Freshman Chandler Hoffman scored the game-winning goal in his first NCAA Tournament match (Photo Credit: Official Site)
The first-seeded Bruins were all set to face Virginia in what has become an every other year NCAA Tournament game. After beating the Cavaliers in the 2005 and 2007 NCAA Tournaments, the two took to the field again last Friday night with a spot in the NCAA Quarterfinals on the line. It only took until the fourth minute for the Bruins to get on the board when Dea Cook scored off of an inch perfect corner played in by Lauren Barnes. After that, Sydney Leroux tallied twice to beat the Cavs, 3-0. Leroux's two goals gave her eight on the postseason, a UCLA record just three matches in and it also gave her 23 goals on the year, tying the single season mark set by Lauren Cheney as a sophomore. Cheney, now a senior, picked up an assist on Leroux's first goal and is now tied for the school record for points in a career. UCLA will now play second-seeded Portland in the Quarterfinals on Saturday at 5 pm PST. The match-up has become the west coast's top rivalry that has produces a series of intense and ultra-competitive matches. This edition of the rivalry will be hosted by UCLA at Drake Stadium and the winner will advance to the College Cup.
Since advancing to the National Championship Match in 2006, the Bruins had not made it out of the NCAA Tournament's second round. That changed when UCLA, seeded sixth and recipients of a first round bye, defeated Sacramento St. at Drake Stadium, 2-1. The scoring started in the 31st minute when David Estrada was brought down in the box and earned a penalty kick, which was converted by Kyle Nakazawa. In the 75th minue, Sacramento St. equalized, but it took only five more before Hoffman Chandler got on the end of a cross and finished for the game-winning goal. Next up for the Bruins is a Round of 16 match-up versus unseeded UC Santa Barbara in a rematch of the 2006 title game. That match is scheduled for Sunday at 5 pm PST at Drake Stadium.
Former UCLA keeper Nick Rimando won MLS Cup MVP honors as his Real Salt Lake team beat the LA Galaxy in the MLS Cup. The match, which went to penalty kicks, was the second consecutive penalty kick win for Rimando after he was victorious a week earlier in the conference championship match that went to penalties.
#7 UCLA entered the weekend just a half game out of the Pac-10 lead, but following the weekend, might as well kiss their conference title hopes good bye. The weekend began with an easy win at Oregon St., 25-20, 25-23, 25-16. The weekend's next match, the Bruins' final road match of the regular season, went much longer, was much tougher and had a much different result. #18 Oregon battled back from a UCLA 2-0 set advantage to defeat the Bruins in five sets and drop UCLA to 21-8 overall and 11-5 in the Pac-10. Now, the Bruins must win both of their matches versus the Arizona schools this weekend at home, while also getting a Cal win over Stanford and at least one win from one of the Oregon schools over Washington. That would put the Bruins into a tie, with tiebreakers I don't feel like figuring out right now.
After a rocky start to open the year, coach Nikki Caldwell's team got back on the winning track last week. A school-tying record 12 three-pointers paced the Bruins as they thrashed Hawai'i, 98-52, in a game where freshman Markel Walker's 12 points, 12 rebounds and eight steals left her just two steals shy of a triple-double. In their next game, it was all defense as UCLA held Utah to 24% shooting and 33 points in the Bruins' 69-33 win. Now 3-1, UCLA will host Princeton on Wednesday, then play at #5 Tennessee on Saturday in a game that will be shown on Fox Sports South.
Women's Swimming and Diving
At the Toshiba Classic, the Bruins finished third overall, behind Cal and Stanford.
Shannon Murakami and Marco Anzures received berths to the NCAA Championships and will be the lone Bruins in competition on Monday.
In the SAC Tournament, hosted by UCLA, the Bruins took two of their three matches. The Bruins lost to UC Santa Barbara, but beat Cal Baptist and Cal St. Northridge.
Men's Water Polo
The MPSF Tournament begins on Friday at USC with the Bruins playing Pepperdine. Because only four teams qualify for the NCAA Tournament, UCLA will need at least a MPSF Tournament Final appearance to have a chance at a NCAA Tournament bid and may need to win it.
A pair of victories, one over Biola and one over College of the Canyons, ended the Bruins' fall slate.
The Blue team swept the Gold in the Blue-Gold World Series. I'll have a couple pieces that include quotes from Coach Savage in the next couple weeks.
Calendar (all times pacific)
Monday, November 23
Cross Country, NCAA Championships, All Day- Terre Haute, IN
Wednesday, November 25
Women's Basketball vs. Princeton, 7:00 pm- Pauley Pavilion
Friday, November 27
Men's Water Polo vs. Pepperdine (MPSF Tourney), 3:00 pm- Los Angeles, CA
Women's Volleyball vs. Arizona, 3:00 pm- Pauley Pavilion
Saturday, November 28
Women's Basketball at Tennessee, 12:00 pm- Knoxville, TN, TV: Fox Sports South
Women's Volleyball vs. Arizona St., 3:00 pm- Pauley Pavilion
Women's Soccer vs. Portland (NCAA Quarters), 5:00 pm- Drake Stadium
Men's Water Polo vs. TBA (MPSF Tourney Semis), TBA- Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, November 29
Men's Soccer vs. UCSB (NCAA Round of 16), 5:00 pm- Drake Stadium
Men's Water Polo vs. TBA (MPSF Tourney Final), TBA- Los Angeles, CA