WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's soccer team (3-9-2 overall, 0-3-1 Pac-10) opens a three-game road swing this weekend with a pair of matches in the Bay Area. The Wildcats play at 20th-ranked Stanford on Friday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m., then they take on eighth-ranked California on Sunday, Oct. 22, at 12 p.m. in Berkeley.
ABOUT ARIZONA: On a four-game winless streak, the Wildcats are 3-9-2 overall and 0-3-1 in Pac-10 play. The Cats dropped home matches to Washington State (0-4) and then-fourth-ranked Washington (1-2) last weekend.
Freshman Liz Bartlett notched an assist over the weekend and has taken over 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 33, 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 14 matches, garnering 1144 minutes played, 62 saves and a goals-against average of 2.44. Senior goalkeeper Inger Airheart has played 218 minutes off the bench, logging 10 saves and a GAA of 1.24. The two combined for the team's only shutout of the year thus far on Sept. 30.
ABOUT STANFORD: Ranked 20th this week despite losing two of its last three matches, Stanford is 8-4-1 overall and 1-2-0 in Pac-10 action. The Cardinal are coming off a 2-0 road loss to rival and then-10th-ranked California last Sunday.
With six goals and 11 assists (23 points), freshman midfielder Marcie Ward leads Stanford in scoring. Her assists total is the highest in the Pac-10. Sophomore forward Marcia Wallis is a close second in scoring, with 10 goals and one assist (21 points). The scoring drops off dramatically after that, with freshman midfielder Brittany Oliviera holding down third place with three goals and two assists (eight points).
Senior goalkeeper Carly Smolak has played in 13 matches, tallying 1144 minutes, 73 saves, five shutouts and a 0.94 goals-against average. Freshman Nicole Barnhart has seen time in the nets in three matches, collecting 68 minutes, three saves and a 0.00 GAA.
First-year head coach Andy Nelson (West Chester, 1988) is 8-4-1 at the helm of the Stanford program. He has a 88-23-10 record in six years as a head coach.
THE SERIES vs. STANFORD: The Cardinal are undefeated in the series with the Wildcats, 5-0-0. Stanford won the last meeting between the two teams, 5-2, in Tucson on Oct. 15, 1999. In that match, the then-16th-ranked Cardinal scored four goals in the first 39 minutes of the match. The Cats were able to break the shutout just 22 seconds before halftime. Stanford went up 5-1 in the 56th minute, and Arizona scored its final goal of the match at 72:05.
ABOUT CALIFORNIA: Ranked No. 8 in the adidas/NSCAA Coaches Poll this week, the Golden Bears improved to 12-1-1 overall and 2-1-0 in the Pac-10 after a 2-0 win over Stanford at home last weekend. Cal's only loss of the year so far was 2-1 at Washington on Oct. 6. The Bears will play host to Arizona State on Friday before taking on the Wildcats on Sunday.
Sophomore forward Laura Schott is leading both Cal and the Pac-10 Conference in scoring, with 18 goals and one assist (37 points). Junior forward Kyla Sabo is second with five goals and seven assists (17 points), followed by sophomore forward Brittany Kirk with two goals and five assists (nine points).
Senior goalkeeper Maite Zabala has played in 14 matches, with 1237 minutes played, 47 saves and a 0.51 goals-against average. She has the second-best GAA in the Pac-10. Junior goalkeeper Gabby Ronick has seen action in two matches, collecting 57 minutes, two saves and a 0.00 GAA. The Cal defense has allowed only seven goals in all 14 of its matches combined.
Head coach Kevin Boyd (Tri-State, 1990) is 49-23-3 in four years at California.
THE SERIES vs. CALIFORNIA: California also leads the series over Arizona, 5-0-0. In the last matchup between the teams, Cal blanked the Cats, 3-0, in Tucson on Oct. 17, 1999. Cal's Regina Holan notched a hat trick in the match.
ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: Last weekend saw the Wildcats drop a pair of matches to the Washington schools at home.
On Oct. 13, the Cats were shutout by Washington State, 4-0. WSU's Deka DeWitt ran off a hat trick for the Cougars as they handed Arizona its worst loss since the first week of the season.
Washington State had the 13-7 advantage in shots, including a 7-4 edge in shots on-goal. Wildcat freshman Liz Bartlett led the UA with two shots, one on-goal. Five other Wildcats had one shot apiece. Arizona goalkeeper Shannon Monti played the entire match in the nets for the Cats, tallying three saves.
On Oct. 15, Arizona forced fourth-ranked Washington into a come-from-behind win, as the Huskies downed the Cats, 2-1, in Tucson.
After a scoreless first half, Arizona made it onto the scoreboard first when Wildcat freshman Sierra Cristiano dropped a corner kick into the box. It was bobbled around, then picked up by Arizona freshman Liz Bartlett. Bartlett pushed the ball forward for junior midfielder Twila Kaufman, who found the back of the net at 58:26.
The Cats held the Huskies off for almost another 20 minutes before UW's Tami Bennett scored two goals in the final 14 minutes of the match to give the Huskies the win.
Washington had the 29-7 advantage in shots, although it only had the 7-4 edge in shots on-goal. Arizona goalkeeper Shannon Monti had five saves for the Cats.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH CATHY KLEIN: First-year head coach Cathy Klein (SUNY-Cortland, 1987) holds an 3-9-2 mark at the helm of the Arizona program. She has a Division I career record of 60-50-3 over six years and is 82-103-8 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 head up the road to Tempe to take on rival Arizona State on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. Arizona then returns home to open a season-ending three-game home stand, facing Brigham Young on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m.
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 0-6-2 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, most of 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 has racked up four goals in the last six contests, including the lone goal of a 1-1 tie with Oregon State on 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 good to the Pac-10 women's soccer teams so far. Washington, UCLA, USC and California each has only one loss. Five conference teams -- Washington, UCLA, California, USC and Stanford -- are all ranked in the adidas/NSCAA Coaches Poll this week.
As a team, Arizona is second in the Pac-10 in offsides (39), third in home attendance (538 per game), fourth in fouls (198), sixth in saves (72), eighth in shutouts (1), eighth in goals scored per game (1.14) and ninth in goals allowed (34). Junior goalkeeper Shannon Monti is fourth in the conference with 62 saves.
CLOSE BUT...: The outcome of nine of the Wildcats' 14 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 13-9 in the first halves of games this year. On the other hand, opponents are outscoring the Cats, 19-5, in the second halves of this season's matches.
ON LOCATION: The Wildcats are 2-4-0 at home, 1-5-1 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. 3, UCLA is No. 7, California is No. 8, USC is No. 13, Brigham Young is No. 18 and Stanford is No. 20.
The Soccer America Top 20 has Washington at No. 3, UCLA at No. 4, California at No. 8, USC at No. 11, Stanford at No. 14 and Brigham Young at No. 16.
In this week's SoccerBuzz.com national rankings, UCLA is No. 5, Washington is No. 6, California is No. 9, USC is No. 10, Brigham Young is No. 15 and Stanford is No. 17. Arizona State and Washington State were among the teams receiving votes for ranking.
In the American Soccer Writers Poll, Washington is No. 6, UCLA is No. 7, California is No. 11, USC is No. 12, Brigham Young is No. 15 and Stanford is No. 17. Arizona State received votes for ranking.
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 could be faced with just as many ranked opponents this season, if five members of the Pac-10 continue to be nationally 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.
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.
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
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.