Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Arizona Soccer Wraps up 2000 Season Against USC, UCLA
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: October 31, 2000
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    The University of Arizona women's soccer team (3-13-2 overall, 0-6-1 Pac-10) will play its final matches of the 2000 season this weekend against the Los Angeles schools at home.

    The Wildcats will face 25th-ranked USC at home on Friday, Nov. 3, at 7 p.m., then the UA takes on fifth-ranked UCLA on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 1 p.m. Both matches will be played at the UA's Murphey Stadium, and admission is free.

    On an eight-game winless streak, the Wildcats stand at 3-13-2 overall and 0-6-1 in Pac-10 play. Arizona suffered a 3-1 loss at Arizona State last Thursday, then fell at home to then-13th-ranked Brigham Young, 3-2, last Saturday.

    After scoring another goal over the weekend, freshman Liz Bartlett has gained a strong hold on the UA scoring lead, with five goals and one assist (11 points). Junior forward Kristi Loroa is second with four goals (eight points) on the year. Bartlett leads the team in shots with 43, while Loroa has 28 shots for the season.

    Senior forward Keri Kennedy-Weber is third with three goals (six points), followed by freshman Sierra Cristiano and junior midfielder Twila Kaufman with two goals and one assist (five points) each. Sophomore Naomi Chu has one goal and two assists (four points), and freshman Meaghan McNatt (one goal, one assist) and junior Erin Nelson (three assists) have three points apiece.

    Junior goalkeeper Shannon Monti has started all 18 matches, garnering 1369 minutes played, 79 saves and a goals-against average of 2.43. Senior goalkeeper Inger Airheart has played 353 minutes off the bench, logging 23 saves and a GAA of 1.78. The two combined for the team's only shutout of the year thus far on Sept. 30.

    Despite a strong start to the season, Southern California has struggled lately, losing four of its last five matches. Standing at 11-5-2 overall and 3-3-1 in Pac-10 action, USC was swept at home last weekend by then-No. 6 California (1-2 OT) and then-No. 18 Stanford (2-4). The Women of Troy are currently ranked No. 25 in the NSCAA Coaches Poll.

    With nine goals and five assists (23 points), freshman forward Jessica Edwards leads the Women of Troy in scoring. Senior midfielder Isabelle Harvey is second in scoring, with six goals and six assists (18 points). Sophomore midfielder Ali Fennell is third with six goals and two assists (14 points).

    Sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Arase has played in 10 matches, tallying 960 minutes, 58 saves, four shutouts and a 0.66 goals-against average. Junior Shaelyn Fernandes has seen time in the nets in eight matches, collecting 793 minutes, 58 saves, one shutout and a 1.48 GAA.

    Fifth-year head coach Jim Millinder (Cal State Cominguez Hills, 1993) is 70-26-4 at the helm of the USC program. He has a 78-53-8 mark in seven years as a head coach.

    Southern California holds the 5-1-0 advantage in the series with Arizona. The Women of Troy pummeled Arizona, 6-0, during the last meeting between the two teams on Oct. 8, 1999, in Los Angeles. In that match, the then-14th-ranked Women of Troy jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead just seven minutes into the contest and never looked back. USC outshot Arizona, 26-8, for the game.

    Ranked No. 5 in the NSCAA Coaches Poll this week, the Bruins are 14-2-1 overall and 5-1-1 in the Pac-10. UCLA is coming off a home sweep of Stanford (5-0) and California (4-1) last weekend and will play at Arizona State on Friday before heading to Tucson for Sunday's match with the Cats.

    Senior forward Tracey Milburn leads UCLA in scoring with 12 goals and five assists (29 points). Junior forward Stephanie Rigamat is second, with eight goals and seven assists (23 points), followed by freshman forward Sarah-Gayle Swanson with nine goals and three assists (21 points) and junior forward Staci Duncan with six goals and two assists (14 points).

    Junior goalkeeper CiCi Peterson has played in 17 matches, with 1435 minutes played, 35 saves, 11 shutouts and a 0.38 goals-against average. Freshman goalkeeper Jaclyn Harwood has seen action in four matches, collecting 128 minutes, six saves and a 0.00 GAA. The UCLA defense has allowed only six goals in all 17 of its matches combined.

    Head coach Jillian Ellis (William & Mary, 1988) is 29-7-2 in two years at the helm of the UCLA program. She has a 48-25-2 career mark in four years as a head coach.

    UCLA is undefeated in the series with Arizona, 6-0-0. In last year's meeting on Oct. 10, 1999, in Los Angeles, the then-eighth-ranked Bruins logged a 6-1 win over the Wildcats. UCLA scored four goals in the first 40 minutes of the match, then Arizona's Katie Winship broke the shutout at the 53:56 mark. The Bruins went on to cap the win with goals in the 56th and 58th minutes. UCLA had a 21-4 edge in shots.

    Last weekend, Arizona was handed two more losses to extend its losing skid to seven games.

    On Oct. 26, the Wildcats forced rival Arizona State into a 3-1 come-from-behind win in Tempe

    UA freshman Sierra Cristiano struck first for the Cats, lofting a shot over ASU goalkeeper Erin Reinke from 22 yards out to score at the 29:09 mark. Arizona State's Antoinette Marjanovic answered for the Sun Devils five minutes later, knotting the score at 1-1.

    The Cats held ASU off for the majority of the second half, then Arizona State went ahead, 2-1, off an Emily Schwimmer goal at 70:23. The Sun Devils sealed the victory with under a minute remaining in the match off a goal by Holly Cohen.

    Arizona State outshot the Wildcats, 19-6, for the match and had an 11-2 advantage in shots on-goal. Arizona freshman Liz Bartlett collected a game-high-tying three shots, including one on-goal.

    Arizona goalkeepers Shannon Monti and Inger Airheart split time in the nets, with Monti allowing one goal and garnering one save. Airheart gave up two goals and racked up a season-high seven saves.

    On Oct. 28, Arizona was edged by 13th-ranked Brigham Young, 3-2, at home in the Cats' final non-conference game of the year.

    BYU jumped out to a quick lead when Jeni Willardson scored for the Cougars at the 8:56 mark. After a flagrant BYU foul in the box, Wildcat Sierra Cristiano connected on a penalty kick at 23:15 to knot the score at 1-1.

    Just six minutes later, fellow Wildcat Liz Bartlett sent the UA ahead, 2-1, with her fifth goal of the season, off an assist by junior Erin Nelson. The Cats carried that lead into halftime.

    The second half belonged to Brigham Young, however, as Sara Reading scored goals in both the 55th and 61st minutes to give the Cougars the come-from-behind victory.

    BYU outshot Arizona, 32-4, for the match, including a 14-3 edge in shots on-goal. Liz Bartlett had a team-high two shots for the Cats. Arizona goalkeepers Shannon Monti and Inger Airheart shared time in the nets, with Monti collecting six saves while giving up one goal and Airheart registering five saves and allowing two goals.

    First-year head coach Cathy Klein (SUNY-Cortland, 1987) holds an 3-13-2 mark at the helm of the Arizona program. She has a Division I career record of 60-54-3 over six years and is 82-107-8 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.

    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.

    Arizona is in the midst of a stretch of three straight games against nationally ranked opponents. With both of this weekend's opponents ranked, the UA will wrap up the 2000 season facing six ranked opponents in its final seven matches. The Cats have already played No. 4 Washington, No. 20 Stanford, No. 8 California and No. 13 Brigham Young. USC is currently ranked No. 25, while UCLA is ranked No. 5.

    In the games against the ranked opponents Arizona has played so far, the Cats have lost by an average of only 1.5 goals per game.

    The UA played five nationally ranked opponents last year, more than in any other season in the program's history to that point. The Cats will beat that mark this year however. They have already played four ranked opponents this season and will face two more this weekend, bringing the year's total up to six.

    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 seven matches and has scored only six goals in the last 10 matches combined.

    Freshman Liz Bartlett's 43 shots this year is the 10th-highest single-season shots total in school history.

    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.

    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.

    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, and freshman Sierra Cristiano scored two of the Cats' three goals in last weekend's games.

    The 2000 season has been a very good one for the Pac-10 women's soccer teams. Five conference teams -- Washington, UCLA, California, Stanford and USC -- 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 8-0-0 mark in Pac-10 play. UCLA is in second with a 5-1-1 conference record.

    As a team, Arizona is tied for first in the Pac-10 in offsides (46), is fourth in home attendance (536 per game), fifth in fouls (247), tied for fifth in saves (91), tied for eighth in shutouts (1) and ninth in goals allowed (44). Junior goalkeeper Shannon Monti is fourth in the conference with 79 saves.

    CLOSE BUT...:
    The outcome of 10 of the Wildcats' 18 games this season has been decided by one goal or less. In the seven-year history of the Arizona soccer program, 55 matches have been decided by that one-goal-or-less differential.

    Arizona is only being outscored by opponents 18-12 in the first halves of games this year. On the other hand, opponents are outscoring the Cats, 24-5, in the second halves of this season's matches.

    Of the 44 goals which opponents have scored on the Cats this year, 13 were scored after the 75th minute in games. Nine of those goals were scored in the 85th minute or later.

    The Wildcats are 2-5-0 at home, 1-8-1 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.

    A number of the Wildcats' 2000 opponents are ranked in this week's polls.

    In the NSCAA Coaches Poll, Washington is No. 2, UCLA is No. 5, California is No. 8, Brigham Young is No. 10, Stanford is No. 14 and USC is No. 25. Loyola Marymount was among teams receiving votes for ranking.

    The Soccer America Top 20 has Washington at No. 2, UCLA at No. 3, California at No. 7, Brigham Young at No. 9, Stanford at No. 11 and USC at No. 13.

    In this week's national rankings, Washington is No. 4, UCLA is No. 5, California is No. 6, Brigham Young is No. 11, Stanford is No. 16 and USC is No. 18. Washington State received votes for ranking.

    In the American Soccer Writers Poll, Washington is No. 3, UCLA is No. 6, Brigham Young is No. 10, California is No. 12, Stanford is No. 15 and USC is No. 21.

    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 28-17-1 record when scoring two goals or more.

    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.

    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
            2.      Stanford
            3.      USC
            4.      California
            t5.     Arizona State
            t5.     Washington
            7.      Oregon
            8.      Oregon State
            9.      Washington State
            10.     ARIZONA

    Several Wildcats have had a number of collegiate "firsts" this year. Senior Keri Kennedy-Weber, sophomore Naomi Chu and freshmen Liz Bartlett, Meaghan McNatt and Sierra Cristiano all scored their first collegiate goals this season. Chu, McNatt, Bartlett, Cristiano, senior Ann Giallonardo, juniors Twila Kaufman and Erin Nelson and freshman Lisa Mireles have each garnered their first collegiate assists this year as well.

    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.

    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.

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