#6 UCLA Women's Soccer 2013 Preview

UCLA Bruins

Overall Rank #6
Conference Rank: #2 Pac-12
#6 UCLA Women's Soccer 2013 Preview
UCLA Team Page


A new era begins in Westwood in 2013 for the UCLA Women's Soccer program. Amanda Cromwell takes over as the new head coach replacing B.J. Snow who left after two seasons to take over the U-17 Women's National Team head coaching position. Cromwell inherits a very experienced and talented UCLA squad that is looking to get back to the College Cup in 2013. The Bruins made a run to the Elite Eight in 2012 losing at Stanford. This experienced squad will be a team on a mission to win the first national title in program history after having a one-goal lead in the Elite Eight in Palo Alto.
2012 Record:  18-3-2, 8-2-1
2012 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Amanda Cromwell
The ability to lock teams down defensively is a huge strength for the Bruins as they allowed just 13 goals in 2012. The key to the defensive success is the ability to limit chances. UCLA’s opponents were held to just 159 shots total all season long. Junior Abby Dahlkemper is the anchor of this lockdown defense. Dahlkemper was a second-team NSCAA All-American and selected to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List in 2012. Junior Katelyn Rowland returns in goal for 2013.  Rowland was outstanding in 2012 as she posted 17 wins, had a goals against average of 0.53, and had 11 shutouts. UCLA is also tough to deal with at home in Drake Stadium. The Bruins were 9-1-2 in 2012 and have a home schedule that sets up well for them to potentially run the table at home in 2013. The offense scored 53 goals in 2012 and was consistent all season long. Taylor Smith is the leading returning goal scorer with eight. Expect increased goal production as well from Sam Mewis as she has the ability to be a double-figure goal scorer.

The question is who is going to step up and take over the go to role as the top scoring threat replacing Zakiya Bywaters?  Bywaters was the number one overall draft pick in the 2013 NWSL Draft and scored 15 of UCLA's 53 goals in 2012. There are several candidates, with Rosie White, Sarah Killion, and Taylor Smith the most dynamic returning players in the attack, to pick up that slack. The other storyline will be how the team buys into the new coaching staff and how long it will take UCLA to gel. It does typically take some time for teams, no matter how talented, to adjust to a new coaching staff. The quicker the Bruins come together as a team, the better as the non-conference schedule will force them to be ready to play at an elite level in the month of September.

Final Projection:
The Bruins will be playing one of the best out of conference schedules in all of women's college soccer. In early September, UCLA will travel to Notre Dame and Duke for two tournaments taking the likes of Marquette, Notre Dame, North Carolina, and Duke. If the Bruins can knock out a couple of results in this two- week stretch, it will be a huge confidence builder. This aggressive scheduling by new coach Amanda Cromwell should only strengthen the Bruins preparation come NCAA tournament time. The biggest road trip in conference play will be the Bay Area swing to Stanford and Cal in the middle of October. If the Bruins can develop a dynamic scoring threat to replace the loss of Zakiya Bywaters, they should be able to go down to the wire with Stanford for Pac-12 supremacy in 2013 and host for the majority of the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason: NCAA
Returning Leaders:
Goals: Taylor Smith, Sophomore, Forward, 8
Assists: Sarah Killion, Junior, Midfielder, 6
Shots: Rosie White, Junior, forward, 38
Saves: Katelyn Rowland, Junior, Goalkeeper, 46
Madness 2013 Women's Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#3 Gabrielle Miranda
#8 Zoey Goralski
#16 Lauren Kaskie
#49 Darian Jenkins
#64 Alyssa Alarab
#96 Claire Winter
#128 Annie Alvarado


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