WHAT’S HAPPENING:The 17th-ranked University of Arizona women’s soccer team will head to Michigan to begin its regular season. The Wildcats take on Oakland at 2 p.m. (EST) Friday, Aug. 25 in Rochester, Mich. Arizona will then make the short trip to Ann Arbor, Mich., to face Michigan at noon (EST) Sunday, Aug. 27.
LAST TIME OUT: The Wildcats competed in an intra-squad scrimmage to end the team’s fall camp. Assistant coach Harold Warren’s Team Blue took on fellow assistant coach Lisa Oyen’s Team Red and White. Team Blue won the scrimmage 6-1, led by freshman Laura Huylebroeck’s hat trick.
ABOUT OAKLAND: Oakland lost its exhibition game to Eastern Michigan, 2-0. The Grizzlies were picked to finish first in the Mid-Continent Conference by the league coaches.
The Grizzlies won a share of the Mid-Continent Conference regular season championship in 2005. Oakland returns eight starters and 17 letterwinners from last season’s squad that went 9-8-1 overall. The team welcomes ten newcomers that are a part of the highest ranked Mid-Continent recruiting class.
Oakland lost its leading goal scorer from last season Kristi Swaving. The team does return senior Marianne Samdal who scored six goals in 2005 and has 18 career goals. The Grizzlies will have to rely on either freshman Kim Herbst or sophomore transfer Marky Jenkins in goal.
Oakland is coached by Nick O’Shea, who is in his 13th season with the Grizzlies. He has a 145-68-10 career record, including three NCAA tournament appearances.
GRIZZLIES VS. WILDCATS: This is the first series meeting between the two teams.
ABOUT MICHIGAN: Michigan was victorious in its exhibition game against Detroit, winning 3-0. The Wolverines were picked to finish sixth this season in the Big Ten Conference. Michigan is ranked seventh in the Great Lakes Region by Soccer Buzz.
Michigan returns its leading scorer, Melissa Dobbyn. Dobbyn had 12 goals and eight assists last season. The Wolverines also return senior goal keeper Megan Tuura who started all but three games in 2005.
Last season, the Wolverines finished 8-9-4 overall and 3-6-1 in the Big Ten. Michigan returns nine starters and twenty letterwinners from that team. Six freshmen join the squad.
Michigan is coached by Debbie Rademacher, who is in her 13th season. She has a 148-92-25 overall record while at Michigan, including eight postseason appearances.
WOLVERINES VS. WILDCATS: Michigan won the only series meeting between the two teams. The Wolverines defeated Arizona, 6-1, on Oct. 29, 1994 in Tucson.
ARIZONA IN THE RANKINGS: Soccer America has ranked the Wildcats No. 17 nationally, while Soccer Buzz has the Wildcats as No. 12 team in the West Region.
Pac-10 IN THE RANKINGS:In addition to Arizona’s ranking in the top-25 poll, UCLA is ranked No. 1 in the Soccer America and Soccer Buzz and No. 2 NSCAA polls. California stands as the No. 18, No. 30 and No. 10 in the Soccer America, Soccer Buzz and NSCAA polls, respectively. Southern California and Stanford are ranked No. 17 and No. 19 in the Soccer Buzz poll, respectively.
Additionally, Pac-10 teams hold six of the top-15 spots in Soccer Buzz’s West Region Poll,
2. Santa Clara
9. Long Beach St.
13. San Diego St.
15. Oregon State
HEAD COACH DAN TOBIAS: In 2005, Tobias led the Wildcats to a 11-8-3 overall record and a 4-4-1 record in the Pac-10. Additionally, Tobias led the team to its first berth in the NCAA Sweet 16 in the program’s history. In three years, Tobias has compiled a 32-25-5 record at Arizona.