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UCLA BLANKED BY NO. 1 HEELS NO. CAROLINA 3, UCLA 0.

Byline: Daily News

UCLA entered Friday's match familiar with its opponent, North Carolina, having already lost to the top-ranked Tar Heels by three goals this season.

And little changed this time as UCLA lost 3-0 in a semifinal match of the NCAA women's soccer tournament at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.

Top-seeded North Carolina (26-0) will face Connecticut (15-5-3), which beat Florida State 2-0 Friday, in Sunday's final.

``I'm very proud of how our team played the whole season, and what I told them after the game was that one game doesn't define you,'' UCLA coach Jillian Ellis said. ``We had a great year.''

The loss snapped a winning streak at 11 games and unbeaten streak at 17 games for UCLA (20-2-3), which tied the school's single-season record for victories and shutouts (15).

UCLA had not allowed a goal in four playoff games, but that streak ended in the 24th minute as Alyssa Ramsey sent a bending ball into the box over the head of UCLA goalkeeper Arianna Criscione toward teammate Kendall Fletcher, who slipped it into net.

North Carolina went ahead 2-0 in the 29th minute when UCLA senior Kat Lee chased down a long ball, gained control and sent a pass back toward Criscione. The goalkeeper misplayed the ball, allowing Lee's pass to dribble into the back of the net.

Despite the deficit, UCLA came out aggressively in the second half as the two teams played 40 minutes of scoreless soccer.

However, North Carolina proved too strong, scoring in the 86th minute when Heather O'Reilly bounced a left-footed shot off the right post.

``We expected them to come out like a buzz saw and I think they did,'' Ellis said.

UCLA's best chance to score came in the 13th minute when Lindsay Greco, who finished with a team-high three shots, forced goalkeeper Aly Winget to make a diving save.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Dec 6, 2003
Words:313
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