WHAT’S HAPPENING:The University of Arizona women’s soccer team (5-1-0 overall, 0-0-0 Pac-10) will compete in one match this weekend against in-state rival Northern Arizona. This will be the Wildcats’ third home match of the season. The game will take place on Friday Sept. 17, at 7 p.m. at the Wildcats’ home facility, Murphey Stadium, which is located at 15th Street and Plumer Avenue.
LAST TIME OUT: The Wildcats went 1-1 over the weekend, suffering their first lost of the season against their first ranked opponent, No. 16 West Virginia on the road in Morgantown, W.Va. Arizona then traveled to Pittsburg, Pa. where they were able to rebound with a 4-1 win over the Duquesne Dukes.
In Friday’s match, the Mountaineers were able to get on the board midway through the first half when Marisa Kanela scored from 12 yards out off of an assist by Laura Kane. The goal was the first allowed for freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith in her collegiate career. West Virginia’s second goal came in the 39th minute when the Mountaineers’ Ashley Weimer was able to slip the ball in the upper right corner of the goal past Smith. Both teams were held scoreless in the second half giving West Virginia its fourth victory and Arizona its first loss.
The Wildcats played two days later at Duquesne University. Arizona wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard with a goal from senior forward Kamaya Damwijk. Damwijk headed a corner kick from freshman Kaity Heath into the back of the net at 1:10. The Dukes were able to tie the game in the 28th minute with a goal from Katie Schwager. Just shortly after Schwager’s goal evened the score, the Wildcats had an opportunity to answer with a penalty kick in the 28th minute. Duquesne’s goalkeeper Virginia Bondi made the save on the penalty kick attempt to keep the game at a 1-1 tie. Freshman forward Sally Thurner put the Wildcats back on top with a goal in the 40th minute off of assists from junior Mallory Miller and sophomore Erin Bevacqua, giving the Cats a 2-1 lead going into the second half. Arizona’s lead was extended at 55:46 in the game when Duquesne misplayed a ball that lead to an own goal. The Wildcats’ final score came off of another corner kick as Damwijk recorded her second goal of the night and fourth of the season with assists going to freshman Claire Bodiya and Miller. Arizona walked away with the 4-1 win.
ABOUT NORTHERN ARIZONA: Northern Arizona returns nine starters from last season’s squad that went 7-9-3. The Lumberjacks claimed third place in the 2003 Big Sky Conference tournament after falling to the eventual champions, Idaho State, 1-0.
So far this season, Northern Arizona has gone 2-2-1 with wins over Illinois and Charleston Southern University. The Lumberjacks were defeated by Kent State and UNLV, and tied Utah Valley State in their first match.
The Lumberjacks’ points’ leader is freshman Dani Davis. Davis has four points off of two goals, and has yet to start a game. The only players to start all five matches are senior Karla Rogers, junior Kim Morrow and sophomores Jesyca Rosholt, Kaitlyn Manakas and Christina Loyash. Northern Arizona’s goalkeeper, junior Andrea Berra, has six goals against with 22 saves in five games.
Northern Arizona is coached by Andre Luciano. In three seasons with the Lumberjacks, Luciano has posted an 18-32-5 record. He is assisted by Tracy Grose and graduate assistant, Sierra Cristiano.
WILDCATS VERSUS LUMBERJACKS:Arizona is 4-0 in competition against Northern Arizona. The two schools’ last meeting came on Sept. 14, 2003 with the Wildcats winning 2-1. The largest margin of victory in the series for the Wildcats was a 4-1 win over the Lumberjacks on Aug. 27, 1999.
AMONG THE ELITE: On Sept. 8, freshman defender Kaity Heath was named to Soccer Buzz Magazine’s National Elite Team of the Week for her play during the week of August 30. In that week, 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 Defensive Most Valuable Player for the Arizona Invitational.
IN THE RANKINGS: For the second time in the school’s history, the Wildcats received votes in a national ranking poll. Arizona received eight points in SoccerTimes.com College Coaches Poll. The eight votes places the Wildcats at No. 36. The team had previously received votes earlier this season on Aug. 31.
A WINNING START: Despite the 2-0 loss to West Virginia over the weekend, Arizona has continued its best start in the program’s history with a 5-1 record. Previous to this season, Arizona’s best six game start to a season was 3-2-1, which the Wildcats earned in 1997, 2001, and 2002. The best overall record came in 1997 when Arizona went 8-11-1.
IN THE NETS: Freshman McCall Smith continues to impress as the starting goalkeeper. Smith has only allowed three goals in six games while logging 540 minutes with 24 saves. She went the first 379:49 minutes of the season without allowing a goal scored. Smith is the first Wildcat goalkeeper to log four consecutive shutouts. The nearly 380 consecutives minutes without a goal allowed is the longest time without a goal allowed 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: Tucsonan junior Mallory Miller is leading the Wildcats in points with 11. Miller has been a part of eight of the goals for the Wildcats with three goals scored and five assists. She also had the game-winning score in Arizona’s win over Drake University on Aug. 28. Senior Kamaya Damwijk leads the Cats in goals with four.
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 11-12-1 at Arizona, 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 of the Washington State women’s soccer team.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS: With two points over the weekend, junior Mallory Miller has continued to move up in quite a few categories in the history books. She is now second on the list of most shots, tied for seventh on the list of most goals, second on the list of most assists and has moved up to fourth on the list of most points.
AT HOME: The Wildcats have a 26-8-4 record in eight seasons playing on their home field, Murphey Stadium.