WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's soccer team kicks off a four-game road swing this weekend with a pair of matches in Albuquerque, N.M. The Wildcats play at New Mexico on Thursday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. MDT, then they face Evansville in a neutral contest on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 1 p.m. MDT.
ABOUT ARIZONA: At 0-4-0, the rebuilding Wildcats are still seeking their first win of the season. They dropped home games to both Pittsburgh (2-1 OT) and Utah (4-1) last weekend.
Sophomore forward Naomi Chu is Arizona's leading scorer, with one goal and one assist (three points). She has a team-high nine shots for the season, as well.
Senior forward Keri Kennedy-Weber has one goal (two points), after notching her first collegiate goal against Utah. Junior midfielder Twila Kaufman also has one goal on the season, and freshman forward Liz Bartlett is second in shots, with eight.
Junior goalkeeper Shannon Monti has played every minute in the nets for the Cats thus far, tallying 14 saves and a goals-against average of 3.60.
ABOUT NEW MEXICO: The Lobos are 3-3-0 overall after losing to Rhode Island (3-1) last Friday then edging Marshall (1-0) last Sunday in neutral contests at Air Force. That win over Marshall snapped a three-game losing skid for UNM.
Sophomore forward Tara Alarid leads New Mexico in scoring with three goals (six points). Senior defender Jayme Dieringer is a close second with one goal and two assists (four points), followed by sophomore midfielder Christina Williams with one goal and one assist (three points). Junior goalkeeper Shelly Hammock has tallied 23 saves, two shutouts and a goals-against average of 1.12.
John DeWitt (Toledo, 1989) is 39-43-3 in five years as head coach at New Mexico.
ABOUT EVANSVILLE: The Purple Aces stand at 4-2-0 on the season after falling at Illinois (3-2) last Friday then defeating Illinois State (1-0) in overtime at home last Sunday. Evansville will play New Mexico on Friday before taking on the Cats on Saturday.
With three goals (six points) each, freshman forward Kristin Prom and junior forward Jessica Schwartz are tied for the Evansville scoring lead. Junior midfielder Niki Watkins and junior defender Holly Wimberg have one goal and one assist (three points) apiece. Junior goalkeeper Beth Csukas has collected 34 saves, two shutouts and a goals-against average of 0.80.
Head coach Mick Lyon (Evansville, 1989) has a career record of 83-55-19 in eight years at the helm of his alma mater's program.
THE SERIES: New Mexico leads the series with Arizona, 2-1-1.
The Wildcats nabbed their first victory over the Lobos, 3-2, on Sept. 5
last year in Tucson.
Saturday's meeting with Evansville with be a first-ever matchup for the Wildcats.
LAST TIME vs. NEW MEXICO: In Tucson on Sept. 5, 1999, the Cats scrapped to a 3-2 victory over New Mexico. With the UA down 2-1, Tiffany Sabado scored the tying goal near the end of the first half, with Cassidy Guinn assisting. The Cats won the match with a goal in the 74th minute.
Arizona outshot UNM, 19-9, for the game. Wildcat goalkeepers Shannon Monti and Inger Airheart split time in the nets, each playing one half.
ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: In their home debut on Sept. 8, the Wildcats lost a hard-fought contest, 2-1, to Pittsburgh in overtime.
Arizona's Naomi Chu put the Cats ahead early in the contest with her first collegiate goal at the 16:31 mark.
Pittsburgh knotted the game in the 74th minute, sending the match into overtime. The Panthers scored the gamewinner just over three minutes into the overtime period. Arizona outshot Pittsburgh, 21-13, for the game.
On Sept. 10, the Wildcats fell to Utah, 4-1, at home. The Utes scored their first three goals in the initial 23 minutes of the match, including a penalty kick at 23:20.
Arizona senior Keri Kennedy-Weber broke the shutout at 75:10 with her first collegiate goal, off an assist by Naomi Chu.
Utah capped the victory at 86:18 when Amber Brower dribbled through the Arizona defense to score her second goal of the contest.
UA goalkeeper Shannon Monti played all 90 minutes in the nets for the Cats, garnering four saves.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH CATHY KLEIN: First-year head coach Cathy Klein (SUNY-Cortland, 1987) holds an 0-4-0 mark at the helm of the Arizona program. She has a Division I career record of 57-45-1 over six years and is 79-98-6 in 11 years as a head coach.
Klein was named as the Wildcats' new head coach last January. She came to the UA after a five-year stint building a new women's soccer program at Iowa State. In four varsity seasons with the Cyclones, Klein garnered a 43-37-1 mark. Before Iowa State, Klein was head coach at Creighton and Division III schools Earlham College and Utica College.
THE REST OF THE STAFF: In her first season at the UA, Melissa Estrada (Creighton, 1995) followed Cathy Klein from Iowa State, where Estrada was part of Klein's coaching staff for four years. She assists with recruiting and works with the field players.
Assistant coach Andre Luciano (Indiana, 1993) is in his second year on the sidelines for Arizona, after stints at Utah State and Washington State. His primary responsibilities at the UA are coaching the goalkeepers and working in the recruiting efforts.
PRACTICE SCHEDULE: All daily practices during the regular season,
until Nov. 5, will be held from 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Media are encouraged to attend all practices but are not permitted to converse with coaches or players during practice. Media are permitted to interview coaches or players after practice only if an interview has been pre-arranged. All practices and games are conducted at Murphey Soccer Stadium, 15th and Plumer.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Wildcats remain on the road for two more contests in southern California next weekend. Arizona plays at Pepperdine on Friday, Sept. 22, at 3 p.m., then the Cats take on Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles on Sunday, Sept. 24, at 1 p.m.
CATS ON TV: Arizona's game at Oregon on Sunday, Oct. 8, is slated for broadcast on Fox Sports Net on a taped-delay basis. Air date and time are TBA.
NOTING THE PAC-10: The 2000 season has been good to the Pac-10 women's soccer teams so far. Four of the conference teams are still undefeated -- Washington (6-0), USC (5-0), Arizona State (5-0), and California (5-0). Six conference teams -- UCLA, Stanford, Washington, USC, Arizona State and California -- are all ranked in the adidas/NSCAA Coaches Poll this week.
IT'S A FIRST: Two Wildcats -- Naomi Chu and Keri Kennedy-Weber -- scored their first collegiate goals last weekend.
ON LOCATION: The Wildcats are 0-2-0 at home, 0-2-0 on the road and 0-0-0 in neutral games this season. Last year, Arizona garnered a 4-4-2 mark at home, was 1-6-0 on the road and was 2-0-0 in neutral matches.
LOCAL CONNECTION: The 2000 Wildcat roster features five players from Tucson-area high schools -- Niki Aguiar (Mountain View), Jacy Corbus (Sunnyside), Kristi Loro¤a (Canyon del Oro), Erin Nelson (Sabino) and Kate Nighswander-Will (Catalina Foothills).
SCHEDULE STRENGTH: A number of the Wildcats' 2000 opponents are
ranked in this week's polls.
In the adidas/NSCAA Coaches Poll, UCLA is No. 5, Stanford is No. 6, Washington is No. 11, USC is No. 13, Arizona State is No. 17, and California is No. 25.
The Soccer America Top 20 has Stanford at No. 4, UCLA at No. 6, Washington at No. 9, USC at No. 12 and Arizona State at No. 18.
In this week's SoccerBuzz.com national rankings, UCLA is No. 5, USC is No. 6, Stanford is No. 7, California is No. 12, Washington is No. 18 and Arizona State is No. 19.
In the American Soccer Writers Poll, UCLA stands at No. 6, Stanford is No. 11, USC is No. 12, Washington is No. 15, Arizona State is No. 20, California is No. 22 and Brigham Young is No. 23.
CHECKING THE RECORD BOOK: Senior goalkeeper Inger Airheart is currently Arizona's career leader in minutes played (4338) and shutouts (9). She is second in career saves (259), fourth in games started (47) and tied for eighth in games played (49).
Junior goalkeeper Shannon Monti is third in career minutes played (1287), third in saves (72) and third in shutouts (2). Junior forward Kristi Loro¤a is fourth on the UA career list in game-winning goals (2), tied for eighth in goals scored (5) and tied for ninth in total points (12).
Senior midfielder Kate Nighswander-Will is fourth in career games started (48) and is sixth in games played (53). Junior midfielder Tiffany Sabado is tied for seventh in career goals scored (6), tied for seventh in total points (15) and tied for ninth in assists (3). Junior midfielder Twila Kaufman is tied with Sabado for seventh in career goals scored (6), and senior defender Ann Giallonardo is eighth in career games started (40) and tied for tenth in career games played (48).
CLOSE BUT...: The outcome of one of the Wildcats' four games so far has been decided by one goal or less. In the seven-year history of the Arizona soccer program, 46 matches have been decided by that one-goal-or-less differential.
TWICE IS NICE: Traditionally, the Cats have fared rather well
when scoring two or more goals in a match. The UA won six of the
nine contests last season in which it scored two or more goals.
Over the seven years of Wildcat soccer, the UA has a 26-16-1 record when scoring two goals or more.
CAT SCRATCHES: 14 different players have started one game or more for the Wildcats this year... The UA played five nationally ranked opponents last year, more than in any other season in the program's history.
1999 IN BRIEF: The University of Arizona women's soccer team wrapped up the 1999 season with 7-10-2 overall and 1-7-1 Pac-10 marks. The team set or tied 28 school records, including most goals in a season (30) and fewest losses (10). The Wildcats more than doubled their number of wins from the year before (three) and finished eighth in the league standings, up two spots from 1998.
INDIVIDUALLY IN 1999: The now-departed Chrissy Sanford was among the Pac-10's top five scorers all last season and tied the Arizona school records for single-season goals scored (11) and total points (27).
Forward Tiffany Sabado was the Wildcats' second-leading scorer, with six goals and three assists (15 points). Forward Kristi Loro¤a finished in third place with five goals and two assists (12 points).
Goalkeeper Inger Airheart amassed 64 saves, a goals-against average of 2.04 and a pair of shutouts, while playing in 12 contests. Keeper Shannon Monti collected 52 saves, two shutouts and a 2.94 GAA in 12 games in the nets.
PAC-10 COACHES POLL: UCLA was tabbed by the league's coaches as the favorite to win the Pac-10 crown this year, while the rebuilding Wildcats were picked to finish 10th.
Pac-10 Preseason Women's Soccer Coaches Poll 1. UCLA 7. Oregon 2. Stanford 8. Oregon State 3. USC 9. Washington St. 4. California 10. ARIZONA t5. Arizona State t5. Washington