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Wildcat Soccer Takes on UTEP in Preseason Exhibition Game
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 08/21/2002
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Aug. 21, 2002

WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's soccer team (0-0-0 overall) gets a warm-up for the 2002 season this week. The Cats will take on Texas-El Paso in a preseason exhibition game on Thursday, Aug. 22, at 5 p.m. at Murphey Stadium (15th Street and Plumer Ave.).

SCOUTING ARIZONA: Merely describing the 2002 Arizona women's soccer team as "young" would be a vast understatement. This year's Wildcat roster sports a total of 18 freshmen and sophomores, as opposed to only four juniors and seniors. To top it all off, fewer than half of the 22 players have even seen action in an Arizona uniform.

Third-year head coach Cathy Klein could have her hands full, to say the least.

The Cats return eight letterwinners, including six starters, from last season's 5-12-1 team. Included in that total are the year's top three scorers, who accounted for 60% of the offense on a squad that set a new school record for single season scoring.

Adding to that mix will be a pair of redshirt freshmen, 10 true freshmen and two transfers. There will certainly be plenty of new faces on the field for the Wildcats this year.

Headlining the list of returnees are senior midfielder Naomi Chu, senior defender Tymarie Novak, sophomore defender Lindsey Peeples, sophomore forward Candice Wilks and sophomore Vanesha Bailey, who has been moved from the front to the backfield this season.

CATS LOSE LIZ BARTLETT: Due to chronic illness, junior forward Liz Bartlett has decided to take a permanent medical hardship and will no longer be playing for the Wildcats.

"Like all coaches, our staff wants what's in the best interest of all our student-athletes," said head coach Cathy Klein. "I support Liz 100 percent in her desire to make a complete recovery from her illness. She will be sorely missed on the field, but she'll still be active in all of our community service events."

After being one of the UA's top scorers in each of her first two seasons, Bartlett finishes her career as Arizona's fifth-leading scorer all time. She started all 36 of the matches she played in and missed only two matches in her two seasons at the UA. Bartlett collected 76 shots, 10 goals and two assists (22 points) during her brief Arizona career.

SCOUTING UTEP: The Miners return 21 letterwinners, eight of them seniors, from a club that posted 3-11-2 overall and 3-4-0 Western Athletic Conference records in 2001. Nine starters return as well.

Senior forward Holly Cohen was UTEP's top scorer last season, racking up 66 shots, nine goals and two assists (20 points). Senior midfielder Kelly Parker was second on the scoring chart, with five goals and two assists (12 points). Junior goalkeeper Katie Gilmore was UTEP's primary starter in the nets last season, collecting 78 saves and a goals-against average of 2.17 while starting all but one match.

In his second year with the Miners, head coach Kevin Cross (Austin College, 1995) holds a 3-11-2 record at UTEP. She has a career record of 126-124 in nine years as a head coach.

THE SERIES vs. UTEP: Not that this game will count toward it, but the series between Arizona and UTEP is tied at 1-1-0. Arizona won the first meeting with the Miners, 1-0 in overtime, in Tucson on Sept. 21, 1997. UTEP returned the favor with its own 4-3 win on Sept. 23, 1999, in El Paso.

LAST MEETING WITH UTEP: The last time the Wildcats and the Miners faced off, UTEP edged Arizona, 4-3, on Sept. 23, 1999, in El Paso.

The Miners kicked of the scoring early in the game, denting the net the first time at 7:48. The Cats knotted the score in the 23rd minute, only to fall behind again six minutes later when UTEP pulled ahead again.

Arizona opened the second half of the game with a goal just 1:22 into the period, tying the game at 2-2. UTEP answered with goals in both the 55th and 79th minutes, taking a 4-2 advantage. Arizona scored again with just 2:30 left in the match, but it was too little, too late, as the Cats fell, 4-3.

Naomi Chu is the only current Wildcat who played in that 1999 contest. Just a freshman at the time, she started the match and had one shot.

2001 IN REVIEW: It was a team and a season dominated by Wildcat youngsters. Thirteen freshmen and sophomores played prominent roles for the 2001 Arizona women's soccer team, helping the Wildcats to 5-12-1 overall and 2-7-0 Pac-10 records. The Cats surpassed the 2000 season win total, and they had more Pac-10 wins than any team since 1997.

After a close 4-2 loss at then-No. 5 Nebraska to open the season on Aug. 31, the Wildcats returned home to post a perfect 3-0-1 mark, giving the team its best start ever. That stretch included an astounding 9-1 victory over Southern Utah on Sept. 9, a game in which the Cats set six school records.

A six-game road trip followed, with several close losses, then Arizona came back to Tucson for its first-ever sweep of the Oregon schools. Playing three nationally ranked teams in their final five matches, the Cats were again edged out of the victory column.

Arizona set or tied 23 school records during the season, including most goals in a season (30), most assists in a season (20), most total points (80) and most corner kicks (87). The Cats finished regular season play as the Pac-10 leader in saves (117).

INDIVIDUALLY FOR THE CATS: Three freshmen led the way for Arizona in scoring last season. Forward Candice Wilks racked up the highest individual goal total in six years when she tallied eight goals and three assists (19 points). Midfielder Vanesha Bailey was just one assist shy of the school record with her team-leading five dishes. She collected six goals and five assists for 17 points, finishing second on the scoring chart.

Rookie midfielder Cassie Daniels was third in scoring with four goals and four assists (12 points), and sophomore Liz Bartlett had five goals and one assist (11 points), the same line she posted in 2000.

In the nets, senior goalkeeper Shannon Monti played 1653 minutes, the second-highest single season minute total for any keeper in school history. She tallied 108 saves, a 2.07 goals against average and one shutout.

Wilks was the only player to earn all-conference honors, as she was named honorable mention All-Pac-10.

TOP SINGLE SEASON PERFORMANCES: Candice Wilks' eight goals was the third-highest single-season goal total in the program's history, and her 19 points tied for third on the single season points list. Wilks' 48 shots was also the eighth-highest single-season total ever.

Vanesha Bailey had five assists on the season, third on the single season top performances list and just one off the school record of six set in 1996 and tied in 1998. Bailey's six goals last year tied her for eighth on the single season top performances list in that category.

LOOKING AHEAD: Arizona officially kicks off the 2002 season at home next weekend by playing host to the Wildcat Invitational on Friday, Aug. 30, and Sunday, Sept. 1. Cal Poly will open the tournament against Detroit in the first game on Friday at 5 p.m., followed by a match between Arizona and Drake at 7:30 p.m.. On Sunday, Drake and Detroit face-off first at 11 a.m., with the Arizona-Cal Poly match following at 2 p.m.

After the two opening dates at home, the Wildcats will play five of their next six matches away from Tucson. The Cats will hit the road for the first time the following weekend, playing at the Iowa State Cyclone Classic. Arizona will play Wisconsin on Friday, Sept. 6, and then faces Northern Iowa on Sunday, Sept. 8.

ARIZONA HEAD COACH CATHY KLEIN: Third-year head coach Cathy Klein (SUNY-Cortland, 1987) holds an 8-27-3 mark at the helm of the Arizona program. She has a Division I career record of 65-68-4 over six years and is 87-121-9 in 11 years as a head coach.

Klein was named as the Wildcats' new head coach in January, 2000. She came to the UA after a five-year stint building a new women's soccer program at Iowa State. In four varsity seasons with the Cyclones, Klein garnered a 43-37-1 mark. Before Iowa State, Klein was head coach at Creighton and Division III schools Earlham College and Utica College.

THE REST OF THE STAFF: In her third season at the UA, Melissa Estrada (Creighton, 1995) followed Cathy Klein from Iowa State, where Estrada was part of Klein's coaching staff for four years. She assists with recruiting and works with the field players.

Assistant coach Casey Mann (Grand View College, 1997) is in his second season with the Wildcats. His primary responsibility at the UA is coaching the goalkeepers.

WILDCAT RECRUITING CLASS RANKED AMONG BEST IN REGION: The 2002 UA women's soccer recruiting class has been ranked 17th in the West Region by Soccer Buzz Magazine. That's outstanding when you consider the caliber of women's soccer programs in this region. Every Pac-10 school's recruiting class made the regional top 20 list.

ABOUT THE SCHEDULE: Ten home dates, including two tournaments, highlight the 2002 Arizona schedule. Of the 20 teams featured on this year's slate, eight competed in last season's NCAA tournament and six were either nationally ranked or receiving votes at the end of the 2001 season.

The Wildcats will officially kick off the 2002 season on Friday, Aug. 30, and Sunday, Sept. 1, playing host to Cal Poly, Detroit and Drake for the Wildcat Invitational. The following weekend, Cathy Klein heads back to Ames, Iowa, to take part in the Iowa State Tournament on Friday, Sept. 6, and Sunday, Sept. 8. The Wildcats will take on Wisconsin in the first game on Sept. 6, then they face Northern Iowa in Sunday's action.

Three of the Cats' next four games will be on the road, as they are scheduled to play at Oklahoma on Sept. 15, at home against San Diego on Sept. 22, then at Belmont (Sept. 27) and at Kentucky (Sept. 29). Arizona returns to Tucson for its second home tournament of the season, the Arizona Tournament, on Friday, Oct. 4, and Sunday, Oct. 6. Saint Louis, Idaho State and Youngstown State will visit the Old Pueblo for the tourney action.

Pac-10 play begins on Friday, Oct. 11, for the Wildcats as they head up to Tempe to take on rival Arizona State. A home weekend against UCLA (Oct. 18) and USC (Oct. 20) follows, then the UA goes north to play at Oregon (Oct. 25) and Oregon State (Oct. 27).

Arizona's final two home matches of the 2002 season will be against Washington (Nov. 1) and Washington State (Nov. 3). The Cats will end regular season action in the Bay Area, playing at California on Nov. 8 and at Stanford on Nov. 10.

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Murphey Stadium was very good to the Wildcats last year, as they garnered a best-ever 5-3-1 mark there during the season. The Cats out-scored opponents, 25-16, in home games last year and out-shot opponents, 167-133.

SCORING IN BUNCHES: Then-freshman forward Candice Wilks had eight goals last season, but she notched them all in only five games. She ran off three goals against Southern Utah on Sept. 7, 2001, dented the net twice against UNLV on Sept. 23, then had one goal each against Oregon (Oct. 19) and Oregon State (Oct. 21). She scored one goal in the season finale against Arizona State (Nov. 9).

CONSISTENT CONTRIBUTOR: Midfielder Vanesha Bailey scored or assisted at least one goal in 10 of last season's 18 matches.

ON LOCATION: The Wildcats were 5-3-1 at home last season, 0-9-0 on the road and 0-0-0 in neutral games.

TWICE IS NICE: Traditionally, the Cats have fared rather well when scoring two or more goals in a match. They scored two or more in eight of last season's 18 games and went 5-2-1 when doing so. Over the eight years of Wildcat soccer, the UA has a 33-19-2 record when scoring two goals or more.

CLOSE BUT...: The outcome of six of the Wildcats' 18 games last season were decided by one goal or less. In the eight-year history of the Arizona soccer program, 61 matches have been decided by that one-goal-or-less differential.

CAT SCRATCHES: Arizona had a 5-0 record last year when holding the opponent to one or fewer goals... The Cats were 3-0 when scoring three or more goals... They were also 4-0 when they out-shot their opponents.

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