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NCAA Final Sunday (R for semis)

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It's Sinclair vs Lang in the final.

UCLA breeze past Florida St 4-0, Lang with the 3rd in minute 58, while Sinclair scores the decisive penalty for Portland over Penn St. after going scoreless for 120 minutes.

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Ramona Shelburne\ Staff Writer

625 words

2 December 2005

Los Angeles Daily News




© 2005 Los Angeles Daily News. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights reserved.

UCLA's women's soccer team heads to the College Cup final four confident in its ability to put the ball in the net.

Sophomore Danesha Adams and freshman Kara Lang, two of the country's most dangerous attackers, have combined for 36 goals and 83 points - 11 and 32 during the Bruins' NCAA Tournament run - en route to today's semifinal in College Station, Texas, against Florida State.

The Bruins (21-1-2) are making their third successive final-four appearance. A victory over the Seminoles (20-3-1) would send them to Sunday's final against Penn State (23-0-1) or Portland (22-0-1), who meet in the first semifinal.

Adams, who has 20 goals, and Lang, a Canadian national team star, have much to do with that.

"It's a nice sequence, isn't it?" UCLA coach Jillian Ellis said. "Kara attracts a lot of attention up front, and when she draws people in, we can spring Danesha, who's probably the fastest kid in the country."

They're roommates in Westwood, along with starting goalkeeper Val Henderson.

Lang was the No. 1 recruit in the nation last season, but Adams has emerged seemingly from nowhere. She was in the U.S. under-16 national team pool as a freshman at Walnut High, in the San Gabriel Valley, but dropped out of the Olympic Development Program after moving to Ohio before her sophomore year.

"She was not on a lot of people's radar, but I thought she was fantastic," Ellis said. "The thing that impressed me was that not only was she a great athlete, but she had great feet."

Adams was a freshman All-American last season, but with stronger fitness and focus has been far better this year. And Lang, an international star who played every minute for Canada at the 2003 Women's World Cup, has made an immediate impact.

She debuted for Canada in March 2002 at the annual Algarve Cup in Portugal, then became the youngest player to score in an international game - a mark Mia Hamm had held - two days later against Wales.

By 16, she'd left home in Oakville, Ontario, to train with the national team in Vancouver. After the 2003 World Cup, there was talk that she might forgo college and turn pro.

"It was an option and something that was in the back of my mind," said Lang, a big, intense player who has spent time in midfield and on the backline, benefiting internationally from Canada's direct, long-ball style. "Realistically, I could've done that, but I don't think I would've excelled."

Lang, recognizing that her ball skills could use more sophistication and choosing a program that could develop them, instead headed to UCLA. There she teamed up front with skillful Mexican midfielder/forward Iris Mora, who has served as a mentor.

"In order to be the all-around player that I hope to be someday, this was the best option for me," Lang said. "It's been tough adjusting to the different style of play, but it's exactly what I needed. The more technical, skillful part of the game, that's the stuff I need to work on."

Ramona Shelburne, (818) 713-3617


photo, 4 boxes; Caption: Photo: Freshman Kara Lang, right, and sophomore Danesha Adams have combined for 36 goals to lead UCLA's women's soccer team to the NCAA College Cup final four. John Lazar/Staff Photographer

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Considering that it was known for a few days that the NCAA championship final was featuring Canadians Christine Sinclair and Kara Lang on opposite sides, that the CSA with all their know-it-all staff could have written a nice article for the website. But oh no, they chose instead to write about statistics for club championships. I understand that the media at times let us down, but there is no excuse for our main soccer body to ignore this.

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Guest Jeffery S.

Sinclair with two goals, and some interesting info about PORTLAND (eg that attendance, considering it is a university with less than 5,000 students.

Portland 4, UCLA 0

By CHRIS DUNCAN, AP Sports Writer

December 4, 2005

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Portland ended UCLA's near-perfect run in the NCAA tournament by producing a shutout of its own and getting a record-setting performance from its star player.

Christine Sinclair scored two goals, setting an NCAA record in the process, and Portland beat UCLA 4-0 in the national championship game on Sunday.

Angie Woznuk added a goal and two assists for the Pilots (24-0-2), who won their second title in three years. Portland beat Santa Clara 2-1 in the 2002 championship game.

"This team just showed the whole country what it's built out of -- a lot of class, a lot of talent, a lot of hard work and a foundation that will always be with us," Portland coach Garrett Smith said.

Sinclair, a member of the Canadian national team, scored both of her goals in the first half, giving her 39 this year. Entering the game, Sinclair was tied for the NCAA season mark with SMU's Lisa Cole, who had 37 goals in 1987.

Sinclair was already the NCAA tournament's all-time goal scorer and finished her career with 25.

The Bruins (22-2-2), who outscored their first five tournament opponents 25-0, lost in the title game for the second straight year. They lost to Notre Dame on penalty kicks last year after playing to a 1-1 tie.

"My heart and soul is with my team," UCLA coach Jill Ellis said. "I'll try to console them and remind the things they've done this season and the successes they've had."

With UCLA's defense keying on Sinclair from the start, Woznuk moved to an opening, took a feed from Megan Rapinoe and zipped a right-footed shot under UCLA goalkeeper Valerie Henderson just 92 seconds into the game.

"To score a goal that early, I think, makes the other team question a little bit what they're capable of," Woznuk said.

UCLA had shut out 17 of its previous 19 NCAA tournament opponents before Woznuk's goal, the fastest the Pilots had scored in a game this season.

"They did a great job to capitalize on our mistake," Ellis said. "That certainly put us behind the 8-ball."

The Bruins had trailed 1-0 in four games this season and came back to win twice. By halftime Sunday, it was clear they wouldn't rally this time.

UCLA midfielder Danesha Adams got the Bruins' best chance of the opening half, outfighting Portland defender Stephanie Lopez and goalkeeper Cori Alexander for a loose ball. Adams had an open net, but a tough angle and sent a hurried shot into the outside of the goal.

Adams was still shaking her head about the miss later.

"Those are chances I need to capitalize on. You only get a few in the game," Adams said. "That goal could've made a difference right there."

Instead, the Pilots took control, keeping the ball in the Bruins' end for most of the rest of the half.

Not long after Adams' miss, Sinclair ended a three-game scoring drought when she hammered a sharp pass from Woznuk past Henderson from the top of the penalty area with 23:39 left before the break.

Sinclair's next goal was even prettier. With her back to UCLA defender Bristyn Davis, Sinclair spun free and ripped a left-footed shot under Henderson with 3:57 left in the half.

"That's probably the best half I've seen our team play," Sinclair said. "It was just perfect timing."

The only drama in the second half came when Sinclair hurt her left knee in a collision with UCLA midfielder McCall Zerboni. Sinclair stayed down for about a minute, then got up to applause and stayed in the game.

Referee Sandra Hurt asked Sinclair if she was hurt and Sinclair shot her an incredulous look.

"There was no way I was going off in this game," she said.

Rapinoe scored with 13:38 left, giving her a team-best six for the tournament.

Even the weather bounced Portland's way.

The game time temperature was a brisk 50 degrees, much different from the balmy, breezy weather for Friday's semifinals.

The overcast, Oregon-like conditions didn't bother the 500 Portland fans who traveled to Texas this weekend. The Pilots set an NCAA attendance record this season, drawing 40,841 to 12 homes .

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Players In The News

Monday, December 05, 2005

Sinclair Leads Pilots To Second National Title In Four Years

Christine Sinclair sets

NCAA single-season

scoring record

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 1 Portland Pilots are the 2005 NCAA National Champions after a dominating 4-0 win against the No. 4 UCLA Bruins in the College Cup Final at Aggie Soccer Stadium on Sunday. Senior striker Christine Sinclair scored twice giving her 39 goals this season for a new NCAA single-season record. Sophomore midfielder Angie Woznuk added a goal and two assists, while freshman forward Megan Rapinoe also scored and recorded an assist to give UP its second national title in the past four years. The Pilots (23-0-2) are only the second national champion (North Carolina, 10 times) to finish a season unbeaten.

The Bruins (22-2-2), led by Canadian team striker Kara Lang of Oakville, Ont., outscored their first five tournament opponents 25-0 but lost in the title game for the second straight year. They were beaten by Notre Dame on penalty kicks last year after playing to a 1-1 tie.

It’s the second national title in any sport for the University of Portland. UP won the 2002 NCAA Women’s Soccer National Championship, meaning the four current Pilot seniors, Sinclair, midfielder Lindsey Huie, defender Kelsy Hollenbeck and forward Colleen Salisbury, finish their careers on The Bluff with two national titles. Portland also becomes just the third school in NCAA history with multiple titles, joining North Carolina’s 17 championships and Notre Dame’s two.

'What do you say after a game like that?' asked Portland coach Garrett Smith. 'The first thought through my head was, ‘Clive (Charles), there’s number two for you.’ This program was built on a great foundation and this team just showed the whole country what it’s built out of. It’s built out of a lot of class, a lot of talent, and a lot of hard work, and a foundation that will always be with us.'

The Pilots wasted little time getting on the board as Woznuk scored Portland’s fastest goal this season in the second minute. Huie started the play when she stole a UCLA pass about 30 yards out from the Bruins’ goal. Huie then found Rapinoe who advanced it toward the 18-yard box. The Bruin defense collapsed on Rapinoe who sent a pass to an unmarked Woznuk in the middle of the box. Woznuk punched it inside the right post giving Portland the early 1-0 advantage. The score was the first allowed by the Bruins this postseason.

'I think as far as the goal goes, that’s exactly what we needed,' said Woznuk. 'To score a goal that early makes the other team question a little bit what they are capable of.'

UCLA had its first good look in the 15th minute when sophomore midfielder Danesha Adams made a run down the middle of the field. UP junior goalie Cori Alexander and junior defender Kari Evans momentarily slowed down Adams, but the ball deflected to the left inside the penalty box. Adams had an open net, but from a difficult angle from the extreme left of the goal, her shot from 10 yards out hit the side netting of the Pilot goal.

UP responded with another goal six minutes later from Sinclair, the reigning national player of the year. Sinclair ended a career-long three-game scoreless streak off a perfect ball from Woznuk. Woznuk made a run down the middle of the field but reversed direction about six yards from the goal. Woznuk passed it back to streaking Sinclair who fired a rocket into the top right corner of the net from the top of the box to make it 2-0.

Sinclair added her second goal of the game with about 4:00 left in the half. Sophomore forward Natalie Budge’s cross from the right made it through a handful of defenders and found Sinclair inside the box to the left of the goal. Sinclair made a turn, beating the UCLA defender, and went low just inside the far post for a 3-0 Pilot lead. It’s the 110th career goal for Sinclair, second most in NCAA Division I history, and gives her 25 career post-season goals, an NCAA record. Her 56 career post-season points are also tops in NCAA history and her 252 overall career points are fourth best all-time.

Portland suffered a scare in the second half when Sinclair hit the turf after bumping knees with UCLA’s McCall Zerboni. Sinclair was on the field clutching her right knee for about a minute before climbing to her feet. She stayed in the game and appeared to be all right.

UCLA tried to apply more pressure in the second half, but it was the Pilots who dominated the time of possession. The Bruins recorded eight shots in the second half, but never seriously challenged the Pilot frame.

Portland was able to find the net one more time to take a 4-0 lead. Woznuk fed Rapinoe just outside the box to the right of the arch. Rapinoe cut back towards the middle of the field to lose her defender and finished inside the near post with her left foot just out of the reach of Bruin goalie Valerie Henderson. It’s the 15th goal this season for Rapinoe and her sixth of the post season. Woznuk picked up her ninth assist.

This marks Portland’s first win ever against UCLA as the Bruins won the previous three meetings. Portland finished the match with a slight 13-12 advantage in shots and had five shots on goal to the Bruins’ four. Alexander made three saves for her 11th shutout this season. Henderson made one save for UCLA.

'I felt like we were completely focused,' Huie said. 'Nothing could pull us away from what we planned to do because we had absolutely nothing to lose today.'

The Bruins had five corner kicks, while Portland had only three. The Bruins also picked up three yellow cards in the contest.

Sinclair was named the tournament’s offensive MVP, while Alexander was named the defensive MVP. Huie, Woznuk, Rapinoe and sophomore defender Stephanie Lopez were named to the all-tournament team.

The Pilots are scheduled to fly into Portland International Airport at 11:35 a.m. Monday morning. A celebration is planned to honor the 2005 National Champions starting at 1 p.m. on Monday in the Chiles Center on the UP campus. The championship trophy will be on hand as will the entire Pilot team. Coach Garrett Smith, Athletic Director Larry Williams, University President Rev. E. William Beauchamp and two players are schedule to speak. The event is open to the public.

Courtesy: www.portlandpilots.com


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