) and Colorado (1-0). UCLA also tied Utah (1-1) and lost a one-goal game to North Carolina (1-0).
Going for #110 UCLA has won 109 NCAA Championships among 18 teams and is looking for its first-ever in women’s soccer. The Bruins’ last championship came in June when the baseball team won its first-ever NCAA title. Women’s soccer is looking to make it two first-time winners in a row for UCLA.
UCLA’s NCAA championships teams: Baseball (1) Men’s Basketball (11) Men’s Golf (2) Women’s Golf (3) Men’s Gymnastics (2) Women’s Gymnastics (6) Men’s Soccer (4) Softball (11) Men’s Swimming & Diving (1) Men’s Tennis (16) Women’s Tennis (1) Women’s Indoor Track & Field (2) Men’s Outdoor Track & Field (8) Women’s Outdoor Track & Field (3) Men’s Volleyball (19) Women’s Volleyball (4) Men’s Water Polo (8) Women’s Water Polo (7)
Girl Power With a championship win on Sunday, UCLA head coach Amanda Cromwell could become only the second woman to coach a Division I team to the NCAA Women’s Soccer championship. The only other woman to accomplish this feat was Becky Burleigh, who coached Florida to the 1998 NCAA title.
Cromwell, who is in her first year at UCLA, is also looking to become the first head women’s soccer coach to win a NCAA title in their first season at a school since Ali Khosroshahin did it at USC in 2007.
Unbeaten Streak Extends to 20 UCLA’s unbeaten streak is now at 20 after the tie with Virginia in the semifinals. The Bruins are 17-0-3 with 14 shutouts in those 20 games. This is UCLA’s longest unbeaten streak in a single season since the 2008 team went unbeaten in its first 24 games with a 22-0-2 mark.
Postseason Shutout Streak Broken UCLA’s four-game shutout streak came to an end in the semifinals, but the Bruins have allowed just one goal in its five NCAA Tournament games for a goals against average of 0.19.
Tough Road UCLA has had a tough road to get to the College Cup, knocking out the last two NCAA champions and the top-ranked team in the nation in the last three rounds. The Bruins defeated 2011 champion Stanford in the third round, 2-0, before battling 2012 champion North Carolina to a 1-0 double overtime road victory in the quarterfinals. UCLA beat top-ranked Virginia in a penalty kick shootout in the semifinals after tying 1-1. Next up is a final matchup against third-ranked and ACC Tournament champion Florida State.
UCLA in NCAA Tournament Play UCLA is making its 17th consecutive and 18th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament and ninth appearance in the College Cup. The Bruins have a 51-15-3 all-time NCAA Tournament record.
Pac-12 - Conference of Champions UCLA’s appearance in the College Cup extends a streak of 11 consecutive years in which a Pac-12 team has advanced to the Final Four. UCLA began the conference’s streak in 2003 with the first of seven consecutive appearances. Two Pac-12 teams made it in 2007 (UCLA and champion USC), 2008 and 2009 (UCLA and Stanford), and Stanford has been holding it down from 2010-12, winning in 2011. The Pac-12 is trying to become the first conference to have three different teams win the NCAA women’s soccer title. The West Coast Conference also has two champions (Santa Clara and Portland), as does the ACC (North Carolina and first-year member Notre Dame).
Scouting the Seminoles Florida State is ranked No. 3 in the nation by the NSCAA and No. 1 by Soccer America. The ACC Tournament champion Seminoles have outscored their opponents in NCAA Tournament play, 17-3. Junior midfielder Dagny Brynjarsdottir is Florida State’s leading scorer with 33 points (14g, 5a), including 10 in the NCAA Tournament (4g, 2a).
The Series with Florida State UCLA has played just once against Florida State, defeating the Seminoles, 4-0, in the 2005 NCAA semifinals.
UCLA vs. the ACC UCLA is 3-1-1 against ACC schools this season, posting wins at Notre Dame (1-0), at Duke (2-1), and at North Carolina (1-0 in double OT), as well as a tie vs. Virginia in the NCAA semifinals (advanced on PKs, 4-2). UCLA’s lone loss came at North Carolina on Sept. 6, 0-1. The Bruins are looking to knock off their third-straight ACC foe in the championship.
Walters Looks to Knock Off Former Team Two days after UCLA head coach Amanda Cromwell eliminated her alma mater Virginia, assistant coach Joshua Walters will get his chance to knock out his former team, Florida State. Walters, the 2013 NSCAA Pacific Region Assistant Coach of the Year, was the Director of Operations for the Seminoles in 2011 when they advanced to the College Cup.
Semifinals - Bruins Win PK Shootout UCLA advanced to the NCAA Championship game by downing Virginia in a penalty kick shootout, 4-2, after rallying for a late goal to tie the game 1-1 with five minutes to go in regulation. Defender Ally Courtnall started the heroics by scoring the game-tying goal in the 85th minute. In the penalty kick shootout, Sam Mewis, Sarah Killion, Lauren Kaskie and game-clincher Rosie White converted their kicks, and goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland stopped two shots to send UCLA to the title game.
All Goals Go Through Mewis Sam Mewis has been dominant on the offensive end during the postseason, leading the team with seven points off one goal and five assists. She has had a hand in six of UCLA’s 10 goals in tournament play. Her five assists tie the school record for NCAA Tournament assists in a season and lead all players this year, and they also bring her career NCAA Tournament total to six, which ranks sixth on UCLA’s all-time list.
Follow the Leader UCLA has trailed in just five games this season, for a total of 47 minutes. Marquette was the first team to grab a lead on the Bruins this year, scoring in the first minute, but the Bruins tied three and a half minutes later. North Carolina handed UCLA its only loss of the year, scoring the only goal of the game in the 79th minute back on Sept. 6. Utah became the first Pac-12 team to take a lead on UCLA, holding a 1-0 lead for five minutes before the Bruins tied it up. USC held the longest lead on UCLA, 15 minutes, but the Bruins won the game, 4-1. Virginia was nearly five minutes away from winning the NCAA semifinal matchup after scoring in the 73rd minute, but Ally Courtnall tied it up 12 minutes later in in the 85th minute to keep UCLA’s hopes alive.
Nation’s Best Defense UCLA leads the nation in goals against average with a team GAA of 0.31 and has allowed just eight goals all season and never more than one goal in a single game. The Bruins also rank fourth nationally in save percentage (.890) and sixth in shutout percentage (.680).
Bruin goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland has been virtually unstoppable in 2013, allowing just six goals, one of which was on a penalty kick. She leads the nation in goals against average (0.285) and save percentage (0.900). With 35 career shutouts, Rowland ranks second on UCLA’s all-time list, just three behind all-time leader Valerie Henderson, who had 38 from 2004-07. Rowland also ranks second on the career wins list with 52 and fifth on the saves list with 151. She set a new school record for single-season shutouts with 14.
Providing a strong backbone of support for Rowland have been central defenders Abby Dahlkemper and Megan Oyster and outside backs Caprice Dydasco and Ally Courtnall.
Fast Starts Ten of UCLA’s 50 goals this year have come in the first 10 minutes of the game, including six in the first five minutes (Northeastern - 2:42, Cal State Northridge - 2:15, Marquette - 4:27, Arizona - 4:45, San Diego State - 0:43, Kentucky - 4:15).
May We Assist You? UCLA ranks third in the nation with 64 assists, and Sarah Killion leads the Pac-12 and is 11th nationally with 12 assists, which rank third all-time on UCLA’s single-season list. Taylor Smith is right behind Killion with 10 assists to rank third in the Pac-12, and Sam Mewis is fourth in the Pac-12 with nine assists. Caprice Dydasco also ranks in the Top 10 in the Pac-12 (ninth) with six. Fourteen different players have at least one assist this year, and seven of those 14 have four or more.
Mewis tied the school record for most assists in a game with three in the 4-1 victory over USC on Nov. 7. She also had the game-winning goal in the match. Teammate Jenna Richmond also holds a share of the record, having recorded three assists in the 7-0 win over Princeton a year ago.
Multiple Weapons Freshman Darian Jenkins leads 13 UCLA goal-scorers with 11 goals, ranking second in the Pac-12 in goals scored. Jenkins, who started her collegiate career by scoring a goal in each of her first four games, ranks second in the conference in points with 27. Taylor Smith is second on the team in goals scored (8) and points (26), while Sam Mewis and Kodi Lavrusky each have six goals.
Jenkins (27 points), Smith (26) and Mewis (21) are UCLA’s first trio of 20-point scorers since Sydney Leroux (48), Lauren Cheney (46) and Kristina Larsen (24) in 2009.
Three Bruins Earn NSCAA All-America Honors Three UCLA women’s soccer players earned NSCAA All-America honors in 2013, the most by a UCLA team since Lauren Cheney, Christina DiMartino and Erin Hardy in 2008. Making the All-America team were junior defender Abby Dahlkemper, junior goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland and freshman forward Darian Jenkins. This is the third-straight year Dahlkemper has been awarded and the second time she made the first-team. Rowland and Jenkins are first-time honorees.
Dahlkemper a MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist Junior defender Abby Dahlkemper was selected as a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy. Dahlkemper, who has been on the Hermann Trophy Watch List the last two seasons, earned NSCAA second-team All-America and first-team All-Pacific Region honors in 2012 after leading UCLA’s defense to a Pac-12 leading 14 shutouts and a team goals against average of just 0.55. This season, Dahlkemper has led UCLA to a nation-leading team goals against average of 0.28 and 17 shutouts and also has a goal and two assists. She is a three-time first-team NSCAA All-Pacific Region and All-Pac-12 honoree, as well as a second-team Capital One Academic All-District selection.