UCLA Women's Soccer Preview
TEAM QUICK FACTS
2009 Overall Record: 21-3-1
2009 Pac-10 Record: 8-1 (2nd)
Starters Returning/Lost: 6/5
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 20/7
Head Coach: Jillian Ellis
Alma Mater: William & Mary, 1988
Record at UCLA: 216-37-12 (11 seasons)
Assistant Coaches: B.J. Snow, Louise Lieberman
The Bruins enter the 2010 campaign off their seventh-straight NCAA Women's College Cup appearance. UCLA, who had dominated the Pac-10 for three years, dropped their first Pac-10 game since 2006 last season, but will be looking to return to the top of the Conference in 2010. The Bruins lost forward Lauren Cheney, who re-wrote the record books during her time in Westwood, but return a cast of quality players, including 2009 leading scorer Sydney Leroux. Junior forward Leroux netted 23 goals as a sophomore and will be looked to as the finisher again in 2010. Senior midfielder Kylie Wright will anchor the midfield for the Bruins and will be looked to as a leader. On the defensive side of the ball, senior defender Lauren Barnes will be the key for the Bruins. Barnes also was tied for the team lead with 10 assists last season. Leroux, Wright and Barnes were all named to the watch list for the prestigious M.A.C. Hermann Award. Redshirt junior Chante' Sandiford, who started 23 of 24 games played in 2009, garnered a 0.65 goals-against average, with 60 saves and nine shutouts in 2009. She will again be the last line of defense for the Bruins in 2010. Sophomore midfielder Zakiya Bywaters made a splash as a freshman last season playing in all 25 games for the Bruins and starting in 23. That invaluable experience as a freshman should help her to be an even bigger player for the Bruins in 2010.
Sept. 10 - Notre Dame at UCLA, 4:00 p.m. PT
Oct. 10 - Stanford at UCLA, 1:00 p.m. PT
The Bruins have a huge early season challenge with Notre Dame on Sept. 10 at the UCLA Women's Cup. The Fighting Irish are ranked fourth in the NSCAA Preseason Poll, right behind the Bruins who are ranked third.
UCLA will look to avenge its loss to Pac-10 rival Stanford in the semifinals of the 2009 Women's College Cup. In Pac-10 play, the Cardinal also handed the Bruins their first Conference loss since 2006. UCLA will definitely be up for this game, with the result possibly having implications on the Conference champion.
PLAYER TO WATCH
#2, Sydney Leroux
Jr., F, Vancouver, British Columbia
Leroux led the Bruins and was second in the Pac-10 with 23 goals scored in 2009. The Vancouver, British Columbia native was named Second Team All-Pac-10 for her efforts and helped lead the Bruins to their seventh-straight NCAA Women's College Cup appearance. Leroux took 98 shots in 2009, with 55 on goal. She led the team with 48 points overall. Her knack for finding the back of the net will be key for the Bruins in 2010, especially with the loss of goal scorer Lauren Cheney. Leroux is also very durable, starting in 24 of 25 games for the Bruins last season. She was a M.A.C. Hermann Trophy semifinalist in 2009 and earned Third Team NSCAA All-America honors. As a freshman in 2008, she played in 19 matches, making 18 starts and was a member of the Pac-10 All-Freshman team.