Showdown In Tinseltown
Nov. 20, 2008
Top-Seeded UCLA to Host Fourth-Seeded USC in NCAA Round of 16
Courtesy of UCLA
In a rematch of last year's College Cup Semifinals, the top-seeded and undefeated UCLA women's soccer team (20-0-2) hosts fourth-seeded USC (16-4-2) in an NCAA Round of 16 clash this Saturday at Drake Stadium beginning at 6:30 p.m. The winner advances to the quarterfinals to face either second-seeded Duke or third-seeded Virginia next week. Tickets for Saturday's match are $10.00 for adults and $8.00 for youth/students.
Following the Action
Those unable to attend Saturday's match can listen live over the internet by clicking HERE. Gametracker live stats are also available HERE. Clicking on the link now will give you a stat comparison between the two teams leading into the match.
UCLA vs. USC Take II
A series record 7,804 fans turned out to watch the first meeting between the two teams this season at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Oct. 24. A pair of goals by UCLA forward Kristina Larsen proved to be the difference, as the Bruins notched a 2-1 road victory to remain atop the conference standings.
UCLA/USC Series History
UCLA has dominated the series with its cross-town rival, leading the all-time series 16-3-1. Prior to the Women of Troy's win at last year's NCAA College Cup, the Bruins had won eight straight in the series. UCLA has also outscored USC, 51-21 in the 20 total meetings between the two teams. USC has never beaten UCLA in Westwood, as the Bruins take an 11-0 home record against the Women of Troy into this week's match.
How They Got Here
UCLA advanced to this week's round of 16 following a pair of shutouts in the first two rounds of the tournament. The Bruins defeated Fresno State, 5-0 in its opener last Friday night, as senior McCall Zerboni led the Bruins with a hat trick in that match. UCLA then defeated No. 17 San Diego, 1-0 on Monday, following an own goal by the Toreros in the 78th minute. USC was a 2-0 winner over Boston University in the first round, and followed that up with a 1-1 tie against BYU, eventually winning in penalty kicks.
Gauntlet Points Up for Grabs
Although the Bruins already own the five Lexus Gauntlet points awarded for women's soccer in the UCLA-USC all-sport's race, a win for UCLA on Saturday is still very important in terms of the final outcome. A USC win would gain 2.5 of those points back for the Trojans, who currently lead the race 15-5. The Trojans won the Lexus Gauntlet Trophy last year by a score of 67.5 to 42.5.
School Shutout Record Could Fall
With its next shutout, UCLA will break the school record for shutouts in a season, as this year's team will have 19 - one more than the 2000 team that reached the NCAA Final.
Bruins Eyeing Two More Records
Although it won't be determined until the end of the season, UCLA will likely break the current single-season school records for goals allowed and goals against average. The Bruins have only surrendered four goals this season, well below the record of 10 given up by the 2000 squad. In addition, the Bruins' goals against average of 0.18 is on pace to break the 0.41 mark also posted by the 2000 team.
Did You Know?
UCLA owns a 3-0 record against the teams still alive in the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins' wins have come over USC (2-1), Stanford (1-0) and Portland (1-0).
Three Olympians Highlight Saturday Showdown
UCLA's Lauren Cheney and Kara Lang will join USC's Amy Rodriguez on the field this Saturday as players who participated in the recent Beijing Olympic Games. Cheney and Rodriguez were teammates on Team USA's run to the gold medal, while Lang was a member of Canada's squad which did not advance out of group play.
UCLA Earns a No. 1 Seed for the Second Year in a Row
For the second year in a row - and third time in program history - the UCLA women's soccer team has earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The other top seeds this year are Notre Dame, North Carolina and Stanford. Below is the Bruins' seeding history in NCAA Tournament play.
Year Seed Result 2000 #6 Final (L to North Carolina, 2-1) 2001 #3 Quarterfinals (L to Florida, 1-0 2OT) 2002 #7 Rd. of 16 (L to Texas A&M 0-0 Pks) 2003 #4 Semifinals (L to North Carolina, 3-0) 2004 #14 Final (L to Notre Dame, 1-1 Pks) 2005 #1 Final (L to Portland, 4-0) 2006 #2 Semifinals (L to North Carolina, 2-0) 2007 #1 Semifinals (L to USC, 2-1)
Bruins Win a Sixth Straight Pac-10 Title
With its 2-1 double-overtime victory over Oregon State on Nov. 9, UCLA guaranteed itself at least a share of its sixth straight Pac-10 Championship. The Bruins then won the title outright two days later, defeating Oregon, 2-0 to end the conference season with a perfect 9-0 record. It marks the third time in program history that UCLA has not lost a match in conference play (1997, 2007 and 2008).
Bruins End Regular Season at No. 2
UCLA checks in at No. 2 in the final NSCAA/adidas Coaches' Poll of the regular season. The Bruins are also ranked No. 2 in rankings issued by Soccer America, Soccer Times and Soccer Buzz. New rankings will not be issued again until the conclusion of the NCAA Tournament.