UCLA Womens' Soccer in Final Four

The UCLA Women's Soccer team is in the College Cup, the equivalent of the Final Four, playing a semi-final today against perennial power North Carolina. It's UCLA's sixth straight trip to the Final Four, without having won a national championship in the previous five...

The UCLA Women's Soccer team has advanced to the NCAA College Cup, the equivalent of the Final Four.

The #1-seeded Bruins (22-0-2) will face #1 seeded North Carolina (23-1-2) today, in Cary, North Carolina, at 4:00 p.m. today.

The game will be televised by ESPNU.

The other semi-final will pit #1-seeded Notre Dame (25-0) against #1-seeded Stanford (22-1-2) at 1:30 today on ESPN2.

The final is on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. and will be televised by ESPN2.

Notre Dame finished the season ranked #1, with UCLA #2, with North Carolina ranked #3 and Stanford ranked #4.

It's UCLA's sixth straight College Cup, having advanced this far the previous five seasons without having won a national championship.

UCLA beat Duke last Friday at UCLA's Drake Stadium, 6-1, to advance to the final four.

The Bruins have given up the fewest goals of the College Cup teams, allowing just 5 in 24 games this season. The school record for goals allowed is 10, which UCLA will almost certainly beat.

This is the first time UCLA has gone undefeated in its regular season.

UCLA set a school record for shut-outs this season, registering 19 on the year.

North Carolina, of course, is easily considered the #1 program in women's college soccer. The Tar Heels have won 18 national championships, including 9 in a row from 1986 to 1997.

UCLA has never beaten UNC, being 0-6 in the all-time series. UCLA lost to North Carolina, 2-1, in the 2000 national championship game.

UCLA is 9-4-2 against Stanford all-time, including beating them 1-0 on October 31st in Pac-10 play. UCLA is 0-2 against Notre Dame, losing in the 2004 NCAA Final to the Fighting Irish.

UCLA is led by junior strikers Lauren Cheney and Kara Lang, with Cheney having played on the U.S. Olympic team that won the gold medal, and Lang on the Canadian Olympic team; senior All-American midfielder Christina DiMartino and senior midfielder McCall Zerboni, who leads all players in the NCAA tournament with 9 points (4 goals, 1 assist); and junior forward Kristina Larsen, who leads the team in goals on the season with 13.

Cheney injured her knee in the quarterfinal win over Duke, and isn't considered 100%, but will start against North Carolina.

UCLA is without a star freshman, Sydney Leroux, who is playing for the U.S. team in the U-20 World Championships in Chile and currently leading that team in goals and assists. The U.S. team beat Germany in the semi-final yesterday, 1-0, with Leroux scoring the game-winning goal. The U.S. will face North Korea in the U-20 World Cup Championship, Sunday, December 7th, the same day as the NCAA championship.


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