Good morning, BNers. Let’s talk some UCLA sports this morning in today’s edition of What’s Bruin?
The NCAA has released the bracket for the 2016 NCAA Tournament and UCLA’s path to the Women’s College Cup (the "Final Four" of soccer) appears to be a tough one. UCLA, one of the four #4 seeds, faces Seattle in the Round of 64, which will take place at Drake Stadium on Friday, November 11th at 7 p.m. This is a game that the Bruins (13-5-1) should win as Seattle (14-5-1), have not played the same level of competition as UCLA.
If they do prevail on Friday, the Bruins will host the winner of Nebraska v. South Dakota State. Nebraska (11-5-4), the home favorite versus SD State (10-7-3), would be a tough Round of 32 match up for UCLA. The Huskers’ RPI is #20 (UCLA is #11). A Silver lining is that Nebraska hasn’t been that great on the road, with a 3-4-3 record away from Lincoln.
But UCLA’s real challenge, should both teams make it that far, would be in the Round of 16. UCLA is slated to match up with West Virginia (19-1-1), the number one overall seed and the top ranked team in the nation. That game would be in Morgantown.
In other Women’s Soccer news, UCLA swept the PAC 12 Player of the Week awards in the wake of it’s 1-0 victory over Southern Cal at the StubHub Center. Annie Alvarado, who scored UCLA’s only goal, won offensive player of the week; Hailie Mace won defensive player of the week; and Teagan Michah won goalkeeper of the week with seven saves and a clean sheet against the Trojans.
Finally, UCLA was well-represented in All PAC 12 Honors. Jessie Fleming was named to the First Team. Darian Jenkins, who missed the last eight games of the season, was named to the Second Team. Three other Bruins were honorable mentions and three, including Fleming, made the All Freshman team
After going 1-1 in their road trip to the Pacific Northwest last weekend, UCLA remains unranked, with one home game remaining against a tough #16 San Diego State squad (9-4-4).
The match-up at Drake Stadium, tomorrow evening, November 10th, at 6 p.m. PT, is critical. Although UCLA (9-7-1) is guaranteed a winning record, it remains to be seen if UCLA can make the field if it does not prevail against the Aztecs. UCLA’s RPI is currently #28. A win by UCLA should cement a tournament birth in the field of 48. I believe that tomorrow night’s game against San Diego State is a "must win" for UCLA.
The UCLA Women’s Basketball team has signed a top recruit for the 2017 season, Chantel Horvat. Horvat, a 6’1" guard from Australia, is the 15th ranked player in 2017 and the 3rd ranked guard. Horvat sounds like a well-rounded player who can score, rebound, and play defense.
Welcome to Westwood, Chantel!
Men’s Water Polo
After beating both San Jose State and Whittier in a doubleheader last weekend, the UCLA Men’s Water Polo team (24-0) has one regular season game remaining, at Southern Cal (19-1) on Saturday, November 12th, at 11 a.m. PT. The game will be televised on the PAC 12 Network.
UCLA’s has extended it’s winning streak to 57 games. Southern Cal has one loss on the season, to UC Berkeley. It should be a great showdown.
Go Bruins! Beat $C*!
And that’s What’s Bruin in the world of UCLA athletics.