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UA Soccer Kicks Off Pac-10 Play in Los Angeles This Week
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 10/09/2001
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Oct. 9, 2001

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WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's soccer team (3-5-1 overall, 0-0-0 Pac-10) wraps up a six-game road swing and kicks off Pac-10 play in Los Angeles this weekend. The Wildcats take on No. 2-ranked UCLA on Friday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m., then they play at Southern California on Sunday, Oct. 14, at 1 p.m.

ABOUT ARIZONA: On a four-game losing skid, the Wildcats dipped to 3-5-1 overall with a pair of losses in Colorado last weekend. Arizona dropped a 3-0 decision at Denver last Friday, then was edged, 2-1, in overtime at Air Force on Sunday.

Regardless of the losing record, the Cats have collected 22 goals over these first nine games -- the highest goal total ever over the first nine matches of any season.

With five goals and one assist (11 points), freshman forward Candice Wilks has a slight lead in scoring for the Wildcats. Three players -- senior forward Kristi Loro?a (five goals), freshman midfielder Vanesha Bailey (four goals, two assists) and freshman forward Cassie Daniels (three goals, four assists) -- are tied for second on the scoring chart.

Sophomore forward Liz Bartlett is fifth with three goals and one assist (seven points), followed by senior midfielder Katie Winship with one goal and one assist (three points) and junior transfer Tymarie Novak with one goal (two points). Sophomore defender Samantha Bartlett, sophomore midfielder Sierra Cristiano, junior midfielder Twila Kaufman and senior defenders Erin Nelson and Cassidy Guinn have one assist (one point) apiece.

In the nets, senior goalkeeper Shannon Monti has played all 846 minutes of the season thus far, tallying 49 saves, one shutout and a 2.02 goals-against average.

As a team, Arizona is leading the Pac-10 in saves (52) and is tied for fourth in both goals (22) and goals per game (2.44 gpg). Shannon Monti is the Pac-10 leader in saves (49) and is second in saves per game (5.44 spg).

ABOUT UCLA: Last season's NCAA runner-up, second-ranked UCLA holds a perfect 9-0-0 overall record following home wins over Loyola Marymount (3-0) and Princeton (2-0) last weekend. UCLA has allowed only two goals so far this year and will be the highest-ranked team Arizona has ever played.

Senior forward Stephanie Rigamat is the top-scoring Bruin, with eight goals and two assists (18 points) on the season. Senior midfielder Mary-Frances Monroe is second with six goals and three assists (15 points), followed by sophomore midfielder Lindsay Greco's six goals and one assist (13 points). Greco recently went down with an ACL injury and will be out for the remainder of the season.

Senior goalkeeper CiCi Peterson has played 747 minutes for the Bruins this season, tallying 30 saves, six shutouts and a 0.12 GAA. Freshman Sarah Lombardo has seen 62 minutes in the nets, with 1.44 GAA.

Head coach Jillian Ellis (William & Mary, 1988) holds a 43-9-2 record in three seasons at the helm of the UCLA program. She is 62-27-2 in five years as a head coach.

THE SERIES vs. UCLA: UCLA is undefeated in the series with Arizona, 7-0-0. The Bruins took last year's meeting in Tucson, 8-0, on Nov. 5.

LAST MEETING WITH UCLA: Playing its sixth ranked opponent in seven matches, Arizona ended its 2000 season with an 8-0 loss to then-No. 5 UCLA on Nov. 5 in Tucson. The loss was the worst in the history of Arizona soccer to date.

The Bruins out-shot Arizona, 31-1, with Wildcat Kristi Loro?a logging the UA's only shot in the match.

ABOUT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: On a five-game unbeaten streak, the Women of Troy upped their record to 5-3-1 overall with a 2-1 win at San Diego State last Sunday. USC is not currently ranked but is receiving votes for national ranking in the NSCAA Coaches Poll. The Trojans will play host to Arizona State on Friday before facing the Wildcats on Sunday.

Freshman forward Shannon Cross is USC's top scorer, with three goals and two assists (eight points). Four other Trojans are tied for second in scoring with five points apiece.

Senior goalkeeper Shaelyn Fernandes has played 750 minutes in the nets for the Women of Troy, gathering 39 saves, three shutouts and a 0.96 goals-against average. Freshman Julie Peterson has played 104 minutes, has three saves and a 1.73 GAA.

Sixth-year head coach Jim Millinder (Cal State Dominguez Hills, 1993) holds a 78-30-5 record with the Women of Troy. He has a 86-57-9 record in eight years as a head coach.

THE SERIES vs. USC: The Women of Troy have a solid 6-1-0 lead in the series with Arizona. USC won last year's matchup, 3-1, in Tucson. Arizona's only win in the series was a 3-2 decision on Oct. 5, 1995, in Tucson.

LAST MEETING WITH USC: The Wildcats fell to then-No. 25 USC, 3-1, in Tucson on Nov. 3, 2000. After more than 25 minutes of scoreless play, USC broke the shutout at 26:47, but its lead didn't last long as Sierra Cristiano answered for the Cats barely one minutes later.

With less than five minutes remaining in the first half, a flagrant UA foul in the box paved the way for USC to go up, 2-1, on a penalty kick. The Women of Troy capped the victory with a tally in the 58th minute.

ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: Playing its second overtime game of the season, Arizona was edged, 2-1, by Air Force last Sunday in Colorado Springs.

The Falcons dented the net first at 7:28, then the teams then played even until Wildcat sophomore forward Liz Bartlett knotted the game in the 70th minute with her third goal of the season. Freshman forward Candice Wilks was credited with the assist.

Air Force didn't need much of the overtime to win the game, connecting on the gamewinner at 95:38.

Senior goalkeeper Shannon Monti played all 96 minutes in the nets for Arizona, collecting seven saves, as Air Force out-shot the Wildcats, 20-16. Bartlett had a team-high four shots for the UA, including two on-goal. Wilks, Tymarie Novak, Sierra Cristiano, Vanesha Bailey and Tiffany Sabado registered two shots apiece.

ARIZONA HEAD COACH CATHY KLEIN: Second-year head coach Cathy Klein (SUNY-Cortland, 1987) holds a 6-20-3 mark at the helm of the Arizona program. She has a Division I career record of 63-61-4 over six years and is 85-114-9 in 11 years as a head coach.

Klein was named as the Wildcats' new head coach in January, 2000. 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 second 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 Casey Mann (Grand View College, 1997) is in his first season with the Wildcats. His primary responsibility at the UA is coaching the goalkeepers. His wife, Tawnya Mann, is also lending a hand as a volunteer assistant.

LOOKING AHEAD: The Wildcats finally return home for a pair of matches against the Oregon schools next weekend. Arizona will take on Oregon on Friday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m., then faces Oregon State on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 1 p.m.

The Cats hit the road again the following weekend to play at Washington (Oct. 26) and Washington State (Oct. 28).

PRACTICE SCHEDULE: All daily practices during the regular season, until Nov. 8, will be held from 2:30-4:30 p.m. The team will have weight-lifting sessions each Tuesday and Wednesday immediately after practice until 5:45 p.m., therefore no post-practice interviews on these days will be allowed until the strength training is completed.

Media are encouraged to attend all practices but are not permitted to converse with coaches or players during practice. Media can interview coaches and players after practice only. No pre-practice interviews will be permitted. All practices and games are conducted at Murphey Soccer Stadium, located at 15th Street and Plumer Ave.

RECORDS ARE FALLING: Only nine matches into the season, and the Cats have broken or tied eight school records already. Among those are most goals in a game (nine), most assists in a game (six) and longest unbeaten streak (four games).

RACKING `EM UP: Freshman forward Candice Wilks has five goals on the season, but she notched them all within a three-game span. She ran off three goals against Southern Utah on Sept. 7 then dented the net twice against UNLV on Sept. 23.

CONSISTENT CONTRIBUTOR: Freshman midfielder Vanesha Bailey has scored or assisted at least one goal in six of the season's nine matches. She scored Arizona's only goal during the two-game trip in Utah at the end of September.

RANKED OPPONENTS: Eight of the 18 opponents on Arizona's schedule this year are either nationally ranked or are receiving votes for ranking.

In the NSCAA Coaches Poll, UCLA is No. 2, Nebraska is No. 4, Stanford is No. 9, California is No. 17 and Washington is No. 21. Pepperdine, USC and BYU received votes for ranking.

The Soccer America Top 20 has UCLA at No. 2, Stanford at No. 5, Nebraska at No. 6, Washington at No. 14, and California at No. 15 .

In the SoccerBuzz.com national rankings, UCLA stands at No. 2, followed by #5 Stanford, #6 Nebraska, #15 California, and #17 Washington. BYU received votes for ranking.

RANKED OPPONENTS, PART DEUX: The UA played six nationally ranked opponents last year, more than in any other season in the program's history. The Cats' opener this year against No. 5 Nebraska on Aug. 31 marked the first time the UA has ever faced a ranked opponent in the first game of a season.

NOTING THE PAC-10: UCLA is the last Pac-10 team remaining undefeated and is one of only four unbeaten Division I teams. Stanford is second in the conference at 7-1-0, with California in third at 8-2-1. Oregon State follows at 7-2-1.

Four conference teams are ranked in this week's NSCAA Coaches Poll.

ON LOCATION: The Wildcats are 3-0-1 at home this season, 0-5-0 on the road and 0-0-0 in neutral games. Last year, Arizona garnered a 2-5-0 mark at home, was 1-8-1 on the road and was 0-0-1 in neutral matches.

MUSICAL LINEUPS: Fifteen different Wildcats have started at least one match for the UA this season.

TWICE IS NICE: Traditionally, the Cats have fared rather well when scoring two or more goals in a match. They have scored two or more in five of the season's nine games and have a 3-1-1 mark when doing so. Over the eight years of Wildcat soccer, the UA has a 31-18-2 record when scoring two goals or more.

CLOSE BUT...: The outcome of two of the Wildcats' nine games this season have been decided by one goal or less. In the eight-year history of the Arizona soccer program, 57 matches have been decided by that one-goal-or-less differential.

CAT SCRATCHES: Arizona has a 3-0 record this year when scoring three or more goals... The Cats are also 3-0 when holding the opponent to one or fewer goals... Freshman forward Cassie Daniels has four assists already this year, only two away from tying the school single-season record in that category.

MONTI'S MUSINGS: Each week throughout the 2001 season, senior goalkeeper Shannon Monti will be sharing her thoughts with fans via the official UA athletics web site, www.arizcats.com.

NICE START: The Wildcats' 3-1-1 start to the season is the best record ever through the first five games of a season. The previous best was 3-2 during the 1995 and 1999 seasons.

WVU, PITT GAMES CANCELLED: Arizona's road games at West Virginia (Sept. 14) and at Pittsburgh (Sept. 16) were cancelled after the terrorist attacks in the East. These contests will not be rescheduled.

CATS ADD TWO GAMES TO REPLACE CANCELLED DATES: The Wildcats added a pair of non-conference road games in October to replace those September games that were cancelled. Arizona played at Denver on Friday, Oct. 5, and then faced Air Force on Sunday, Oct. 7, to make up for those cancelled dates.

LORO?A NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Sept. 11): After a record-setting scoring performance during the Sept. 7 and 9 home games, senior forward Kristi Loro?a was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 4-10.

Loro?a tallied seven shots and scored five goals to lead the Wildcats to a pair of wins over that weekend. She came off the bench to score a school-record five goals while leading Arizona to a 9-1 home victory over Southern Utah on Sept. 9. Loro?a notched four of her five goals in a 24-minute span in the first half, including two goals that were 42 seconds apart. Loro?a notched one shot on-goal in UA's 3-0 win over New Mexico Sept. 7. That win ended an 11-game winless streak for Arizona.

This is Loro?a's first career Pac-10 Player of the Week honor, and Arizona's second women's soccer Player of the Week honor all-time.

LINEUP SHAKE-UP: Six new Wildcats made their debut in the UA starting lineup during the season opener at No. 5 Nebraska on Aug. 31. A total of seven freshmen and sophomores played in that game, which saw Cathy Klein bring only three subs off the bench.

SISTER ACT: The Wildcat roster features two pairs of sisters this year. Sophomores Liz and Samantha Bartlett are twins. Senior midfielder Erin Nelson and freshman defender Heather Nelson are also sisters. All four players have seen action already this season.

LOCAL CONNECTION: The 2001 Wildcat roster features three players from Tucson high schools -- Kristi Loro?a (Canyon del Oro), Erin Nelson (Sabino) and Heather Nelson (Sabino).

Five other players are from Phoenix-area high schools -- Cassidy Guinn (Shadow Mountain), Jenn Meintel (Glendale Cactus), Tara Monteleone (Xavier College Prep), Shannon Monti (Shadow Mountain) and Courtney Russell (Glendale Cactus).

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 Wildcats were picked to finish ninth, one spot higher than last season...
Pac-10 Preseason Women's Soccer Coaches Poll
1. UCLA
2. California
3. Washington
4. Stanford
5. USC
6. Arizona State
7. Washington State
8. Oregon State
9. ARIZONA
10. Oregon

2000 IN BRIEF: Under the direction of then-first-year head coach Cathy Klein, the squad finished the 2000 season with a 3-15-2 overall record that belies the progress which was actually made during the year. With a brutal schedule, the Wildcats played an unprecedented six nationally ranked teams, all in the final seven matches of the year.

Through a variety of events, including numerous injuries, Klein ended up with a group of only 15 players who were able to see action in more than half the season's games. Five freshmen and sophomores received the starting nod more than once.

The whole season, the Wildcats were just this close to a different outcome in many of their games. They played a school-record six overtime contests -- all within a nine-game stretch midway through the season. Ten of the season's 20 matches were decided by a margin of one goal or less. The squad set or tied 30 school records, including most overtime wins (two) and most corner kicks in a match (eight).

INDIVIDUALLY IN 2000: Despite missing the last two matches of the season because of illness, rookie Liz Bartlett was Arizona's leading scorer, with five goals and one assist (11 points). Kristi Loro?a was second in scoring with four goals (eight points), followed closely by Sierra Cristiano's three goals and one assist (seven points). Five other players registered one goal or more during the season. Erin Nelson was the team leader in assists, with three, although a total of eight Wildcats were credited with assists for the year.

Goalkeeper Shannon Monti saw the majority of minutes for the Cats, starting all 20 matches and garnering 87 saves and a 2.59 goals-against average. She combined with senior Inger Airheart for the UA's only shutout of the season on Sept. 30.

Junior defender Cassidy Guinn was named the team's Most Valuable Player, while Cristiano was selected the Most Improved Player. Bartlett was the team's Newcomer of the Year, and senior defender Niki Aguiar received the Coach's Award.

Guinn and Bartlett were both honorable mention All-Pac-10 selections, marking the first time since 1997 that a Wildcat received all-conference honors. Kate Nighswander-Will was a second team Academic All-Pac-10 honoree for the first time in her career. Guinn, Monti, Nelson, Ann Giallonardo, Twila Kaufman and Keri Kennedy-Weber all received honorable mention Academic All-Pac-10 laurels.

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