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UA Soccer Plays at USC, No. 3 UCLA This Week
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 10/21/2003
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Oct. 21, 2003

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WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's soccer team (4-7-2 overall, 0-2-1 Pac-10) hits the road again this weekend, this time heading for Los Angeles. The Wildcats play at USC on Friday, Oct. 24, at 3 p.m., then they take on No. 3 UCLA on Sunday, Oct. 26, at 1 p.m. PST.

ABOUT ARIZONA: Standing at 4-7-2 overall and 0-2-1 in Pac-10 play, the Wildcats ended a four-game losing skid when they played then-No. 24 Arizona State to a 1-1 double-overtime tie at home last Saturday. That tie also ended an eight-game losing streak to the Sun Devils.

Junior forward Candice Wilks remains in the scoring lead for the Wildcats, with six goals and two assists (14 points). Sophomore midfielder Mallory Miller is a close second with 12 points off five goals and two assists. Freshman midfielder Erin Bevacqua is third in scoring, with three goals (six points).

Miller leads the squad with 41 shots on the season, including a team-best 17 shots on-goal. Wilks is second with 28 shots, 14 on-goal, followed by sophomore midfielder Lisa Kosena with 21 shots.

Sophomore goalkeeper Natalie Juarez has started 10 games this season, registering 34 saves, one shutout and a 1.51 goals-against average in 893 minutes of play. Junior keeper Krystal Werges has seen action in six matches, tallying seven saves, one shutout and a 1.99 GA average in 317 minutes.

CATS SET NEW CORNER KICKS MARK: With six matches left in the 2003 season, Arizona has already set a new school record for single-season corner kicks, with 101 on the year. The Wildcats broke the old record of 97 set by the 2002 squad.

BACK TO HER OLD FORM: Junior forward Candice Wilks has either scored or assisted eight of Arizona's 19 goals so far this season. With such production, it appears as though she's back to the form of her freshman year (2001), when she was the Cats' top scorer with eight goals and three assists (19 points). Playing primarily in the midfield last year, Wilks registered just two assists for the season.

ABOUT USC: The Trojans are 6-5-4 overall and 2-1-1 in the Pac-10 after splitting a pair of matches in the Bay Area last weekend. USC slipped past California, 1-0, on Oct. 17, then lost at Stanford, 2-0, on Oct. 19. The Trojans are not ranked in this week's NSCAA Coaches Poll, but they are No. 19 in the Soccer America Top 25.

With six goals and two assists (14 points), freshman midfielder Rosa Anna Tantillo leads USC in scoring. Senior forward Jessica Edwards is second with four goals and two assists (10 points), followed by sophomore forward Tina Sutorius with two goals and one assist (five points). Junior goalkeeper Julie Peterson has played every minute of every match in-goal for USC, recording 48 saves, six shutouts and a 1.20 goals-against average in 15 games.

In his eighth season at the helm of the USC program, head coach Jim Millinder (Cal State Dominguez Hills, 1993) holds a 100-47-13 record with the Trojans. He is 108-74-17 in 10 years as a head coach.

THE SERIES vs. USC: The Trojans have an 8-1-0 lead in the series with Arizona, including a narrow 2-1 overtime victory in Tucson last season. The Wildcats' lone win in the series came on Oct. 5, 1995, a 3-2 victory in Tucson.

LAST MEETING WITH USC: After scoring a late goal to send the match into overtime, Arizona was edged by then-No. 19 USC, 2-1 in overtime, at home on Oct. 20, 2002.

At 26:19, USC's Ashley Casas sent a pass from the left side to Jessica Edwards, who struck from the right side when Wildcat goalkeeper Natalie Juarez slipped. Two minutes later, Arizona had a chance to score the equalizer when it was awarded a penalty kick after Naomi Chu was fouled in the box. Erin Clewett took the PK for Arizona, but it was stopped by USC goalkeeper Julie Peterson. Neither team scored again during the period, leaving the Women of Troy with a 1-0 lead at the break.

After being out-shot, 11-5, in the first half, Arizona clamped down on USC and out-shot the Women of Troy, 6-5, in the second period. With less than four minutes left in regulation, Wildcat Kelly Nelson carried the ball through the USC defense and pushed it forward to Maggie MacCool, who sent the game into overtime with her fifth goal of the season at 86:29. The assist was Nelson's first of the season.

With five seconds left in regulation, USC defender Megan Abbamonto received her second yellow card of the match and was ejected. That resulted in the Women of Troy entering overtime a player short. Initially, it appeared that Arizona might be able to take advantage of the situation, when Jennifer Klein sent a corner kick into the box at 91:56, but Kelly Nelson's follow-up header was wide left. Two minutes later, USC's Ali Fennell took a long ball from Amanda Roach and tipped the game-winner past UA keeper Natalie Juarez at 93:42.

ABOUT UCLA: Ranked No. 3 in the NSCAA Coaches Poll and No. 4 in the Soccer America Top 25 this week, the Bruins are 10-1-3 overall and 3-0-1 in conference action. They extended their unbeaten streak to seven matches with a 0-0 overtime tie at Stanford on Oct. 17 and a 1-0 win at California on Oct. 19. UCLA will face Arizona State at home this Friday before taking on the Wildcats on Sunday.

Sophomore forward Iris Mora leads UCLA in scoring, with four goals and eight assists (16 points). Seniors Whitney Jones (five goals, two assists) and Sarah-Gayle Swanson (six goals) are tied for second with 12 points apiece. Junior goalkeeper Sarah Lombardo has seen the majority of action in-goal for the Bruins, collecting 16 saves, four shutouts and a 0.76 goals-against average in 832 minutes of play. Freshman keeper Arianna Criscione has played 526 minutes, logging 11 saves, one shutout and a 0.86 GA average.

UCLA head coach Jillian Ellis (William & Mary, 1988) is 82-17-5 in five seasons with the Bruins. She has a career record of 101-35-5 in seven seasons.

THE SERIES vs. UCLA: The Bruins have a perfect 9-0-0 record in the series with Arizona, including a 1-0 shutout of the Wildcats in Tucson last year.

LAST MEETING WITH UCLA: Then-No. 7 UCLA needed a penalty kick late in the game to slip past Arizona, 1-0, in Tucson on Oct. 18, 2002.

The first half proved to be an active one for Arizona goalkeeper Natalie Juarez, who registered five saves for the period, several of them spectacular. On the offensive side, the Cats put together a number of great runs but were unable to convert them into shot attempts. The game was scoreless at halftime.

UCLA's Jill Oakes scored the only goal of the contest at 67:46 when she was awarded a penalty kick after being fouled hard in the box. The Bruins registered only one more shot on-goal after that.

UCLA out-shot Arizona, 25-2, for the match and had a 13-1 advantage in shots on-goal. Wildcat keeper Natalie Juarez finished the contest with 10 saves while playing all 90 minutes, her second complete game of the season.

ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: The Wildcats played then-24th-ranked Arizona State to a 1-1 double-overtime tie at home last Saturday, ending an eight-game losing skid to the Sun Devils.

The first half was a defensive battle -- the Cats out-shot the Sun Devils, 7-4, for the period, but they had only two shots on-goal. With nine minutes left in the first, Wildcat Kelly Nelson sent a shot directly at ASU goalkeeper Kim Bingham for the easy save, but Erin Bevacqua made Bingham work for a save in the 39th minute. The two squads were tied, 0-0, at the break.

Arizona came out firing in the second half, rattling off five shots in the first five minutes of the period. During that barrage, UA's Candice Wilks had a point-blank shot saved in the 48th minute. Continuing to pound the ASU goal finally paid off for the Cats in the 63rd minute, when Wilks fired a shot that Bingham batted out. Wildcat freshman forward Lauren Winters was there to collect the rebound, and she scored her first collegiate goal from about 10 yards out at 62:27.

The Wildcats kept after it and had two more shots late in regulation that were saved just before going into the goal. Despite being out-shot, 13-5, in the second half, ASU tied the game with less than eight minutes left. Stephanie Ebner threw the ball in from the left side to Patrice Feulner in the box, who tapped it forward for Courtney Crane to score the equalizer at 82:21. The Cats never got off another shot in regulation, and a shot by ASU's Elizabeth Bogus in the 84th minute was stopped by Arizona goalkeeper Natalie Juarez.

Arizona State had three shots during the first overtime period while preventing the Wildcats from taking any shots. In the second overtime, Arizona had a 3-2 edge in shots, but the only one on-goal resulted in an easy save by ASU's Bingham.

Arizona finished the game with a 23-14 advantage in shots, including a 9-7 edge in shots on-goal. Wilks posted a game-high eight shots, with three on-goal, for the Wildcats, while Mallory Miller had three shots. Juarez finished the match with five saves in-goal for Arizona.

The Wildcats also logged 10 corner kicks in the match, bringing their season total up to 101 and setting a new school record for single-season corner kicks. The Cats broke the old mark of 97, set by the 2002 squad.

LOOKING AHEAD: The Wildcats return to Tucson next weeekend for their final home games of the season. The Cats will face Oregon State on Friday, Oct. 31, at 7 p.m., and they close their home slate against Oregon on Sunday, Nov. 2, at 1 p.m.

Arizona wraps up the 2003 season in Washington the following week. The Cats play at Washington State on Friday, Nov. 7, at 2 p.m. PST, then Arizona takes on Washington on Sunday, Nov. 9, at 1 p.m. PST, in Seattle.

ARIZONA HEAD COACH Dan Tobias: First-year head coach Dan Tobias (Cal Poly, 1987) is 4-7-2 with the Wildcats. He holds a career record of 48-52-8 over six years, five of which were spent at the helm of the Washington State program. Tobias was the 2002 Pac-10 Coach of the Year after guiding the Cougars to a third-place finish in the conference and their second NCAA tournament appearance in three years.

THE REST OF THE STAFF: In her first season at the UA, Lisa Oyen (Montana, 1998) followed Dan Tobias from Washington State, where she was part of Tobias' coaching staff for two years.

Assistant coach Harold Warren (Cal Poly SLO, 2002) is also in his first year with the Wildcats. He came to the UA after spending the 2002 season on the women's soccer staff at UC Irvine.

KEEP SHOOTING: The Wildcats have out-shot their opponents, 200-126, for the season. That means the Cats are taking an average of almost six more shots per game than their opponents.

Arizona also has an enormous 101-27 advantage in corner kicks already this year, further proof that the Cats are spending much more time in the opponent's third than in their own. At Montana on Sept. 26, the Wildcats set a new school record with 14 corner kicks, breaking the original mark of 12 set previously on Oct. 21, 2001, against Oregon State.

ARIZONA'S RECORD WHEN: This season, the Wildcats are... 4-1-2 when tied or leading at the half... 3-2-0 when scoring two goals or more... 4-0-2 when giving up just one goal or less.

A TALE OF TWO HALVES: The Wildcats have been out-scored by their opponents, 14-8, in the first half during this season's matches. However, Arizona has out-scored its opponents, 11-8, in the second half.

TWICE IS NICE: Traditionally, the Cats have fared rather well when scoring two or more goals in a match. They have won three of the five matches this year in which they have scored more than one goal. Over the 10 years of Wildcat soccer, the UA has a 41-23-2 record when scoring two goals or more.

CLOSE BUT...: The outcome of nine of the Wildcats' 13 games so far this season has been decided by one goal or less. In the 10-year history of the Arizona soccer program, 77 matches have been decided by that one-goal-or-less differential.

TOUGH SCHEDULE: Six of Arizona's 2003 opponents are either nationally ranked or received votes for ranking in this week's polls.

In the NSCAA Coaches Poll, UCLA is No. 3, and Washington is No. 18. Arizona State received votes for ranking.

In the Soccer America Top 25, UCLA stands at No. 4, Stanford is No. 17, USC is No. 19, Washington is No. 22, and Arizona State is No. 25.

In the Soccer Buzz Magazine Top 25, UCLA is holding down the No. 4 spot, Arizona State is No. 20, and Washington is No. 24.

In the SoccerTimes.com Top 25, UCLA is No. 3, Washington is No. 15, Arizona State is No. 18, and USC is No. 24. Stanford and California received votes for ranking.

CURRENT CATS AMONG UA CAREER LEADERS: Junior forward Candice Wilks is third on the UA career list for total points (35), is tied for third in game-winning goals (3), tied for third in goals scored (14), is fourth in total shots (96), and is tied for fourth in assists (7).

Junior midfielder Vanesha Bailey is seventh in career assists (6), tied for seventh in total points (22), tied for eighth in games started (49) and is tied for ninth in goals scored (8). Sophomore midfielder Mallory Miller is fifth in total shots (88), is tied for sixth in game-winning goals (2) and tied for eighth in assists (5).

Sophomore forward Kelly Nelson is fifth in career goals scored (13) and fifth in total points (29). Sophomore midfielders Lisa Kosena and Erin Clewett are both tied for eighth in career assists, with five apiece. Junior defender Lindsey Peeples is tied for eighth in career games started, with 49.

Sophomore goalkeeper Natalie Juarez is second in career goals-against average (2.17), fourth in goalkeeping minutes played (1964) and fourth in saves (104).

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The Wildcats have a 26-36-4 record in eight seasons playing on their home field, Murphey Stadium.

ON LOCATION: Arizona is 3-3-1 at home this year, 1-3-0 in road contests and 0-1-1 in neutral matches. The Wildcats were 4-5-0 at home last season, 1-7-0 on the road and 1-0-1 in neutral games.

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