No. 1 UCLA and No. 9 USC Face Off This Friday Night
Oct. 24, 2007
The Rivalry Continues This Friday With Top 10 Showdown at Drake
The No. 1 ranked UCLA women's soccer team (11-1-2; 4-0 Pac-10) hosts one of its biggest matches of the year this week, as No. 9 USC (11-1-2; 3-0-1 Pac-10) visits Drake Stadium this Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Bruins head into Friday's showdown as the unanimous No. 1 team in the country, unbeaten in their last 13 matches. The Women of Troy are ranked No. 9 in the NSCAA/adidas Coaches' Poll, but are ranked as high as No. 2 in Soccer Buzz. Tickets for the match are $7 for adults and $5 for youth/students. UCLA students are admitted free with a valid Bruin Card. Friday is a doubleheader with the UCLA men's team, as it will host Oregon State at 5:00 p.m. Fans unable to attend the matches can follow either the GameTracker Live Stats or the live internet audio.
The UCLA vs. USC Series
UCLA has dominated the series with its cross-town rival, taking a 15-2-1 record into Friday's match. The Bruins have not lost to USC since 1998, a 5-4 Trojan win at USC. Meanwhile, the Bruins have won seven in a row, including nine of the last 10. Even though UCLA had the upper hand in the series, the matches have been extremely competitive in recent years, with the Bruins needing overtime to win the last three meetings. It's worth noting that both of USC's wins and the one tie in the series all came in matches at USC. The Bruins are a perfect 10-0 against the Women of Troy when playing at home.
Year - Winner Score1993 - UCLA 6-0 - UCLA 2-01994 - UCLA 1-0 - UCLA 3-1 (OT)1995 - UCLA 4-11996 - USC 3-21997 - UCLA 3-11998 - USC 5-41999 - UCLA 3-02000 - TIE 1-1 - UCLA 3-02001 - UCLA 2-12002 - UCLA 2-02003 - UCLA 2-02004 - UCLA 3-2 (2OT)2005 - UCLA 3-2 (2OT)2006 - UCLA 2-1 (OT)
UCLA Moves Into Driver's Seat in Pac-10 Title Race
When factoring in Pac-10 title implications, UCLA concluded arguably its most important road trip of the season last week, picking up a pair of crucial conference victories against ranked teams in the Bay Area. The Bruins began the weekend with a 2-0 win against Stanford in a battle featuring the top two teams in America. Lauren Cheney scored UCLA's first goal in a penalty kick in the 37th minute. Christina DiMartino added an insurance goal in the 75th minute to seal the win. UCLA was equally as impressive against No. 19 Cal on Sunday, taking its second 2-0 win of the weekend. Cheney scored both Bruin goals in that contest, upping her season total to 16. In fact Cheney, who also assisted on DiMartino's goal against Stanford, had a hand in all four UCLA goals over the weekend, as the Bruins moved into sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 with a perfect 4-0 record.
It's Unanimous...UCLA is No. 1!
For the first time in program history, UCLA owns the top spot in every major poll this week. The Bruins, who were already No. 1 in rankings issued by NSCAA/adidas and Soccer America, just recently moved up to the top spot in the Soccer Buzz national poll. The Bruins are also No. 1 in rankings by Soccer Times and Top Drawer Soccer. UCLA owned all 32 first-place votes in this week's NSCAA/adidas Coaches' Poll.
Cheney Makes a Case for National Player of the Year
Sophomore forward Lauren Cheney leads the nation in goals per game with a 1.14 average. She has scored 16 goals in 14 matches this season, coming off a weekend in which she scored three of UCLA's four goals in wins over No. 2 Stanford and No. 19 Cal. In addition, she is ranked No. 2 nationally in points per game at 2.69. Cheney ranks first in the Pac-10 in several categories, including points (38), goals (16) and game-winning goals (5). She has a legitimate chance of breaking the UCLA single-season record for goals (22) and points (52). Both of those records were set by Traci Arkenberg in 1997. Cheney, who also ranks second in the conference with six assists, has had either a goal or an assist in 11 of UCLA's 14 matches this season.
For Her Efforts
With her outstanding weekend against Stanford and Cal (see above paragraph), Lauren Cheney has been named the NSCAA National Player of the Week. She was also named to the Soccer Buzz Team of the Week and is the current Pac-10 Player of the Week. Cheney becomes just the second player since the Pac-10 began giving player of the week honors in 1996 to win the award three times in one season.
Shutting Out the Conference
UCLA has yet to give up a goal in Pac-10 play, posting four shutouts in its first four matches. The Bruins began the conference season with a 1-0 victory over Oregon State on Oct. 12. They followed that up with a 3-0 decision against Oregon two days later. UCLA is coming off two more shutouts, defeating both Stanford and Cal by the same 2-0 score last weekend. UCLA is the only team in the conference yet to give up a goal, followed by USC which has surrendered just one.
Lexus Gauntlet Points on the Line
This week's battle with USC will mark the third time this year that the Bruins and Trojans have met in the all-sport competition between the two schools. The Lexus Gauntlet Trophy is given to the school with the most points at the end of the year-long competition. UCLA has already earned points this year with a win in women's volleyball, while USC gained some points with a win in men's water polo. UCLA currently leads the race 5 to 2.5. The Trojans and the Bruins have traded the trophy each of the past six years, as the all-time series is tied 3-3 after UCLA won the trophy last season.
Junior defender Erin Hardy recently made a successful comeback to the playing field after suffering an LCL sprain to her right knee against Cal State Northridge on Sept. 16. Hardy, who played the full 90 minutes in the Bruins' 2-0 victory over Stanford last Friday, missed a total of seven matches during her injury.
Unbeaten Streaks Keep Growing
Not only does UCLA take a 13-match unbeaten streak into this Friday's showdown with USC, but the Bruins actually own the longest home unbeaten streak in the country at 34 matches. The Bruins, who are 7-0 at home this season, have not lost at Drake Stadium since Sept. 9, 2005 (a 1-0 2OT loss to Penn State). UCLA has one tie during the streak, a scoreless draw against Washington State on Oct. 23, 2005. UCLA, which was a perfect 16-0 at home last season, also owns a 29-match home winning streak.
Mac Kechnie is Pac-10 Assist Leader
After recording an assist in UCLA's 2-0 victory over Cal on Sunday, junior Caitlyn Mac Kechnie moved to the top of the Pac-10 Conference in assists with seven. She is currently tied for third on the team in points with Christina DiMartino, who also has 15. Mac Kechnie, from nearby Camarillo, Calif., entered the season with just four points, all on assists. She scored her first career goal in UCLA's 3-1 victory over Cal State Northridge back on Sept. 16, and has added three more since. Her best match of the season came against No. 5 Santa Clara on Oct. 7, as she had a goal and two assists in the 4-1 Bruin win.
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. On the field, she recently broke the school record for shutouts and currently has 35 for her career.
UCLA has been on fire offensively, outscoring its opponents 25-3 in its last eight matches. Even more impressive is the fact that three of those matches were against top 5 teams (#2 Portland, #2 Stanford and #5 Santa Clara). Overall, the Bruins have outscored the competition 37-9 in 14 matches this season.
Henderson Breaks Shutout Mark
Goalkeeper Valerie Henderson broke the school record for shutouts by registering the 32nd of her career in UCLA's 1-0 victory over Oregon State on Oct. 12. Henderson, who currently has 35, was previously tied with former Bruin Lindsay Culp, who had 31 from 1996-99.
Adams Nears Two School Records of Her Own
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 five 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 need just two more starts during the NCAA Tournament to break the record.
UCLA's Christina DiMartino and Dana Wall both have sisters playing on highly-ranked Division I teams. DiMartino's sister, Gina, is a star on the No. 14 Boston College women's team. Wall's sister, April, plays for fifth-ranked Stanford.
Bruins Going for a Record Five in a Row
UCLA is looking to become the first school in Pac-10 history to win five straight conference titles. The Bruins are already the only school to win four in a row, winning it from 2003-06. UCLA has just five Pac-10 matches remaining. After this week's showdown against USC, the Bruins host the Arizona schools on Nov. 2 and 4, before rounding out the regular season in Washington against Washington State (Nov. 9) and Washington (Nov. 11). UCLA owns an overall record of 56-8-4 against its five remaining opponents.
PAC-10 Team Champions
1993 - STAN
1995 - STAN
1996 - STAN
1997 - UCLA
1998 - CAL/UCLA/USC
1999 - STAN
2000 - WASH
2001 - UCLA
2002 - STAN
2003 - UCLA
2004 - ARIZ/UCLA
2005 - UCLA
2006 - UCLA
* No champion was crowned in 1994 as women's soccer was deemed a nonsponsored Conference sport.
Barnes & Wright Making Immediate Impact
Eight players have started all 14 matches this season. Two of those players, however, are freshman, as defender Lauren Barnes and midfielder Kylie Wright have made an immediate impact in just their first season. Barnes is a member of a defense that has surrendered just nine goals this season, ranking third in the Pac-10. Wright has been solid in the midfield, recording one assist thus far. Both players were members of the Under-20 U.S. National Team that traveled to the Pan American Games in Brazil this past summer.