WHAT’S HAPPENING:The University of Arizona women’s soccer team (8-1-0 overall, 0-0-0 Pac-10) competes in its final non-conference games of the season at home this weekend. The Wildcats will play against Pepperdine University (6-2-1, 0-0-0) on Friday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m., followed by Colorado College (5-3-1, 0-0-0) on Sunday, Oct. 3 at 1 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT: The Wildcats traveled to Utah last weekend and came away with two wins over Brigham Young, 1-0, and Weber State, 2-1.
In Thursday’s match against the Cougars, neither team registered a goal in the first half. It appeared that the Wildcats had scored when senior Kamaya Damwijk headed a cross from freshman Sally Thurner into the back of the net, but the goal was disallowed due to an off sides call. Freshman Amanda Urtuzuastegui scored in the second half at 71:20 to break the 0-0 tie. The goal is the first of the season for Urtuzuastegui, and was scored off of a corner kick from freshman Kaity Heath. The Wildcats had nine shots in the second half while the Cougars had ten. Freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith recorded her sixth shutout of the season with seven saves.
The Cats competed against Weber State on Saturday in Odgen, Utah. Arizona got the first goal of the game at 12:49 when junior Nikki David scored off of a pass from senior Candice Wilks. The goal was David’s fourth of the season. In the second half, Arizona improved its lead at 62:13 with a goal by freshman Sarah Litt. The assist went to sophomore Erin Bevacqua. Just over 11 minutes later, Weber State’s Naomi Felix cut Arizona’s lead in half with a goal. Although Weber State had chances late in the game, Arizona held on for the 2-1 victory.
ABOUT PEPPERDINE: No. 25 Pepperdine returns eight starters from last season’s squad that went 14-6-1. The Waves reached the second round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament and finished the season with a final NSCAA ranking of No. 20.
So far this season, the Waves have a 6-2-1 record. Pepperdine began the season with a six-game undefeated streak before losing on Sept. 17 on the road against Washington State. In the undefeated streak, the Waves beat Cal State Fullerton, San Jose State, Columbia, Iowa State and Charlotte, and tied California. In the streak, the Waves did not allow any goals, posting six shutouts. Their only other loss came over the weekend against No. 9 UCLA on Friday. The Waves competed against Arizona State on Sunday and won 2-1.
The Waves’ points leader is junior forward Jenna Fodor. Fodor leads the team in goals with three and also has one assist to give her seven points. Two of her three goals have been game winning goals. Junior forward Megan Woods has five points with two goals and one assist. The Waves’ goalkeeper is junior Anna Picarelli who has started all nine games. She has a goals against average of .33 and has only allowed three goals with six shutouts.
Pepperdine is coached by Tim Ward. In six years with the Waves, he has posted a 75-34-12 record. He is assisted by Twila Kaufman and Kevin Eagleston.
WILDCATS VERSUS WAVES:Pepperdine leads the series with a 3-1-1 advantage over the Wildcats. The last meeting between the two teams was on Sept. 21, 2001, which resulted in a 2-2 tie.
ABOUT COLORADO COLLEGE: Colorado College returns six starters from last season’s squad that went 8-9-2.
At this point in the season, Colorado College has posted a record of 5-3-1. The Tigers began the season with a three-game losing streak with losses to Michigan State, Northwestern University and the University of Toledo. In those three games, the Tigers had ten goals scored against them. Since the three losses, Colorado College has gone undefeated with five wins and one tie. The five wins came over the University of Idaho, Xavier University, Texas State, Montana, and Air Force Academy. The tie came against Eastern Washington.
Colorado College’s offensive leader is junior Stevie Kernan. Kernan has 11 points off of five goals and one assist. She also leads the team in game winning goals with two. Senior Ashley Hooverson also poses an offensive threat with ten points. She has four goals and two assists. The Tiger’s goalkeeper is senior Meghann Loseke. Loseke has earned all five wins for the squad with a goals against average of 1.73.
The Tigers are coached Geoff Bennett who is in his first season on the bench. He is assisted by Scott Lamphear and Heather Kasparek.
WILDCATS VERSUS TIGERS: In the only meeting of the series, Arizona and Colorado College battled to a 0-0 tie on Oct. 24, 1999.
IN THE RANKINGS: For the first time in the program’s history Arizona is ranked with a No. 15 spot in this week’s SoccerBuzz.com regional rankings. The poll ranks the top-15 teams in each region. Arizona is a part of the western region, which contains 47 teams.
SO FAR THIS SEASON: With eight victories, the Wildcats have equaled the most wins in a season for the program.The win total matches the 1997 team’s final record of 8-11-1. The Wildcats have victories over Iowa State, Drake, UC-Irvine, Fairleigh Dickinson, Duquesne, Northern Arizona, Brigham Young and Weber State. The Wildcats have already passed last season’s win total of six. The lone loss of the season came on Sept. 10 against No. 16 West Virginia. Six of the eight Wildcat victories have been shutouts. Previous to this season, Arizona’s best nine game start to a season was 5-3-1 in 1997.
LOOKING AHEAD: This weekend will conclude the Wildcats’ non-conference schedule. Arizona will open the Pac-10 schedule at home on Friday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. against Washington State. The Wildcats will then take on No. 3 Washington on Sunday, Oct. 10 at 1 p.m. Last season the Wildcats finished with the best conference record in the program’s history by going 2-6-1.
TOUGH COMPETITION: Six of Arizona’s opponents are ranked in this week’s NSCAA National Rankings. Arizona lost 2-0 to No. 24 West Virginia on Sept. 10. The Wildcats’ next ranked opponent will be No. 25 Pepperdine this weekend. The other four ranked opponents are part of the Pac-10 conference. They include No. 3 Washington, No. 7 UCLA, No. 10 California and No. 16 Stanford.
IN THE PAC: Arizona is among the leaders of the Pac-10 in quite a few offensive and defensive categories. The Wildcats are in second behind California for the most goals scored with 24. Arizona is also second to the Golden Bears in assists with 23. Stanford is the conference leader in fewest goals allowed with three, and leads second-place Arizona by just one. Arizona has the second best overall record in the conference. Washington leads the Pac-10 with an 8-0 record.
Individually, junior Mallory Miller is fourth in shots taken, fifth in points and she leads the conference in assists with seven. Senior Kamaya Damwijk and junior Nikki David are tied for eighth for the most goals with four a piece. Freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith is third in goals against average at .44 and saves with 39. She leads the conference in shutouts with six.
IN THE NETS: Freshman McCall Smith continues to impress as the starting goalkeeper. With six shutouts, Smith has tied the school record for most shutouts in a season. Inger Airheart had six in 20 games played in the 1997 season. Smith has only allowed four goals in eight games while logging 810 minutes with 39 saves. She went the first 379:49 minutes of the season without allowing a goal. Smith is the first Wildcat goalkeeper to log four consecutive shutouts and the nearly 380 consecutives minutes without a goal allowed is the longest span 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: Tucson-native junior Mallory Miller continues to lead the Wildcats in points with 13. Miller has been a part of ten goals for the Wildcats with three goals scored and seven assists. She also had the game-winning goal in Arizona’s win over Drake University on Aug. 28. Senior Kamaya Damwijk and junior Nikki David lead the Cats in goals with four. Senior Candice Wilks has also been a major contributor to the Wildcat offense with three goals. Two of Wilks’ scores have been game-winning goals.
CROWD SUPPORT: In three home games this season, the Wildcats have had an average attendance of 684. The highest attendance at a home game came on Sep. 3 against UC-Irvine when there were 811 people in attendance. The Wildcats are 3-0 at home this season and have not allowed a goal at Murphey Stadium.
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 14-12-1 at UA 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 19 goals in her career, senior Candice Wilks is six away from Nikki Jones’ record of 25 career goals. Junior Mallory Miller is two assists away from being the all-time leader. The current leader is Nikki Jones with 14.