Abby Dahlkemper for the UCLA Bruins, 2011-2014

Abby led UCLA to its first-ever NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship in 2013, and finished her defensive career with five goals and 10 assists, appearing in all of the Bruins’ 93 games (92 starts) since her freshman year. With Abby guarding the back line, UCLA set a school record for least goals against in 2013 and 2014. She made history by becoming UCLA’s first-ever Honda Award winner for soccer, and she was also a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy in her junior year (and a semifinalist the following year), becoming the first defender in 10 years to be honored as such.

Abby is a four-time NSCAA All-American, first-team NSCAA All-Pacific Region and All-Pac-12 honoree and was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2014.


Stanny O’Press after Christen scored the game winning goal in the 93rd minute against UCLA in the 2009 NCAA Women’s Soccer College Cup Semifinals.

(KO scored Stanford’s earlier goal off an assist from Press, and Lauren Cheney scored the equalizer for UCLA. Other notable presences in this game were UCLA striker Sydney Leroux and head coach Jill Ellis).

Inventing Family: Chapter 1

Based on a prompt.  This was intended to be a one shot, but it’s definitely going to end up being a multi-chapter.

Clarke straightened her back, flexing her shoulder’s towards each other, and craning her neck to one side until she heard a slight pop.  She sighed in relief as the tension of a long day began to drain from her muscles.  She’d finished painting the bedrooms a week ago, and now that the walls were dry, they’d finally been able to assemble all the furniture that had been stacked in boxes for weeks.  Clarke knelt down, giving the last screw on the bookshelf she’d just put together a final turn for good measure.  She stepped back, smiling as she admired her handiwork.  One conversion crib, one toddler bed shaped like a Jeep, one bunk bed over a futon, three bookshelves, three chests of drawers, two desks, two toy chests, one changing table.  Clarke inventoried everything they’d put together in her head, making sure that there was nothing they’d forgotten.

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As a side note, science actually really, really needs the type of people who aren’t sure whether or not they should go into science. We need more people who would be just as likely to be fantastic historians or politicians or musicians or linguists. 

The pervasive myth of the “genius loner scientist” covers up the fact that those folks are generally very difficult to work with, stubbornly hold to outdated ideals, see paradigm shifts as a threat, are far more interested in advancing their own reputations than the science as a whole, and see outreach and education as “here is what you should think and if you don’t think that way you’re pointless” rather than a communication and exchange of ideas. They’re kind of the worst, and they’re what’s going to kill science more effectively than any budget cuts. If you’ve ever had one of them as a math teacher, you know what I’m talking about.

We need communicators. We need teachers. We need diverse people with diverse passions. We need people who have hobbies and interests and lives that extend beyond their tiny little sphere of research, because this stuff is so much easier and so much more interesting if you can draw inspiration and information from the other facets of your life.

The further I get from my undergrad science classes, the further I get from that one white dude who raises his hand in lecture every five minutes to say “Well, actually…” just to make himself sound smarter. 

The scientist giving lectures on ice and snow also drops out of helicopters with his son to ski down mountains. The up-and-coming young professor plays viola in the orchestra. One of my officemates was captain of an NCAA soccer team. A famous (and extremely busy) researcher I know stubbornly blocks out massive chunks of each and every week to spend extra time with his kids. One professor displays her gorgeous paintings of nebulae in her office. A high-level government scientist got so frustrated at her “genius loner scientist” colleagues that she went and got a PhD in communications and has since come back to show them what’s what. Half the friggin’ department runs marathons.

And this stuff pays off in unexpected ways. Bizarre collaborations can pop up, creative solutions to old problems. We don’t need more people who can integrate by parts at the drop of a hat, we need more people who can bring their diverse backgrounds and interests to the table.

Welp. The NCAA continues to remain the worst. Greedy assholes as usual. What a disappointment for these players. Especially for those CANWNT players who have new fans. I would have loved to have seen Buchanan in the game. Smh.

This isn’t about eligibility. It’s about the NCAA mad they can’t turn a profit somehow.

This is what made lip-syncing cool, right?