WHAT’S HAPPENING:The University of Arizona women’s soccer team (6-1-0 overall, 0-0-0 Pac-10) will travel to Utah this weekend to take on Brigham Young (3-4-1) and Weber State (3-6-0). The Wildcats will first head to Provo, Utah, to compete against the Cougars on Thursday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. MDT. The Cats then travel to Ogden, Utah, where they will face the Wildcats on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 11 a.m. MDT.
LAST TIME OUT: The Wildcats competed in one match over the weekend against in-state rival Northern Arizona. The Cats shut out the Lumberjacks, 4-0, for their sixth victory.
Arizona was unable to score in the first 20 minutes of play despite a few chances early in the half. Senior forward Candice Wilks scored the first goal of the night, unassisted, at 22:03 off of a rebound from a shot from freshman Nicole Scheid. Arizona had five corner kicks in the first half, but were unable to capitalize on those opportunities. The Wildcats came out stronger in the second half. Junior Nikki David scored at 63:49 off of a combination in the middle from juniors Jennifer Klein and Mallory Miller that beat the Lumberjack defense. Less than a minute later, at 64:45, David was able to strike again this time off of a deflected pass from Klein. The final goal of the evening came from freshman Sarah Litt. Litt entered the game on a substitution and immediately scored her first goal of the season at 75:30 off of a thru ball from Miller. Freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith tallied two saves for her fifth shutout of the season.
ABOUT BRIGHAM YOUNG: Brigham Young returns six starters from last season’s squad that went 16-7-3. The Cougars advanced to the Elite Eight in the 2003 NCAA Women’s College Cup where they lost to the Connecticut Huskies, 4-1. The Cougars finished the season with a final NSCAA ranking of No. 14.
So far this season, Brigham Young has a 3-4-1 record. The Cougars started out the season 0-2 with losses to Idaho State and Kansas. The first win of the season came on Sept. 2 with a 3-2 overtime victory over Northwestern. The win was followed by a 3-2 loss to Arizona State. They followed with two shutouts with victories over Utah State, 2-0, and Gonzaga, 3-0. Over the past weekend, the Cougars tied Southern California, 1-1, and lost to Loyola Marymount, 2-1.
The Cougars’ points leaders are junior forward Jaime Rendich and sophomore forward Annie Zwahlen with a team-high four goals and 12 points each. Sophomore Bobbi Tillotson is the team leader in assists with four. Like Arizona, the Cougars also have a freshman goalkeeper in the nets. Erika Woodbury has posted a 1.23 goals-against average with two shutouts. Defensively, the Cougars are led by Claire Thomas.
Brigham Young is coached by Jennifer Rockwood. In nine years with the Cougars, she has posted a 158-46-6 record. She is assisted by Chris Watkins and Brian Jolley.
WILDCATS VERSUS COUGARS: Brigham Young has dominated the series with a 4-0-0 record over Arizona. The last meeting between the two teams came on Sept. 28, 2001 at Provo, Utah. The Cougars defeated the Wildcats 2-0.
ABOUT WEBER STATE:Weber State returns eight starters from the 2003 squad that finished with a record of 6-10-3.
At this point in the season, Weber State has posted a record of 3-6-0. The Wildcats opened the season with a 2-1 win over Southern Utah at home. They then had three straight losses to Utah State, Oregon and San Francisco. The Wildcats broke the losing streak with a win against Nevada. Following the victory over the Wolfpack, Weber State took on two ranked opponents in No. 7 Portland and No. 4 Washington. The Wildcats were shut out in both matches 4-0 and 2-0 respectively. They suffered another shutout loss against UTEP, 2-0, on the road. In the Wildcats’ last match they defeated Texas Tech, 1-0.
Weber State’s offensive leader is freshman Naomi Felix who has scored three of the Wildcats’ seven goals. Sophomore Linsey McFaland has also been a major contributor with two goals. The Wildcats’ goalkeeper is senior Melanie Stratford. Stratford has recorded all three of the team’s wins while posting a 2.2 GAA.
The Wildcats are coached by Tim Crompton. Crompton has a 72-68-10 record in seven years as the head coach. He is assisted by Lynn Kofoed and Tom VudhiVadhana.
WILDCATS VERSUS WILDCATS: This will be the first meeting between Weber State and Arizona.
IN THE RANKINGS: Arizona received votes in this week’s SoccerBuzz.com regional rankings. The poll ranks the top-15 teams in each region. Arizona is a part of the western region, which contains 47 teams.
SO FAR THIS SEASON:Arizona has started the season with the best start in the program’s ten-year history. The Wildcats have victories over Iowa State, Drake, UC-Irvine, Fairleigh Dickinson, Duquesne and Northern Arizona. With the six victories, the Wildcats have matched last season’s win total. The lone loss of the season came on Sept. 10 against No. 16 West Virginia. Five of the six Wildcat victories have been shutouts. Previous to this season, Arizona’s best seven game start to a season was 4-2-1 in 1997. The best overall record of 8-11-1 was compiles in that same season.
LOOKING AHEAD:After the road swing in Utah, the Wildcats will return to Tucson for a four game home stand. Arizona will first take on Pepperdine on Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. The Wildcats will then finish up non-conference competition with a match against Colorado College on Oct. 3 at 1 p.m. The following weekend, the Wildcats will begin Pac-10 competition with matches against Washington State on Oct. 8 and Washington on Oct. 10.
TOUGH COMPETITION: Six of Arizona’s opponents are ranked in this week’s NSCAA National Rankings. Arizona lost 2-0 to No. 11 West Virginia on Sept. 10. The Wildcats’ next ranked opponent will be No. 24 Pepperdine on Oct. 1 at home. The other four ranked opponents are part of the Pac-10 conference. They include No. 3 Washington, No. 9 UCLA, No. 13 California and No. 20 Stanford.
IN THE PAC:Arizona leads the Pac-10 conference in quite a few categories. The Wildcats are tied with Stanford for the least number of goals allowed with three, and the best goals against average at .43. Arizona joins Stanford and California as the leaders in shutouts with five. The Wildcats have the second best winning percentage behind Washington which is 6-0.
Junior Mallory Miller is among the leaders in the Pac-10 in nearly every offensive category. Miller is fourth in shots, tied for second in points and leads the conference with seven assists. Senior Kamaya Damwijk is tied for sixth in goals with four. Freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith is second in goals against average and save percentage behind Washington State’s Katie Hultin. Smith leads the shutout category with five.
IN THE NETS:Freshman McCall Smith continues to impress as the starting goalkeeper. Smith has only allowed three goals in seven games while logging 630 minutes with 26 saves. She went the first 379:49 minutes of the season without allowing a goal. Smith is the first Wildcat goalkeeper to log four consecutive shutouts and the nearly 380 consecutives minutes without a goal allowed is the longest span in the history of the program. Jenn Wiebel, who had gone 237:41 minutes without allowing a goal in 1996, had previously held that record.
LEADING THE POINTS: Tucson-native junior Mallory Miller continues to lead the Wildcats in points with 13. Miller has been a part of ten goals for the Wildcats with three goals scored and seven assists. She also had the game-winning goal in Arizona’s win over Drake University on Aug. 28. Senior Kamaya Damwijk leads the Cats in goals with four. Senior Candice Wilks and junior Nikki David have also been major contributors to the Wildcat offense with three goals each. Two of Wilks’ scores have been game-winning goals.
HEAD COACH DAN TOBIAS:Dan Tobias is in his second season as the head coach of the Arizona women’s soccer team. As the third head coach in Arizona’s 10-year history, Tobias has a record of 12-12-1 at UA and coached the Wildcats to the best Pac-10 finish in the program’s history. He was named the 2002 Pac-10 Coach of the Year as the head coach of the Washington State women’s soccer team.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS: With her 19th goal of her career, senior Candice Wilks is one goal closer to Nikki Jones’ record of 25 career goals. With two assists in Friday’s match versus Northern Arizona, junior Mallory Miller is now two assists away from being the all-time leader.The current leader is Nikki Jones with 14.