These two teams battled twice in the fall. Duke was 15 shots better than UCLA at Stanfords event back in October. The Blue Devils won, while the Bruins finished third.
There was also a head to head showdown in November at the Match Play event, with Duke once again taking care of business, winning by a 3-1-1 margin over Carrie Forsyths team.
With Regionals beginning on Thursday, I will make my way back to California, and get another first hand look at UCLA. I have no doubt they will advance, and most likely win the West Regional, but I am more interested in the mindset of this team. A talented group, led by Charlotte Mayorkas, the Bruins feel they are good enough to compete with Duke.
But I think competing with Dan Brooks team is a far cry from knocking them off. This is by no means a shot at the UCLA squad. It is simply having the mindset to know they can beat them, and only two teams can claim that. Georgia and Ohio State were first and second at the Liz Murphey in Athens, Georgia in March, when Duke was shorthanded with only four players.
I am curious to talk with UCLA after Regionals are over, to see just how confident they are in winning the years final event.
From Dukes standpoint, they have been on a mission all year long, and after having their streak snapped in Athens, I believe they have been more focused on making sure there are no other slip ups along the way.
Join Jennifer Mills and me this evening on College Central presented by PING at 10:30 p.m. ET, as we look a little deeper at this UCLA team and some others who are hoping to show that west coast teams have a chance to be the best by seasons end.
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