Women's Soccer 2013 NCAA Tournament #2 UCLA / #3 South Carolina Region 2nd and 3rd Round Game Breakdowns

#2 UCLA / #3 South Carolina Region 2nd and 3rd Round Game Breakdowns


#2 UCLA vs. Kentucky

This is a rematch from the second round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament down at San Diego State where the Bruins overwhelmed the Wildcats 5-0. This year I would expect a more competitive contest as both teams are coming in off of impressive first round victories. UCLA started fast against San Diego State getting an early first minute goal from Sam Mewis that took the pressure off the outstanding back line of the Bruins and allowed them to play much more aggressively and pull away from the Aztecs in a 3-0 victory. Kentucky took care of Ohio State with three second half goals with Arin Gilliand’s goal in the 54th minute being the game-winner. The Wildcats outshot the Buckeyes 26-9 and their consistent ability to generate pressure with their attack will make for an intriguing matchup against the Bruins back line. The difference in this match is going to be who can finish scoring chances consistently and how well Kentucky responds to the challenge of the travel to Los Angeles. UCLA should grind out a result but they will be tested by a very good Kentucky side that is capable, if they play well, of pulling the upset.  


#3 South Carolina vs. Stanford

The Gamecocks rolled over Furman in the first round 5-0. The offense was led by Coryn Bajema’s two goals and Sabrina D’Angelo’s SEC leading 12th shutout of the season.  The South Carolina back line limited the Paladins attack all match long. The Gamecocks met the Cardinal two years ago in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Palo Alto and lost 2-0. Stanford got back on track after two losses to end the regular season as Taylor Uhl’s goal in the 14th minute secured a 1-0 victory over Cal State Fullerton. The Cardinal attack was on point, generating 21 shots, and it will be key for them to continue to be consistent in their possession game if they are going to knock off the Gamecocks. This matchup should be very tightly contested and end up 1-0 or 2-1. I don’t see either attack pulling away from the other in this match. I think Stanford’s experience and not having to travel across the country could be the difference, but South Carolina has the personnel to match up with the Cardinal and get a result.


Looking ahead to the third round, I think if UCLA gets Stanford, Bruin nation will be on edge the entire match as the Cardinal have been the nemesis of the Bruins in recent NCAA tournaments. The other likely scenario is the seeds holding and South Carolina gets a shot at UCLA. This matchup could have some high drama as both teams are outstanding defensively and the specter of a 0-0 or 1-1 draw, with the match going to penalty kicks, is very possible if these two sides were to meet in the third round.


See all Women’s Soccer Breakdowns