Bruins and Pilots to Battle for Spot in NCAA College Cup

Nov. 27, 2007


Friday's women's soccer match between top-seeded UCLA and second-seeded Portland was originally scheduled for 6:00 p.m. but has been moved to 7:00 p.m. to accommodate TV.

UCLA to Face Portland For Spot in NCAA College Cup
The top-seeded UCLA women's soccer team (19-1-2) hosts second-seeded Portland (18-3) this Friday in an NCAA Quarterfinal showdown at Drake Stadium beginning at 7:00 p.m. The match will be televised live by Comcast Sports Net in the Northwest and in the Bay Area. There will be no local broadcast in the Southern California Area. The winner will advance to next week's NCAA College Cup in College Station, Texas. Tickets for this Friday's match are $10 for adults and $8 for youth/students. Free internet audio and GameTracker live stats can be accessed at:

UCLA vs. Portland Take Two
UCLA takes a 5-1 all-time record against Portland into this Friday's encounter. The two teams have already met once this season, with the Bruins taking a 2-1 overtime victory over the Pilots at Drake Stadium back on Sept. 28. UCLA sophomore Kara Lang, playing just her first match of the season after returning from the Women's World Cup, had both Bruin goals in that match. BOX SCORE

Just Like `06
It marks the second year in a row that UCLA and Portland are meeting in the NCAA Quarterfinals, as the Bruins took a 2-1 win last year at Drake Stadium to advance to the College Cup in Cary, NC. In addition to their 5-1 all-time series advantage, the Bruins also own a 3-1 record against the Pilots in NCAA Tournament play. UCLA's wins have come in 1997 (1-0 - 1st Rd.), 2000 (1-0 - NCAA Semifinals) and 2006 (2-1 - NCAA Quarterfinals). Portland's win came in 2004 (4-0 - NCAA Final). 2006 Box Score

Another 20-Win Season?
At 19-1-2, UCLA is just one win away from its third straight 20-win season, as the Bruins won 22 matches in 2005 and followed that up with a 21-win effort in 2006. All four of UCLA's 20-win seasons have come under current head coach Jillian Ellis (2001, 2003, 2005, 2006). The school record for victories in a season was set by the 2005 squad that went 22-2-2. The Bruins can equal that win record if they capture the NCAA Championship.

Cheney's Golden Goal Lifts UCLA Past Virginia, 2-1
Forward Lauren Cheney's golden goal in the eighth minute of overtime sent the Bruins to a dramatic 2-1 come-from-behind victory over No. 7 Virginia on Friday evening at Drake Stadium. Both teams played scoreless soccer for the first 75 minutes until Virginia's Shannon Foley put the Cavaliers up 1-0 at the 65:29 mark. With UCLA less than eight minutes away from elimination, sophomore Kristina Larsen tied things up with a goal in the 83rd minute. That set the stage for Cheney's overtime heroics, as her goal at the 97:46 mark put the Bruins in the quarterfinals for the fifth straight season.

Cheney Breaks Single-Season Scoring Record, Ties Two More
Sophomore Lauren Cheney broke the UCLA single-season scoring record on Friday night against Virginia, as her three points in that match gave her 55 on the season. She entered the night tied with former record holder Traci Arkenberg, who had 52 points in 1997. In addition, Cheney's game-winning goal in that match tied her for two more UCLA marks, as she is now tied with Arkenberg for single-season goals (22), and with Danesha Adams for single-season game winners (9). Arkenberg set her goal mark in 1997, while Adams' game-winning goal record was set 2005.

Home Unbeaten Streak Reaches 40
Portland faces a daunting task in its quest to reach the NCAA College Cup, as it will need to snap the nation's longest home unbeaten streak at 40 matches. UCLA's last home loss came against Penn State back on Sept. 9, 2005, as the Nittany Lions took a 1-0 victory over the Bruins in double-overtime. UCLA's home winning streak, which began following a 0-0 draw against Washington State back on Oct. 23, 2005, stands at 35.

UCLA Against the Elite Eight
UCLA owns a 25-7-1 record against six of the seven remaining teams in the NCAA Tournament (UCLA has never faced West Virginia). As expected, most of UCLA's wins have come against USC, where the Bruins own a 16-2-1 advantage. UCLA's record against the other five are: Portland (5-1), Duke (2-1), Florida State (1-0), UConn (1-1) and Notre Dame (0-2). The Bruins' record against the six teams in NCAA Tournament play is 7-3.

Bruins Going for Five in a Row
UCLA is one win away from becoming only the third team in NCAA Division I women's soccer history to appear in five straight NCAA College Cups, joining North Carolina (1982-2003) and Massachusetts (1983-87). The Bruins, however, would be the only team to do it in the current 64-team format, enacted in 2001.

Both Schools Take Winning Streaks Into Showdown
It's too bad that UCLA and Portland are forced to meet before the College Cup, as the two teams are arguably the hottest in the country at this point in the year. The Bruins take a 16-match winning streak into this Friday's encounter, while the Pilots own an 11-match winning streak of their own.

Timely Scoring
Sophomore Kristina Larsen entered the postseason with just five points on two goals and an assist in 18 matches this year. Since the NCAA Tournament began, however, Larsen has been on fire, scoring a goal in each of the Bruins' three tournament matches. Her six points in the tournament tie her for the team lead this postseason, joining Lauren Cheney (2g, 2a) and Christina DiMartino (1g, 4a). In terms of all-time NCAA Tournament scoring, Danesha Adams tops the list with 37 points on 17 goals and three assists.

Adams Breaks UCLA Mark for Most Starts
Danesha Adams has started more matches than any player in UCLA history, as the Bruin senior broke that mark with her 89th career start in the second round against Oklahoma State, surpassing Whitney Jones, who started 88 matches from 2000-03. Another record that Adams could tie or break is the career mark for game-winning goals currently held by Traci Arkenberg, who had 26 from 1994-97. Adams, who has four this season, is at 25 for her career.

Henderson, Calvert Excel in the Classroom Too
Bruin goalkeeper Valerie Henderson recently earned first-team ESPN The Magazine All-District-VIII honors, making her eligible for the 2007 Academic All-American Team announced later in the year. In addition, defender Catherine Calvert was named to the third team. Henderson, who is an English major with a minor in Spanish, owns a 3.49 cumulative grade point average. Calvert, a psychology major, carries a 3.36 GPA.

Cheney Named Pac-10 Player of the Year, Ellis Coach of the Year
Bruin forward Lauren Cheney became the first UCLA player since Nandi Pryce in 2003 to earn Pac-10 Player of the Year honors, as she earned the conference's top on Nov. 15. In addition, UCLA's Jillian Ellis was named coach of the year, as a total of eight Bruin players took home all-conference honors. In addition to Cheney, the Bruins' first-team selections were midfielders Danesha Adams and Christina DiMartino, along with goalkeeper Valerie Henderson. Defender Erin Hardy and forward Kara Lang were named to the second team. Midfielder Kylie Wright was UCLA's lone honorable mention selection, while she and defender Lauren Barnes were named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team. It marked the second coach of the year honor for Ellis, who also won the award in 2003.

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, who were picked as the favorite by conference coaches at the beginning of the season, have won four out of the five championships outright, sharing the 2004 title with co-champion Arizona.

Pac-10 Facts
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. The Bruins' Pac-10 record during their five-year stint as champions is an impressive 38-4-3.

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