Oh, what a week it has been for Bruins: this time last weekend, Jim Mora and our football team was systematically taking apart the Trojans and demonstrating that the Bruins were back. Since, we've seen Mora spurn his own alma mater for UCLA, effectively proving what we've all known: that UCLA, a "basketball" school is still a better football program than a "football-first" school like Washington (not to mention we're the better academic school too). We've watched Southern Cal hire a seven-win nobody and then our own Adrian Klemm spurn Second Choice to stay in Westwood (kind of like the entire UCLA student body). And to cap off the week, our Lady Bruins soccer team went on the road, in a mostly pro-Virginia crowd and after nearly giving the game away, came roaring back to equalize and force it into penalties, winning in dramatic fashion to set up a national title date with Florida State.
While most of Seminole Nation is tuned into Jameis Winston and his football teammates' quest for the BCS title, our Bruins will be getting ready to deny the Seminoles a two-title fall. Today, coach Amanda Cromwell met with the media, along with Sarah Killion, who made the key assist to help UCLA equalize in the 85th minute, and senior midfielder Chelsea Stewart. Video of the press conference is available on the UCLA official site here.
As for the match itself, our Bruins will be relying once again on the one-two punch of Darian Jenkins and Taylor Smith to lead the line up front, while hoping the usually reliable Abby Dahlkemper can shake off her massive blunder that led to Virginia's only goal, to lead the Bruin defense. Sam Mewis will once again be called on to work the engine room and set the pace from the heart of the midfield. Once again, expect the Bruins to try to stretch the field with overlapping left back Caprice Dydasco (who not only tries to play like Patrice Evra, but wears the same #3 on her kit). Finally, UCLA will once again have Katelyn Rowland tending goal, who has been absolutely massive all season along, and never more important than in yesterday's PK shootout, with her two huge saves making the difference.
The Seminoles, on the other hand, will turn to Icelandic hit-woman Dagny Brynjarsdottir (team-leading 14 goals, 5 assists) and Irish defender Megan Campbell (team-leading 13 assists). But the Seminoles aren't a two-hit team, with fellow Icelandic striker Berglind Thorvaldsdottir (7 goals, 3 assists) and California native attacking midfielder Jamia Fields (5 goals, 8 assists) also creating goal threats for the stout UCLA defense, with Fields being the hot-hand, having scored twice in the semi-final against Virginia Tech, including the game winner on a floated shot from 22 yards out that really looked more like a mis-hit cross than a shot. But in the end, all that mattered was that it ended up in the back of the net (after deflecting off the woodwork and the back of Virginia Tech's 'keeper), and in the 83rd minute, it couldn't have come at a better time.
Tomorrow's battle for the national championship kicks off at noon PST in North Carolina and will be broadcast live on ESPNU. We'll have a game thread up for those of you tracking the game and keeping your fingers crossed that by the end of Sunday, the Lady Bruins will be lifting UCLA's 110th national championship.