WHAT’S HAPPENING:The University of Arizona women’s soccer team (4-0-0 overall, 0-0-0 Pac-10) will travel to the east coast this weekend to take on West Virginia and Duquesne University in its second road swing of the season. The Wildcats will first travel to Morgantown, W.Va., to compete against the West Virginia Mountaineers on Friday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. EST. Arizona will then head to Pittsburg, Pa., where it will play Duquesne University on Sunday, Sept. 12 at 11 a.m. EST.
LAST TIME OUT: The Wildcats continued the best start in the program’s history with two victories at home over the weekend. Arizona posted two more shutouts with wins over UC-Irvine, 1-0, and Fairleigh Dickinson, 7-0. The two victories made the Wildcats the Arizona Invitational Champions.
In Friday’s match against the Anteaters, the Wildcats scored midway through the first half and held on to win. Freshman defender Kaity Heath had the lone goal for the Wildcats. Heath took a corner kick and placed it in the back of the net to give the Wildcats the 1-0 victory over the Anteaters. Freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith continued her strong start with third straight shutout on the season, recording nine saves.
The Wildcats took on the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights in the championship match. Arizona came out in the first half and wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard as senior Kamaya Damwijk scored her second goal of the season off of an assist by Heath eight minutes into the game. Senior Candice Wilks scored just minutes later off of a pass by junior Mallory Miller. Later in the half, freshman Sally Thurner came in on a substitution and scored the third goal of the game off of a bobble by the goalkeeper. The Wildcats continued to dominate in the second half. Miller scored her first goal of the afternoon off of an assist by senior Vanesha Bailey. Junior Jennifer Klein, Bailey, and Miller all added goals in the last 20 minutes of the half.
THE ARIZONA INVITATIONAL: In addition to the team championship, the Wildcats also swept the individual awards for the Arizona Invitational. Senior Candice Wilks was named Offensive Most Valuable Player of the tournament with one goal in two games. Freshman defender Kaity Heath was named Defensive Most Valuable Player. Heath had the game-winning goal in Arizona’s first victory, added an assist in the second game and was part of a defense that did not allow a goal throughout the tournament.
ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA: No. 16 West Virginia returns seven starters from last season’s squad that went to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Championships and finished the season with a 17-4-2 record. The Mountaineers finished second in the Big East with a conference record of 4-1-1.
So far this season, West Virginia has posted a 3-1 record. The Mountaineers first win came over Kentucky in double overtime, before beating Ohio and Purdue in shutout wins. The lone loss for the Mountaineers came against No. 10 Virginia, 1-0.
Freshman Ashley Banks and junior Rachael Minnich lead the Mountaineer offense. Each has three goals on the young season. Minnich has recorded the most points for West Virginia with eight. Sophomore goalkeeper Lana Bannerman has allowed three goals against in four games and has 14 saves.
The Mountaineers are coached by Nikki Izzo-Brown. In eight seasons with the Mountaineers Izzo-Brown has posted a 106-46-11 record.
WILDCATS VERSUS MOUNTAINEERS: This will be the first meeting between Arizona and West Virginia.
ABOUT DUQUESNE: Duquesne returns seven starters from last season’s squad that went 8-10-2. The Dukes finished eighth in the Atlantic-10 with a conference record of 4-6-1.
Duquesne is 1-3 after two weekends of play. The Dukes three losses have come against Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, and Pittsburg. The lone win of the season for the Dukes was recorded on Sept. 5 against Cleveland State. The Dukes have five players that have scored one goal so far. Freshman Audra Mathews, senior Katie Schwager, and junior Elizabeth Riggs are the points leaders with three each.
Duquesne’s head coach is James Walker. This is Walker’s second season with the Dukes.
WILDCATS VERSUS DUKES: This will be the first meeting between Arizona and Duquesne.
BEST START IN PROGRAM HISTORY: The 4-0 start by the Wildcats is the best start in the program’s history. Arizona posted four game undefeated streaks in 2002 and 2003 tying once in each of those streaks. The Wildcats had never started a season 4-0, and had never won four consecutive games until this season.
NOTHING GETS BY HER: Freshman McCall Smith has yet to allow a goal in four games for the Wildcats, a span of 360 minutes played while also tallying14 saves. With the four shutouts, she has already moved into the second position for most shutouts in a single season at Arizona. The current record holder, Inger Airheart, had six shutouts in 1997.
THE NEWCOMERS: The newcomers for the Wildcats have quickly made an impact on the program. Freshmen Claire Bodiya, Kaity Heath, Nicole Scheid, Shaylyn Scott and McCall Smith have started every game. Heath scored the lone goal in UA’s win over UC-Irvine, and had an assist in the victory over Fairleigh Dickinson. She was also named the Defensive Most Valuable Player for the Arizona Invitational. Scheid has recorded three assists as a midfielder. Bodiya, Heath, and Scott have been a part of a defense that has not allowed a goal so far this season. Freshmen Amanda Urtuzuastegui and Sally Thurner have played in all four games for the Wildcats, with Urtuzuastegui starting three. Thurner has scored one goal in the season. Another one of the newest members of the Wildcat squad, senior Kamaya Damwijk, has started all four games and has five points, with two goals and an assist.
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 led the 2003 squad to the best Pac-10 record in the program’s history. Tobias 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 eighteenth goal of her career, senior Candice Wilks is one goal closer to Nikki Jones’ record of 25 career goals.
Junior Mallory Miller is now fourth on the list of most career points, fifth on the list of most career assists and tied for seventh on the list of most goals.
Senior Vanesha Bailey has moved into a tie for seventh on the list of most career goals.
AT MURPHEY STADIUM: Now in the ninth season of play at Murphey Stadium, the Wildcats have a 28-8-4 record at the stadium.