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WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's soccer team (3-11-2 overall, 0-5-1 Pac-10) will take on Arizona State and 13th-ranked Brigham Young in a pair of matches this weekend.
On Thursday, Oct. 26, the Cats play their last road game of the year at rival Arizona State at 7 p.m. The UA faces its final non-conference opponent of the year in No. 13 BYU on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m.
ABOUT ARIZONA: At 3-11-2 overall and 0-5-1 in Pac-10 play, the Wildcats are seeking an end to their six-game winless skid. Arizona suffered road losses to then-No. 20 Stanford (0-2) and then-No. 8 California (0-2) last weekend.
Freshman Liz Bartlett has retained her hold on the UA scoring lead, with four goals and one assist (nine points). Junior forward Kristi Loroa is second with four goals (eight points) on the year. Bartlett leads the team in shots with 38, while Loroa has 27 shots for the season.
Senior forward Keri Kennedy-Weber is third with three goals (six points), followed by junior midfielder Twila Kaufman with two goals and one assist (five points). Sophomore Naomi Chu has one goal and two assists (four points), and freshman forward Meaghan McNatt has collected one goal and one assist (three points).
Junior goalkeeper Shannon Monti has started all 16 matches, garnering 1279 minutes played, 72 saves and a goals-against average of 2.46. Senior goalkeeper Inger Airheart has played 263 minutes off the bench, logging 11 saves and a GAA of 1.03. The two combined for the team's only shutout of the year thus far on Sept. 30.
ABOUT ARIZONA STATE: After opening the season with a nine-game win streak, the Sun Devils have been on a bit of a tailspin, losing five of their last seven matches. ASU is 11-5-0 overall and 2-4-0 in Pac-10 action after dropping matches at California (0-3) and Stanford (2-4) last weekend. Arizona State's contest with the Cats on Thursday opens a season-ending four-game homestand for the Sun Devils.
With 12 goals and five assists (29 points), junior midfielder Stacey Tullock leads ASU in scoring. Freshman forward Patrice Feulner is a close second in scoring, with 10 goals and seven assists (27 points). Junior Antoinette Marjanovic is third with five goals and three assists (13 points).
Senior goalkeeper Erin Reinke has played in 16 matches, tallying 1314 minutes, 58 saves, seven shutouts and a 1.10 goals-against average. Junior Kristin Slater has seen time in the nets in five matches, collecting 141 minutes, two saves, one shutout and a 0.64 GAA.
Fifth-year head coach Terri Patraw (Wisconsin, 1991) is 47-40-2 at the helm of the Arizona State program.
THE SERIES vs. ARIZONA STATE: The Sun Devils are undefeated in the series with Arizona, 5-0-0. In the last meeting between the two teams on Aug. 31, 1999, ASU defeated the Cats, 4-0, in the UA's home opener. The weather made the contest even more interesting, as a violent thunderstorm rolled in just minutes after kickoff, causing a nearly two-hour delay in the match. Once play resumed, ASU struck quickly, scoring two goals in a four-minute timespan early in the first half. The Sun Devils capped the win with two more goals in the 52nd and 64th minutes. Arizona State outshot the Wildcats, 21-14, for the match, including a 12-5 advantage in shots on-goal.
ABOUT BRIGHAM YOUNG: Ranked No. 13 in the adidas/NSCAA Coaches Poll this week, the Cougars are 14-3-1 overall and 6-0-0 in Mountain West Conference action. Brigham Young is coming off road wins over Air Force (4-0) and Wyoming (4-1) last weekend. On a seven-game win streak, BYU will face Minnesota in a neutral contest in Tempe on Friday before playing in Tucson on Saturday.
Senior midfielder Michelle Peterson leads BYU in scoring with 14 goals and nine assists (37 points). Fellow senior Kim Lowe is second, with seven goals and 13 assists (27 points), followed by senior Sara Reading with 10 goals and three assists (23 points) and freshman Aleisha Cramer with six goals and nine assists (21 points).
Junior goalkeeper Jennifer Waldron has played in 16 matches, with 1305 minutes played, 39 saves, two shutouts and a 1.03 goals-against average. Sophomore goalkeeper Kylee Dickson has seen action in seven matches, collecting 345 minutes, five saves, four shutouts and a 0.26 GAA. The BYU defense has allowed only 16 goals in all 18 of its matches combined.
Head coach Jennifer Rockwood (Brigham Young, 1989) is 107-25-2 in six years at the helm of her alma mater's program.
THE SERIES vs. BYU: Brigham Young has a 2-0-0 edge in the series with Arizona. The last time the two teams met, then-11th-ranked BYU downed the Wildcats, 3-1, in Provo on Sept. 13, 1999. The UA went up early, scoring a goal just five minutes into the match. The Cougars answered with three goals in the second half to take the contest.
ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: Last weekend, Arizona had two unsuccessful Pac-10 outings in the Bay Area.
On Oct. 20, the Wildcats were shutout, 2-0, at 20th-ranked Stanford. The Cardinal gained an early advantage when Kelsey Carlson scored just 12 minutes into the contest. Stanford capped the victory by notching its second goal with less than five minutes remaining in the game.
Stanford outshot Arizona, 14-6, for the match. UA freshmen Sierra Cristiano and Liz Bartlett had team highs of two shots apiece, while junior Erin Nelson and freshman Lisa Mireles took one shot each. Wildcat goalkeeper Shannon Monti played the entire match in the nets for the UA, tallying five saves.
On Oct. 22, the Cats fared the same against eighth-ranked California, falling 2-0. That marked the fourth shutout in five games for the Wildcats.
The Golden Bears notched both goals in the first 25 minutes of the match, and neither team scored for the remainder of the game.
Cal outshot Arizona, 15-7, for the match. The UA's Liz Bartlett had a game-high-tying three shots for the contest, while Twila Kaufman, Sierra Cristiano, Tiffany Sabado and Katie Winship logged one shot apiece. Wildcat goalkeepers Shannon Monti and Inger Airheart shared time in the nets, with Monti collecting five saves while giving up both goals and Airheart registering one save.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH CATHY KLEIN: First-year head coach Cathy Klein (SUNY-Cortland, 1987) holds an 3-11-2 mark at the helm of the Arizona program. She has a Division I career record of 60-52-3 over six years and is 82-105-8 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 wrap up the 2000 season next weekend with matches against the L.A. schools. Arizona takes on USC on Friday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m., then faces UCLA on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 1 p.m. Both matches will take place at the UA's Murphey Stadium.
RANKED OPPONENTS: Arizona is coming off a stretch that saw it play three straight ranked opponents (No. 4 Washington, No. 20 Stanford, No. 8 California). Thurday's match with ASU will see a break in the "ranked" action, then the Cats face 13th-ranked Brigham Young on Saturday. Both USC (No. 15) and UCLA (No. 8) should still be ranked when Arizona faces those teams next weekend.
STALLED OFFENSE: After scoring 14 goals during a stretch of nine games midway through the season, the Wildcat offense has stalled-out. Arizona has been shutout in four of its last five matches and has scored only three goals in the last seven matches combined.
KEEP FIRING: Freshman Liz Bartlett's 38 shots this year is the 10th-highest single-season shots total in school history.
NO MORE DAY GAMES, PLEASE: All three of Arizona's wins this season have been night games (5 p.m. or later). The Wildcats have a 0-7-2 record in day games this year.
IT'S JUST A LITTLE EXTRA TIME: The Wildcats have played a school-record six overtime games so far this year, surpassing the previous school record of four set by the 1998 team. The Cats have also set a new school record for most overtime wins in a season, with two. The UA is 2-2-2 in overtime matches this year.
SCORING IN BUNCHES: For the most part, the Wildcats who have scored this season haven't been content with merely denting the net once. Senior Keri Kennedy-Weber scored a trio of goals in as many games earlier this season. Freshman Liz Bartlett racked up four goals in six contests from Sept. 14 through Oct. 8. Junior Kristi Loroa collected four goals over four matches from Sept. 22 through Sept. 30.
NOTING THE PAC-10: The 2000 season has been a very good one for the Pac-10 women's soccer teams. Five conference teams -- Washington, California, UCLA, USC and Stanford -- are all ranked in the adidas/NSCAA Coaches Poll this week. Washington has a solid hold on first place in the conference standings, with a 6-0-0 mark in Pac-10 play. California is in second with a 4-1-0 conference record.
As a team, Arizona is second in the Pac-10 in offsides (43), tied for third in fouls (223), fifth in home attendance (538 per game), sixth in saves (83), tied for eighth in shutouts (1) and ninth in goals allowed (38). Junior goalkeeper Shannon Monti is fourth in the conference with 72 saves.
CLOSE BUT...: The outcome of nine of the Wildcats' 16 games this season has been decided by one goal or less. In the seven-year history of the Arizona soccer program, 54 matches have been decided by that one-goal-or-less differential.
A TALE OF TWO HALVES: Arizona is only being outscored by opponents 16-9 in the first halves of games this year. On the other hand, opponents are outscoring the Cats, 20-5, in the second halves of this season's matches.
Of the 38 goals which opponents have scored on the Cats this year, 12 were scored after the 75th minute in games. Eight of those goals were scored in the 85th minute or later.
ON LOCATION: The Wildcats are 2-4-0 at home, 1-7-1 on the road and 0-0-1 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.
SCHEDULE STRENGTH: A number of the Wildcats' 2000 opponents are ranked in this week's polls.
In the adidas/NSCAA Coaches Poll, Washington is No. 2, California is No. 6, UCLA is No. 8, Brigham Young is No. 13, USC is No. 15 and Stanford is No. 18.
The Soccer America Top 20 has Washington at No. 2, UCLA at No. 3, California at No. 5, Stanford at No. 9, Brigham Young at No. 11 and USC at No. 12.
In this week's SoccerBuzz.com national rankings, Washington is No. 4, California is No. 5, UCLA is No. 7, Brigham Young is No. 11, USC is No. 18 and Stanford is No. 19.
In the American Soccer Writers Poll, Washington is No. 4, UCLA and California are tied at No. 7, Brigham Young is No. 12, Stanford is No. 14 and USC is No. 16.
TWICE IS NICE: Traditionally, the Cats have fared rather well when scoring two or more goals in a match. The UA won the only contest so far this season in which it scored more than two goals.
Over the seven years of Wildcat soccer, the UA has a 28-16-1 record when scoring two goals or more.
CAT SCRATCHES: 14 different players have started one game or more for the Wildcats this year... Seven players have started every match so far... The UA played five nationally ranked opponents last year, more than in any other season in the program's history... The Cats have played three ranked opponents already this season and could end up playing just as many ranked opponents as last year, if USC and UCLA remain ranked as they are now.
GETTING THE WINS: The Wildcats' home victories over Long Island (2-1 OT) and Northern Arizona (1-0) on Sept. 29 and 30 ended a three-game losing skid for the UA and gave the Cats their first back-to-back victories since October of 1999.
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
t5. Arizona State
8. Oregon State
9. Washington State
IT'S A FIRST: Several Wildcats have had a number of collegiate "firsts" this year. Senior Keri Kennedy-Weber, sophomore Naomi Chu and freshmen Liz Bartlett and Meaghan McNatt all scored their first collegiate goals this season. Chu, McNatt, senior Ann Giallonardo, juniors Twila Kaufman and Erin Nelson and freshmen Sierra Cristiano and Lisa Mireles have each garnered their first collegiate assists this year as well.
LOCAL CONNECTION: The 2000 Wildcat roster features four players from Tucson-area high schools -- Niki Aguiar (Mountain View), Kristi Loroa (Canyon del Oro), Erin Nelson (Sabino) and Kate Nighswander-Will (Catalina Foothills).
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 Loroa 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.