#1 UCLA Women's Soccer 2012 Preview

UCLA Bruins

Overall Rank: #1
Conference Rank: #1 Pac-12
UCLA Women's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
UCLA Team Page


The first season under Head Coach B.J. Snow got out of the blocks to a blazing start as they ran the table going unbeaten in their first 12 games. Outside of a loss at Stanford and a penalty kick shootout loss to San Diego at Drake Stadium in the NCAA Tournament, it could be argued that Snow put together one of the best seasons ever in the history of a first year head coach. The transition to Snow from Jillian Ellis went as smoothly as it did because Snow was given plenty of opportunities to run the program when Jillian Ellis was off on national team duty. Thus, fast forward to the 2011 season when Snow was in control for the first time, along with a very talented squad, and you have an UCLA program that is well on the way to going on another lengthy run of College Cup appearances under Coach Snow.

2011 Record: 16-1-4, 8-1-2
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: B.J. Snow

The ability to defend at an elite level has always been a staple of the UCLA women’s soccer program and the 2011 season was no different as the Bruins only allowed 12 goals all season. Katelyn Rowland returns in goal for her sophomore season. Rowland had a very impressive 10 shutouts and a 0.61 goals against average for the Bruins. Sophomores Ally Courtnall and Abby Dahlkemper will be counted on heavily to anchor the UCLA backline and, with their continued growth, they should set the stage for another lockdown defensive squad for Coach Snow. Sam Mewis will be the leading candidate offensively to take the reins from Sydney Leroux as the anchor scoring threat for the Bruin attack. Mewis scored six goals in 2011 and will be expected to be a double-digit goal scorer in 2012 for the UCLA offense to get back among the most dominating in all of women’s soccer.

The 2011 UCLA Bruin offensive attack, while still pretty good, was not at the level that they have been in their runs to the College Cups on a regular basis. The Bruins only scored 44 goals in 2011 and their inability to really put teams away offensively came back to get them in the NCAA Tournament with San Diego pulling off the major upset and knocking the Bruins out on penalty kicks. The ability to replace Sydney Leroux, a 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist for Team USA Women’s Soccer, is going to be a telling story in whether or not the Bruins can return to the College Cup in 2012.

Final Projection:
The Bruins will hit the ground running schedule wise with an east coast road swing to UCONN and UMASS to open the 2012 campaign. They also will get a good test at Drake Stadium from Big 10 foes Wisconsin and Illinois. Plus a Tennessee squad, under new head coach Brian Pensky, comes to Westwood. Thus, the Bruins should be very battle tested heading into league play. In the Pac-12 it should be another knockdown, drag out battle with Stanford. And this season the Bruins get home-field advantage for Senior Day on October 28th in what should also be the game of the year in the Pac-12 conference this season. The Bruins need to do a more consistent job of finishing scoring chances, as outside of a couple scoring explosions against Colorado and Arizona they hovered around the one to two goal plateau in the majority of the games.  If Mewis rises her goal scoring and Jenna Richmond can push the double digit mark in scoring goals, the Bruins should be able to break the 60 to 70 goal plateau offensively and be a serious threat to win the first national championship in program history.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Sam Mewis, Sophomore, MF, 6
Assists: Sam Mewis, Sophomore, MF, 7; Jenna Richmond, Junior, MF, 7
Shots: Sam Mewis, Sophomore, MF, 54
Saves: Katelyn Rowland, Sophomore, 42

Madness 2012 Women’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#10 Taylor Smith
#19 Kodi Lavrusky
#50 Kristiana Konkol-Mroczkowski
#65 Cassandra Sternbach
#91 Taylor Alderete