After a season as the #1 team in the nation, the UCLA Women’s Soccer look for redemption after losing in the Regional Final to Virginia.
In 2013, coach Amanda Cromwell did the impossible… she won the first ever National Championship for UCLA Women’s Soccer in her first year.
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In 2014, she followed that up with an impressive regular season that saw the Bruins go undefeated, hold on to the #1 ranking all year long and won the Pac-12 Championship in front of a record crowd at USC. It was incredible.
Unfortunately, it did not last as the Bruins were eventually taken down at the worst possible moment. After running through Harvard, San Diego and Pepperdine with a collective 13-0 score, the Bruins met their match against Virginia and just like that, the Cavaliers ended the Bruins’s season with a 2-1 victory. The season was over.
Though it was painful to realize, it was also fantastic to see what exactly the Bruins accomplished last season. Though they did not capture another national title, there were several things to be proud of.
- Finished with a record of 21-1-2
- Goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland set new NCAA record for all-time shut-outs with 55
- Rowland set the NCAA record for single-season shut-outs with 19
- Rowland set a school record for consecutive shut outs with 10
- UCLA set a school record with a 44-game unbeaten streak (6th best in NCAA history)
- UCLA set a school record for shut-out minutes with 969
- Ally Courtnall and Sam Mewis were Academic All-Americans
- 11 players made the All-Pac-12 team
- Sam Mewis was the Pac-12 Player of the Year
- Abby Dahlkemper was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year
Yes, it was that kind of year. It was unfortunate that the Bruins could not top it off with a national title, but that is where the Bruins get to pick up where they left off.
Though the UCLA Women’s Soccer team lost several great players from last season, six of who are now in the National Women’s Soccer League (NSWL), the Bruins are expected to continue their dominance in 2015.
Dec 8, 2013; Cary, NC, USA; UCLA Bruins midfield/forward Jenna Richmond (7) and midfield/forward Sam Mewis (22) and midfield/forward Sarah Killion (16) celebrate on the podium. The Bruins defeated the Seminoles 1-0 in overtime at WakeMed Soccer Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Last week, the Bruins were ranked #4 in the NSCAA preseason rankings. That says a lot about what the team and coach Cromwell are doing at UCLA. The cupboard is not exactly empty for the Bruins who have several players returning from last season including Taylor Smith, Annie Alvarado, Darian Jenkins and Kodi Lavrusky (who scored the game-winning goal in the 2013 National Championship Game). Though UCLA Women’s Soccer lost a lot of weapons, they also have several waiting for their turn to attack.
That all begins today at the North Athletic Field as the Bruins take on Missouri in an exhibition game. Though it is only a warm-up for the season, expect the Bruins to come out on fire and get back to their winning ways. It may not be as dominant as last season, but give it a few years, if not months.
The Bruins might not be the #1 team all season long again, but that does not mean they will not be in the mix for another shot at an NC. Losing the way they did in last year’s tournament does something to a squad and for this UCLA Women’s Soccer team, that is something that will not stand this year.