WHAT’S HAPPENING:The University of Arizona women’s soccer team (11-2-0 overall, 2-0-0 Pac-10) will travel to the Bay Area to take on No. 10 Stanford and No. 14 California. The Wildcats first compete against Stanford (8-2-2 overall, 0-0-1 Pac-10) at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15 followed by a match against California (7-2-2 overall, 0-0-1 Pac-10) at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 17.
LAST TIME OUT: The Wildcats opened the Pac-10 season with wins over Washington State on Friday, Oct. 8 and No. 4 Washington on Sunday, Oct. 10.
In Sunday’s match against the Cougars, the two teams played through 41 minutes of scoreless play before the Cougars put the first score on the board with a goal from junior Alix Rustrum. The goal was her fifth of the season and came unassisted at 41:20. The Wildcats were able to tie the score just before the half with a goal from junior Jennifer Klein. Klein placed a ball in the back of the net off of assists from junior Althea Jones and senior Kamaya Damwijk. Freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith made two saves in the first period, while Washington State junior goalkeeper Katie Hultin had one.Less than five minutes into the second half, the Wildcats took the lead with Damwijk placing her team-leading fifth goal of the season past Hultin at 49:09. Senior Candice Wilks added to the Wildcat win at 62:07 off of a combination from juniors Jennifer Klein and Mallory Miller.
In Sunday’s match the Wildcats and the Huskies battled through the first 38 minutes of the game with no score. The best opportunity for the Wildcats came in the 18th minute as Candice Wilks went one-on-one with the Huskies’ goalkeeper Kelsey Rasmussen. Rasmussen made the save to keep the game scoreless. Wildcat goalkeeper McCall Smith made two saves in the first half before Husky freshman Katy Dowling ended the 0-0 tie with a goal at 38:53 off of a cross from fellow freshman Colby Branham. Junior Mallory Miller tied the game less than a minute into the second half with a goal from 15 yards out. Junior Jennifer Klein and senior Candice Wilks created the combination that led to Miller’s goal. The Wildcats took a 2-1 lead off of another goal from Miller. Miller headed a pass from Wilks into the corner of the net past Rasmussen. Senior Kamaya Damwijk capped the Wildcat win in the 88th minute with a goal off of a pass from Wilks.
ABOUT STANFORD: No. 10 Stanford returns seven starters from the 2003 squad that went 10-9-2 overall, 5-3-1 Pac-10. The Cardinal finished third in the Pac-10 and played in the first round of the NCAA Tournament where they lost to Santa Clara, 1-0.
After competing in one conference match, the Cardinal has a 8-2-2 overall record and is 0-0-1 in Pac-10 play. The eight wins for Stanford came against No. 24 Utah, Nissouri, Nebraska, Cal State Fullerton, No. 19 Yale, Denver, Marquette and St. Mary’s. The Cardinal has tied No. 7 Santa Clara and California, while the two losses came early in the season to Notre Dame and Southern Methodist. The Cardinal is undefeated in its last nine matches. Stanford has scored 20 goals on the season while limiting its opponents to five.
The Cardinal’s points leader is senior Marcie Ward with six goals, four of which have been game-winners. Junior Leah Tapscott and freshman Lizzy George are also offensive threats for the Cardinal as they have 10 and nine points respectively. The Cardinal goalkeeper is senior Nicole Barnhart. Barnhart has played in all 12 games for Stanford and has registered seven of the Cardinal’s eight wins. She has a goals against average of 0.42 and has made 32 saves on the season while earning five shutouts.
Stanford is coached by Paul Ratcliffe. In one season with the Cardinal, he has posted a 10-9-2 record. He is assisted by Jay Cooney Sarah Kate Noftsinger.
WILDCATS VERSUS CARDINAL: Arizona has yet to beat Stanford as the Cardinal has a 9-0 record in the all-time series between the two teams. In the last match up, the Cardinal defeated Arizona 3-2 on Oct. 10, 2003 in Tucson.
ABOUT CALIFORNIA: No. 14 California returns five starters from last season’s squad that finished with a 7-8-4 record overall and 2-6-1 for a ninth place finish in the Pac-10.
So far this season, California has tallied a 7-2-2 overall record with a 0-0-1 Pac-10 record. The Golden Bears have defeated Creighton, St. Mary’s, Colgate, San Jose State, Fresno State and Pacific. The first loss for the Golden Bears came early in the season to North Carolina, 4-2. California’s other loss came in its final non-conference match of the season against Santa Clara, 3-1. The two ties came against Pepperdine and Stanford.
California’s offensive leader is junior Liz Eisenberg who paces the Golden Bears with 18 points coming off of eight goals, including two game-winners, and two assists. Freshman Stephanie Wieger has also contributed to the Golden Bear offense with 15 points. She has the second-most goals for the squad with five. The Golden Bears’ primary goalkeeper is junior Ashley Sulprizio. She has allowed nine goals and has a 0.79 goals against average.
The Golden Bears are coached by Kevin Boyd, who is in his eighth year at California. He enters the weekend of play with an 92-56-14 record. In seven years he has posted an 85-48-10 record. He is assisted by Jennifer Thomas Maite Zabala.
WILDCATS VERSUS GOLDEN BEARS: California has dominated the series with a 9-0-0 record over the Wildcats. In the two teams’ last meeting, the Golden Bears defeated the Wildcats on Oct. 12, 2003, by a score of 3-0.
IN THE RANKINGS: For the first time in the program’s history, the Arizona women’s soccer team has been ranked in two polls. The Wildcats are No. 24 in the Soccer America poll. Arizona also earned a No. 29 ranking in the SoccerBuzz.com national rankings. Arizona is ranked in this week’s SoccerBuzz.com regional rankings for the third week in a row. Arizona moved from last weeks spot of No. 14 to No. 8. The poll ranks the top 15 teams in each region. Arizona is a part of the western region, which contains 47 teams. Arizona also received votes in the SoccerTimes.com rankings and received enough votes to place them at 27th in the poll.
PAC-10 POW: Junior midfielder Mallory Miller has been named the Pac-10 Women’s Soccer Player of the Week for Oct. 5-11. Miller, a Tucson native, helped the Wildcats to a 2-0-0 start in Pac-10 play with wins over Washington State, 3-1, on Oct. 8 and No. 4 Washington, 3-1, on Oct. 10. She was part of the Arizona midfield that limited the Cougars to eight shots in the game. She also assisted in the third Wildcat goal that sealed the victory and helped the Wildcats open the Pac-10 season at 1-0. With her eighth assist of the season, Miller broke the school record for most assists in a single season and leads the Pac-10 in that category.
In Sunday’s match versus Washington, she scored a goal at the 45:53 mark to tie the game 1-1. She then headed the game-winning goal into the back of the net at 72:10. With 18 points on the season Miller is tied for fourth in points in the Pac-10. This is Miller’s first Pac-10 Player of the Week honor and Arizona’s fifth weekly honor all-time.
AMONG THE ELITE: On Oct. 12, junior Mallory Miller was named to Soccer Buzz Magazine’s National Elite Team of the Week for her play during the week of Oct. 4.
FIRST PLACE:With the two Pac-10 victories over the weekend the Wildcats are tied for first place in the Pac-10 with UCLA and USC. The 2-0 start is the best start to the Pac-10 season since Arizona became a part of the Pac-10 conference in 1997. Previous to this season, the best start was 1-1 in 1997. This also marks the first time in the history of the program that the Wildcats have been in first place in the conference. Arizona also has the best winning percentage in the Pac-10 with 0.846. The next closest team is Washington at 0.792.
Arizona is currently tied for first place in shots taken with 202, most goals scored with 30, and is tied for second in shutouts with 7. Arizona leads the conference in assists, 31, and points, 91, and is second in least goals allowed with seven.
BREAKING MORE RECORDS: Junior Mallory Miller broke the school record for most assists in a season. She now has eight assists on the season. The previous record was held by Nikki Jones who had six assists in 1998.
AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS: Arizona’s win over No. 4 Washington on Oct. 10 marks the first time in the program’s history that the Wildcats defeated a ranked opponent. The closest the Wildcats have ever come to defeating a ranked opponent prior to this season came last when they tied No. 25 Arizona State on Oct. 18, 1-1.
SEASON RECAP: Previous to the wins over Washington State and Washington, the Wildcats had nine non-conference over Iowa State, Drake, UC-Irvine, Fairleigh Dickinson, Duquesne, Northern Arizona, Brigham Young, Weber State, and Colorado College. The two losses of the season have come against ranked opponents, No. 16 West Virginia and No. 25 Pepperdine. Seven of the eleven Wildcat victories have been shutouts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Arizona will remain on the road to take on Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz., on Friday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. The Wildcats will then return home for their final homestand of the season to compete against Southern California on Oct. 29 and No. 6 UCLA Oct. 31.
TOUGH COMPETITION: Six of Arizona’s opponents are ranked in this week’s Soccer America polls. Arizona lost 2-0 to West Virginia, which is now ranked No. 19, on Sept. 10. The Wildcats lost on Oct. 1 to No. 2. Pepperdine. The Wildcats have defeated No. 7 Washington, 3-1, and will play No. 6 UCLA, No. 10 Stanford and No. 14 California.
IN THE PAC: Individually in the Pac-10, junior Mallory Miller is fourth in shots taken with 39, tied for fourth in points with 18, tied for tenth in goals with five and she leads the conference in assists with eight. Senior Kamaya Damwijk is tied for seventh for the most goals with six. Senior Candice Wilks and junior Jennifer Klein are tied for eighth in assists with 4 each. Freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith is third in goals against at 0.54 and is second in saves with 56. She leads the conference in shutouts (seven) and save percentage (0.889).
HOME VICTORIES:With their sixth win at home coming against Washington on Sunday, the Wildcats have passed the previous record for most home victories in the program’s history. The previous record was five in 1997 and 2001.
PAC-10 FINISHES: Arizona earned the best Pac-10 finish in the program’s history last season with a 2-6-1 record. With a win this weekend, the Wildcats will set a new record for most pac-10 wins for the program. The Wildcats became a part of Pac-10 Conference play in 1997.
IN THE NETS: Freshman McCall Smith continues to impress as the starting goalkeeper. With seven shutouts, she has already set a new single season shutout record. Inger Airheart had previously held the record with six in 20 games in the 1997 season. Smith has only allowed five goals in nine games, while logging 990 minutes with 50 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 consecutive 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 18. Miller has been a part of 18 goals for the Wildcats with five scored and eight assists. Senior Kamaya Damwijk leads the Cats in goals with six. Senior Candice Wilks has also been a major contributor to the Wildcat offense with four goals. Two of Wilks’ scores have been game-winning goals.
CROWD SUPPORT: In seven home games this season, the Wildcats have had an average attendance of 579. The highest attendance at a home game came on Sept. 3 against UC-Irvine when there was a crowd of 811. The Wildcats are 6-1 at home this season with only three goals allowed.
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 17-13-1 at UA and coached the Wildcats to the best Pac-10 finish in the program’s history in 2003. He was named the 2002 Pac-10 Coach of the Year as the head coach at Washington State.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS: With 20 goals in her career, senior Candice Wilks is five away from Nikki Jones’ record of 25 career goals. Junior Mallory Miller is one assist away from being the all-time leader. Jones is the current leader with 14.