WHAT’S HAPPENING: The Arizona women’s soccer team (9-7-3 overall, 4-4-1 Pac-10) will travel to Salt Lake City, Utah to play Utah (14-6-1 overall, 6-0-1 Mountain West) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 10.
Brigham Young (15-2-3 overall, 4-1-2 Mountain West) will play Weber State (14-4-1 overall, 5-1-0 Big-Sky) in the first game in the sub-region at 2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 10 at 4 p.m.
The winners of both games will face off on Nov. 12 at 1 p.m.
NCAA Soccer Championship Schedule at Ute Field:
First Round (Thursday, November 10)
Game 1 - BYU vs. Weber State 4:30 p.m.
Game 2 - Utah vs. Arizona 7p.m.
Second Round (Saturday, November 12)
Game 3 - Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner 1p.m.
(All times Mountain Standard Time)
ABOUT UTAH: The Utes enter Thursday’s match coming off a narrow 1-0 loss to New Mexico in the Mountain West Conference semifinals, snapping an eight game unbeaten streak. The Utes wrapped up their regular season with a 14-6-1 record, including an 8-1-0 record at home at Ute Field.
Utah has used a balanced scoring attack much of the season, with 11 different players recording one goal, and seven with at least two goals. The Utes are led by freshman Adele Letro and junior Amanda Feight with seven goals apiece. Freshman Katy Reineke and junior Kim Lloyd have each added three goals and four assists each.
The Utes have been sound defensively led by goalkeeper Ashley Mason who has started all 21 games for the Utes while allowing only 15 goals. Mason and the Utes’ defense has allowed more than one goal in a game on only one occasion this season, a 4-0 loss to Cal State Fullerton at the Arizona Soccer Classic.
The Utes are 10-0 in games in which they score more than one goal, and have played four overtime games this season, owning a 1-2-1 record in those games.
Rich Manning, who is in his fourth year at the helm, coaches Utah. He has earned a 56-18-9 record during his tenure.
Wildcats vs. Utes: The series between the two teams stands at 2-2. In the last meeting on Sept. 16, 2005, Arizona defeated Utah 2-1 in overtime at home.
Wildcats vs. Cougars: BYU leads the series 5-1-0. The last meeting came on Oct. 1 with BYU defeating Arizona 2-1 in Tucson.
Wildcats vs. Wildcats: Arizona defeated Weber State in Ogden State 2-1 in the two teams’ only meeting on Sept. 25, 2004.
WILDCATS AT UTE FIELD: The Wildcats hold a 1-0 record at Ute field. The only time Arizona played Salt Lake City was on Sept. 30, when the Wildcats lost 4-1 to the Utes.
TWICE AS NICE: Arizona is making its second straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament after the program went without a postseason berth in its first 10 seasons. The Wildcats earned a Top 16 seed in 2004 following their co-Pac-10 Championship and automatic bid. A more than 2,000-mile trek across the country to Storrs, Conn., culminated with a 1-0 loss to Colgate in a game played in snow. Never the less, the NCAA experience was a breakthrough for the Arizona soccer program.
EXPERIENCE PAYS OFF: Or at least the Wildcats are hoping their experience gained from 2004 will pay off. Nine of the 11 starters in last year’s opening round match with Colgate returned this season.
This year Arizona has five key contributors that are seniors and will end their collegiate careers in the NCAA Tournament. Forwards Mallory Miller and Kelly Nelson as well as midfielders Jennifer Klein, Nikki David and Kamaya Damwijk are looking to build off last season and extend their Arizona careers at least one more week.
FAMILIAR FACES: There won’t be many surprises on the field this weekend in Salt Lake City. Arizona has already faced Utah and BYU this season in Tucson, and traveled to the Beehive state to square off with BYU and Weber State in 2004.
The Wildcats escaped with a 1-0 overtime victory over then No. 25 Utah in the Arizona Soccer Classic on Sept. 16. The Wildcats comeback bid fell short against BYU on Oct. 1, as the Cougars held on for the road victory, 2-1.
Last season, Arizona picked up a pair of non-conference victories with a 2-1 win over Weber State and shut out BYU 1-0.
SMITH’S HOMECOMING: Arizona goalkeeper McCall Smith is the lone Wildcat from the state of Utah and she will be returning to her hometown to face some familiar competition. Smith, from Salt Lake City’s Skyline High School, will be reunited with former high school teammates and current Cougars Natalie Evans and Alison Haymond.
The Cougars also have 15 other native Utahans on their roster, while Utah has 10. Weber State, with 20, has the most players from the state of Utah.
CLOSER TO HOME: The NCAA Selection Committee was a bit nicer to the Wildcats this year, sending the club to Salt Lake City. Last year, despite being one of the Top-16 national seeds, Arizona was shipped to Storrs, Conn., where it fell to Colgate 1-0. The Wildcats hope being nearly 1,600 miles closer to home this year will lead to a better showing on the field. Arizona also hopes to face better weather conditions this year compared to the blistering cold temperatures that accompanied a snowstorm in the northeast last November.
WILDCAT OPPONENTS IN THE TOURNEY: Eight of the Wildcats’ 19 opponents earned berths to the 2005 NCAA Tournament. Arizona played Pepperdine, Utah, Portland, BYU, California, Stanford, UCLA and Southern California. Four of the eight teams are a part of the Pac-10 Conference. Five of the eight opponents received a 1-4 seeding and are among the Top 16 teams in the tournament.
Stanford vs. St. Louis W
Brigham Young (4) vs. Weber State L
Utah vs. Arizona W
Portland (1) vs. Iowa State L
(1) UCLA vs. Mississippi Valley L
Southern California vs. UNLV L
California (3) vs. Rice T
Pepperdine (4) vs. Mississippi L
(2005 Arizona opponents in bold)
Eight opponents in the NCAA Tournament tops last season’s mark of seven. Additionally, five Pac-10 teams made the tournament over last season’s number of four.
TOUGH ENDING: Four of the Wildcats’ last five regular season opponents all made the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats finished up the season against California, Stanford, Arizona State, UCLA and USC. The only opponent in those five games not to make the tournament was Arizona State.
WILDCATS vs. TOURNAMENT OPPONENTS: Arizona went 2-5-1 against the eight opponents that received NCAA Tournament bids.
Aug. 28 at Pepperdine Loss, 3-1
Sept. 16 Utah Win, 1-0 OT
Sept. 23 at Portland Loss, 3-0
Oct. 1 BYU Loss, 2-1
Oct. 21 California Tie, 0-0
Oct. 23 Stanford Win, 2-1
Nov. 4 at UCLA Loss, 2-1 2OT
Nov. 6 at USC Loss, 1-0
WILDCATS vs. NON-TOURNAMENT OPPONENTS: Arizona went 7-2-2 against opponents that did not earn a NCAA Tournament berth. The two losses both came in Pacific-10 play versus Washington State (L, 2-1) and Arizona State (L, 2-1).
REGULAR SEASON PAC: After winning the 2004 Pac-10 Championship, the Wildcats placed in a tie for fifth behind UCLA, California, USC and Stanford.
The two teams the Wildcats tied with, Arizona State and Washington State, both beat Arizona this season and did not earn a spot in the tournament.
FINAL REGULAR SEASON PAC-10 STANDINGS
1. UCLA (23) 7-0-2, .889; 17-1-2, .900
2. California (22) 7-1-1, .833; 14-3-2, .789
3. USC (19) 6-2-1, .722; 12-5-2, .684
4. Stanford (14) 4-3-2, .556; 10-6-3, .605
5. Washington State (13) 4-4-1, .500; 11-7-2, .600
Arizona (13) 4-4-1, .500; 9-7-3, .553
Arizona State (13) 4-4-1, .500; 9-8-3, .525
8. Oregon State (10) 3-5-1, .389; 10-8-1, .553
9. Oregon (3) 1-8-0, .111; 9-9-1, .500
10. Washington (0) 0-9-0, .000; 0-17-3, .075
INDIVIDUALLY IN THE PAC: Mallory Miller leads the Pac-10 in total points (39), points per game (2.05), goals (17) and goals per game (0.89). She is second in game-winning goals (7).
Sophomore goalkeeper McCall Smith leads the Pac-10 in saves (106) and saves per game (5.89). Additionally, Smith is third in shutouts with seven.
MILLER NATIONALLY: Senior Mallory Miller ranks among the nation’s top players in the following categories:
Goals Per Game
T9. Mallory Miller, Arizona (19 games, 17 goals, 0.89 per game)
Points Per Game
15. Mallory Miller, Arizona (19 games, 17 goals, 5 assists, 39 points, 2.05 ppg)
MILLER’S RECORD BREAKING PERFORMANCES: Now in her fourth season, Mallory Miller has broken all 12 season and career records. Miller already owned both season and career assists records coming into the 2005 season.
Season Assists -
Previous record holder: Nikki Jones (1998), 6 assists
Current record holder: Mallory Miller (2004), 9 assists
Career Assists -
Previous record holder: Nikki Jones (1995-95), 14 assists
Current record holder: Mallory Miller (2002-05), 19 assists
Season Shots -
Current record holder: Chrissy Sanford (1999), 66
New record holder: Mallory Miller (2005), 71
Career Shots ?-
Previous record holder: Nikki Jones (1995-98), 170 shots
New record holder: Mallory Miller (2002-05), 227 shots
Season Goals Scored -
Previous record holder: Kelly Nelson (2002), 13 goals
New record holder: Mallory Miller (2005), 17 goals
Career Goals Scored -
Previous record holder: Nikki Jones (1995-98), 25 goals
New record holder: Mallory Miller (2002-05), 30 goals
Season Total Points -
Previous record holders: Kelly Nelson (2002), 27 points
Christine Keeley (1995), 27 points
New record holder: Mallory Miller (2005), 39 points
Career Total Points -
Previous record holder: Nikki Jones (1995-98), 64 points
New record holder: Mallory Miller (2002-05), 79 points
Season Game-Winning Goals -
Previous record holder: Candice Wilks (2004), 4 GWG
New record holder: Mallory Miller (2005), 7 GWG
Career Game-Winning Goals -
Previous record holder: Candice Wilks (2001-04), 8 GWG
New record holder: Mallory Miller (2002-05), 12 GWG
Career Games Played -
Current record holder: Lindsey Peeples (2001-04), 77 games
New record holder: Mallory Miller (2002-05), 78 games
Career Games Started -
Current record holder: Lindsey Peeples (2001-04), 73 games
New record holder: Mallory Miller (2002-05), 78 games
WILDCATS UP-FRONT: The Wildcats have relied on seniors Mallory Miller and Kelly Nelson as the starting forwards. Freshmen Gianna DeSavario and London King have been coming off of the bench to play up front. The four players have combined for 23 of Arizona’s 29 goals this season.
Mallory Miller 17 goals
Gianna DeSavario 3 goals
London King 3 goals
Kelly Nelson 1 goal
WILDCATS IN THE MIDFIELD: Wildcat senior Jennifer Klein has played central midfield throughout the season with sophomore Nicole Scheid. Seniors Kamaya Damwijk, Nikki David, and junior Erin Bevacqua have traded off time playing at the two outside midfield positions.
WILDCATS DEFENSIVELY: The Wildcats have started sophomore Kaity Heath at the left-back position. Sophomore Claire Bodiya and freshman Savanah Levake have played the central defenders, with freshman Brianna Caceres starting at right back.
WILDCATS IN THE NETS: Sophomore goalie McCall Smith is coming off of a freshman season in which she broke four of the program’s goalkeeping records and was named a finalist for Freshman of the Year. She had started every game in her Wildcat career until Nov. 4 vs. UCLA. She sat the game out after a concussion she suffered on Oct. 29 vs. Arizona State.
Smith is Arizona’s career leader in shutouts with 18.
HEAD COACH DAN TOBIAS: In 2004, Dan Tobias led the Wildcats to a 15-6 overall record. Additionally the 6-3 Pac-10 record gave Arizona its first Pac-10 championship in the history of the program.
For his efforts, Tobias was the first coach in Arizona soccer history to be named Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Tobias is the second coach to receive Pac-10 Coach of the Year accolades twice, after being named 2002 Coach of the Year while at Washington State. USC’s Jim Millinder accomplished the feat in 1996 and 1998.
Additionally, Tobias received national recognition by being named 2004 National Coach of the Year by Soccer America. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America and Soccer Buzz Magazine also named him West Region Coach of the Year.