The University of Arizona women's soccer team will play its first home matches of the season this weekend. The Cats take on Pittsburgh on Friday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m., then they face Utah on Sunday, Sept. 10, at 12 p.m.
Both games will be played at Murphey Stadium, 15th Street & Plumer Avenue. Admission to all Wildcat home soccer games is free.
Sunday's match with Utah is slated for a 12 p.m. kickoff, not 1 p.m. as it was originally listed.
The injury-plagued Wildcat squad is looking to bounce back after suffering a pair of losses on the road to open the season last weekend. The Cats fell at Tennessee (5-1) last Friday, then were defeated at Vanderbilt (4-0) last Sunday. Arizona stands at 0-2-0 on the year.
Junior midfielder Twila Kaufman scored the Cats' lone goal of the weekend on Friday. Fellow junior Kristi Lorona has a team-high four shots on the season, followed by sophomore defender Naomi Chu's three shots.
Junior goalkeeper Shannon Monti has played every minute in the nets for the Cats thus far, tallying six saves and a goals-against average of 4.50.
On a three-game losing skid, Pittsburgh stands at 1-3-0 overall after losing at both Penn State (6-0) and Bucknell (3-0) last weekend. The Panthers have been shutout in each of their last three matches.
Sophomore defender Jacqueline Fix is Pittsburgh's leading scorer with two goals (four points), and sophomore midfielder Laura Marsh has scored one goal (two points). Junior goalkeeper Rachel Brown has played in three games, tallying 31 saves and a goals-against average of 2.00. Sophomore keeper Gretchen Ross has seen time in two contests, collecting three saves and a 6.00 GAA.
Roland Sturk (Boston College, 1970) is 20-54-4 in five years as head coach at Pittsburgh. He holds a career record of 78-122-8 over 11 seasons.
The Utes are 1-2-1 overall following a 3-2 overtime loss at home to Washington State last Saturday and a 3-0 victory over Weber State on Monday. Utah will play at Arizona State this Friday prior to heading to Tucson.
Sophomore midfielder Katie Tate is Utah's top scorer, with four goals and two assists (10 points). Junior midfielder Amy Kofoed follows with three goals and one assist (seven points). Sophomore goalkeeper Courtney Hills has 27 saves, one shutout and a 1.73 goals-against average.
Sixth-year head coach Amy Freeman Winslow (Bates, 1989) is 54-41-5 at the helm of the Utah program. She is 68-108-8 in 11 years as a head coach.
Friday's contest with Pittsburgh will be a first-time meeting for the Cats.
Arizona leads the series with Utah, 1-0-0. The Cats edged the Utes, 2-1, during their only previous meeting on Oct. 8, 1995, in Tucson.
ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT:
In their season opener on Sept. 1, the Cats suffered a 5-1 loss at Tennessee.
Outshooting the Cats 23-14 for the game, the Lady Vols dented the net three times in the first 35 minutes of the match. They capped the win with two more goals in the 64th and 81st minutes.
Arizona finally broke the shutout at 84:05, when junior midfielder Twila Kaufman snagged the ball during a scramble in front of the net. Sophomore defender Naomi Chu had a team-high three shots in the game, while junior forward Kristi Lorona and junior midfielder Tiffany Sabado had two shots each. Junior goalkeeper Shannon Monti had one save in the game.
Opening-weekend struggles continued for Arizona, as it was shutout, 4-0, at Vanderbilt on Sept. 3.
The Commodores notched their first goal only six minutes into the match, then the Wildcats held Vandy off until early in the second half. Vanderbilt scored its remaining three goals in a 17-minute span during the second.
Vanderbilt outshot Arizona, 19-2, in a match played in extremely hot and humid conditions. Lorona had both of the UA's shots. Goalkeeper Shannon Monti played all 90 minutes in the nets for the Cats, garnering five saves.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH CATHY KLEIN:
First-year head coach Cathy Klein (SUNY-Cortland, 1987) holds an 0-2-0 mark at the helm of the Arizona program. She has a Division I career record of 57-43-1 over six years and is 79-96-6 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.
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.
The Wildcats hit the road again next weekend to kick off a four-game road swing. On Thursday, Sept. 14, the Cats will play at New Mexico at 7 p.m. MDT. The UA remains in Albuquerque for a neutral contest against Evansville on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 1 p.m. MDT.
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. Five of the conference teams are still undefeated -- Washington (4-0), USC (3-0), Arizona State (3-0), California (3-0) and Stanford (2-0). Five conference teams -- UCLA, Stanford, USC, Arizona State and California -- are all ranked in the adidas/NSCAA Coaches Poll this week.
The Wildcats are 0-0-0 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.
The 2000 Wildcat roster features five players from Tucson-area high schools -- Niki Aguiar (Mountain View), Jacy Corbus (Sunnyside), Kristi Lorona (Canyon del Oro), Erin Nelson (Sabino) and Kate Nighswander-Will (Catalina Foothills).
A number of the Wildcats' 2000 opponents are ranked in this week's polls.
In the adidas/NSCAA Coaches Poll, UCLA is No. 8, Stanford is No. 8, USC is No. 15, Arizona State is No. 19, and California is No. 25.
The Soccer America Top 20 has Stanford at No. 5, UCLA at No. 8, USC at No. 12, Washington at No. 17 and Arizona State at No. 20.
In this week's SoccerBuzz.com national rankings, Stanford is No. 8, UCLA is No. 10, USC is No. 12, Brigham Young is No. 14 and California is No. 24.
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 (1092), third in saves (64) and third in shutouts (2). Junior forward Kristi Lorona 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 fifth in career games started (46) and tied for sixth in games played (51). 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 tied for ninth in career games started (38).
The outcome of seven of the Wildcats' 19 games last year was decided by one goal or less. In the seven-year history of the Arizona soccer program, 45 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.
The UA played five nationally ranked opponents last year, more than in any other season in the program's history... 13 different players have started one game or more for the Wildcats this year.
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
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 Lorona 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.