UCLA's Cheney named Women's Player of the Year

Lauren Cheney's year began with her earning her first cap for the USA in January and it ended with her being named the 2007 Soccer America Women's Player of the Year.

Cheney, who broke a UCLA freshman record with 19 goals in 2006, set the Bruin record for goals (23) and points (57) in a season and the Bruins back to the Women's College Cup.

Cheney grew up in Indianapolis and first began playing soccer at the age of 4, shortly after undergoing open-heart surgery to correct a congenital heart defect.

She was the first player ever to win both the NSCAA/adidas High School and Youth Player of the Year awards in the same year (2005) and has followed that up with two sensational seasons at UCLA.

The sophomore played a huge role in UCLA's 22-game unbeaten streak it took into the semifinals.

Indeed, the Bruins would not reached the finals in College Station but for Cheney, who saved them against Virginia in the round of 16.

UCLA was trailing Virginia, 1-0, at home with seven minutes to play when Cheney broke through the Cavalier defense with a brilliant run and set up Kristina Larsen for the equalizer and scored the golden goal to keep UCLA alive en route to its fifth consecutive appearance in the Women's College Cup.

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