Nov. 14, 2010
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By Brian Ormiston
UCF vs. UCLA
Nov. 13, 2010
|From Los Angeles, Calif.
UCLA Goals: Elise Britt (42nd min), Sydney Leroux (49th min)
UCF Goals: Bianca Joswiak (76th min)
UCLA: Chante' Sandiford - 90:00 min, 1 GA, 4 SV
UCF: Aline Reis - 90:00 min, 2 GA, 3 SV
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (UCFAthletics.com) - Playing across country as a seeded team for the second-straight season, the UCF women's soccer team was unable to survive a very difficult trip to Los Angeles as it fell to host UCLA, 2-1, Saturday in the NCAA Tournament Second Round. The No. 4-seeded Knights finished the 2010 campaign with a 15-5-3 record, a Conference USA regular-season title and its 15th trip to the postseason.
"It's a shame we came out so slow in the first half because we took it to them in the second half, outshot them for the game and had chances to tie it in the last 15 minutes," said head coach Amanda Cromwell. "I just feel bad that we didn't play a complete 90 minutes today. It was one of those games where we faced a quality team with a lot of dangerous threats, and we needed to take advantage of our opportunities and not let them get easy goals like their header off a corner. I do congratulate UCLA for executing their game plan. We just have to figure out how to get past the Second Round."
With 15 victories, the Knights racked up at least 14 wins for the fourth-consecutive year. Cromwell will enter her 13th season at UCF in 2011 with a 173-73-18 record as a Knight including a 98-14-6 mark in conference matches.
Saturday in Los Angeles also marked the final match in a Black and Gold uniform for seniors Lauren Halbert, Kacie Horner, Amanda Martorana, Jaclyn Meade, Kim Newsome, Christina Petrucco and Brianna Schooley. The class captured three conference titles and reached the NCAA Tournament Second Round each of the last four years.
UCLA, which has advanced to seven-straight NCAA College Cups, improved to 13-7-2 on the year and will take on either No. 1 seed Stanford or Santa Clara next weekend.
"I can't say enough about our seniors," said Cromwell. "Brianna came in and made a huge impact in the second half including getting an assist. Lauren had a great game, Petrucco has been in and out of the lineup because of injuries and Kim was a tremendous threat all year. Amanda and Lauren played through a lot of injuries, and Kacie and Jaclyn are those leaders on the bench you need and they have great attitudes. So my heart hurts for them."
UCF completed the night by outshooting the No. 24-ranked Bruins, 12-9, including eight shots in the second half.
As the meeting between the two veteran NCAA Tournament programs got underway, shots were hard to come by early on. The Knights did place two shots on goal, although they were right at Bruins' keeper Chante' Sandiford.
However at the other end, it would be UCLA's fourth corner of the evening that allowed it to grab a 1-0 lead right before the half, as Dana Wall sent it in the 18 where Elise Britt headed it just inside the right post.
That goal would help UCLA carry momentum into the halftime break, and it stayed on the Bruins' side when Sydney Leroux headed in a goal in the 49th minute for a 2-0 advantage. UCF hoped to keep it close, and less than a minute later it came within inches of lighting up the scoreboard yet Tishia Jewell's shot from the top of the box clanked off the crossbar.
The Knights' next-best chance came in the 71st minute off a throw-in deep towards the UCLA net, but Kristina Trujic's attempt was not struck cleanly and Sandiford was able to make the save.
Still down by two, the Black and Gold kept at it and the hard work finally paid off in the 76th minute. A thru-ball by Schooley got into the box and Bianca Joswiak, who was racing up from her spot on the backline, made a diving attempt and she got enough of the ball to get it across the line for her third goal of the year.
UCF maintained pressure and had three more chances directly in front of the goal and were only a few feet away from evening things up each time, only it could never get a clear look at the net as a UCLA defender got in the way each time. With the Bruins somehow not allowing the Knights to get the equalizer, the initial two-goal lead was able to hold up to permit UCLA to advance.
Even though the 2010 season has wrapped up, UCF will have numerous contributors back for next year. Junior keeper Aline Reis ranks third all-time with 266 saves, and the 2010 starting backline consisted of one sophomore and three freshmen in Joswiak, Marissa Diggs, Ashley Nicol and Sokhara Goodall.
Meanwhile, junior midfielders Stacie Hubbard and Katie Jackson as well as freshman Trujic combined for 33 points this past season. And up front, sophomores Jewell and Nicolette Radovcic amassed 16 goals, while Katy Ling, Katie Bolinsky and Andrea Rodrigues also totaled four goals for the attack. Jewell finished as the Knights' top-point producer with 32, and she matched Newsome for the team lead in goals with 10.
"There are a lot of bright spots for next year," said Cromwell. "We have a great recruiting class coming in, and we're already very young and talented. We have to learn from this and grow, and look forward to making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament next season, not just get to the first two rounds.
"It's kind of bittersweet because our returning players are going out on somewhat of a bright note since we dominated UCLA at the end of the game and that is a team that has been to the Final Four seven-straight years."