WHAT’S HAPPENING:The University of Arizona women’s soccer team (12-3-0 overall, 3-1-0 Pac-10) will travel to Tempe, Ariz. to take on in-state rival Arizona State at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22.
LAST TIME OUT: The Wildcats traveled to the Bay Area to compete in the second weekend of the Pac-10 schedule. The Wildcats split the games with a 1-0 double overtime win over No. 10 Stanford followed by a 1-0 loss to No. 14 California.
In Friday’s match against the Cardinal, neither team scored through regulation. Stanford goalkeeper senior Nicole Barnhart had two saves through the first two halves, while Arizona goalkeeper freshman McCall Smith had five. The goalkeepers stayed strong with one save each through the first overtime to send the game into double overtime. Junior Nikki David ended the game on a corner kick at 107:56 to give the Wildcats the 1-0 victory.
Against the Golden Bears the two teams played through a scoreless first half as Arizona goalkeeper freshman McCall Smith and California goalkeeper Ana Key had one save each. Just over 10 minutes into the second half, California freshman Stephanie Wieger scored her sixth goal of the season to give the Golden Bears the 1-0 lead. Wieger scored on a fast break from 12 yards out off of assists from juniors Lindsay Clute and Liz Eisenberg. The two teams played through rain late in the second half as California held on for the 1-0 win.
ABOUT ARIZONA STATE: Arizona State returns 10 starters from the 2003 squad that went 13-5-3 overall, 6-2-1 Pac-10. The Sun Devils finished second in the Pac-10 and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they lost to Santa Clara, 1-0.
After two weekends of coference play, the Sun Devils have a 6-7-1 overall record and are 2-1-1 Pac-10. The four non-conference wins for Arizona State came against Rhode Island, Brigham Young, Dartmouth and San Diego State. The Sun Devils non-conference losses came to No. 5 Florida State, No. 2 Notre Dame, Oklahoma, UC Santa Barbara, No. 24 Pepperdine and UNLV. In Pac-10 play, the Sun Devils opened the conference schedule with a 1-1 tie against No. 4 Washington and a 2-1 overtime victory over Washington State. Over the past weekend, the Sun Devils defeated No. 14 California, 1-0, and then lost to No. 10 Stanford, 2-1. Arizona State currently sits in third place in the Pac-10 behind Arizona and UCLA.
The Sun Devils’ points leaders are junior midfielder Brittany Cooper and junior forward Katie Leahy with 13 each. Junior forward Elizabeth Bogus is also an offensive threat for the Sun Devils with 12 points, including two game-winning goals. In goal for the Sun Devils is sophomore Kim Bingham. Bingham has a goals against average of 1.69 off of four wins, including two shutouts.
Arizona State is coached by Ray Leone. Currently in his fourth season with the program, Leone has posted a 41-27-7 record. He is assisted by Mike Calise and Jaime Pagliarulo.
WILDCATS VERSUS SUN DEVILS: The Sun Devils currently hold the 8-0-1 series record over the Wildcats. Last season, the two teams tied, 1-1, on Oct. 18. The tie marked the first match for the Wildcats against their in-state rivals that did not result in a loss.
IN THE RANKINGS: The Wildcats continued to shine in the rankings this week with their highest ranking of No. 16 coming in the Soccer America poll. The Wildcats moved up to No. 23 in the SoccerBuzz.com national rankings and earned a ranking in the Soccer Times poll for the first time in the program’s history at No. 23. Arizona also received votes in the NSCAA Coaches national poll.
The Wildcats have also been ranked in two regional polls. Arizona is No. 7 in both the SoccerBuzz.com and the NSCAA coaches poll regional rankings. Arizona is a part of the western region, which contains 47 teams.
TOP OF THE PAC: With the 3-1 Pac-10 record, the Wildcats are currently tied atop the Pac-10 with No. 10 UCLA. The three wins are the most conference victories for Arizona in the program’s history.
SEASON RECAP:The Wildcats have defeated No. 4 Washington, Washington State and No. 10 Stanford. The only conference loss for Arizona came last Sunday at No. 14 California. Prior to Pac-10 competition, the Wildcats had nine non-conference wins over Iowa State, Drake, UC-Irvine, Fairleigh Dickinson, Duquesne, Northern Arizona, Brigham Young, Weber State, and Colorado College. The two losses of the non-conference schedule came against ranked opponents, No. 16 West Virginia and No. 25 Pepperdine. Eight of the 12 Wildcat victories have been shutouts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Arizona will return home for its final homestand of the season. The Wildcats will take on Southern California on Friday, Oct. 29 followed by No. 6 UCLA on Sunday, Oct. 31.
TOUGH COMPETITION: Five of Arizona’s opponents are ranked in this week’s Soccer America poll. Arizona lost 2-0 to West Virginia, which is now ranked No. 17, on Sept. 10. The Wildcats have defeated No. 7 Washington, 3-1, and No. 14 Stanford, 1-0 and have lost to No. 15 California, 1-0. The Wildcats will take on No. 6 UCLA on Oct. 31.
IN THE PAC:Arizona is among the leaders in quite a few categories in the Pac-10. The Wildcats are second in shots taken with 219, goals scored with 31, points registered with 93, fewest goals allowed with eight, goals against average at .53. Arizona is in a tie for most assists with UCLA with 31 and most shutouts with California and Stanford.
Individually in the Pac-10, junior Mallory Miller is sixth in shots taken with 42, sixth in points with 18, and she leads the conference in assists with eight. Senior Kamaya Damwijk is tied for ninth for the most goals with six. Senior Candice Wilks and junior Jennifer Klein are tied for 10th in assists with four each. Freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith is third in goals against average at 0.53 and is second in save percentage (0.892). She leads the conference in saves (66) and shutouts (eight).
HEADING HOME: Five of the freshman on the Wildcat roster hale from the Phoenix area and will be returning home this weekend as Arizona takes on Arizona State.
IN THE NETS: Freshman McCall Smith continues to impress as the starting goalkeeper. With seven shutouts, she has already set a new single season shutout record. Inger Airheart had previously held the record with six in 20 games in the 1997 season. Smith has only allowed five goals in nine games, while logging 990 minutes with 50 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 consecutive 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 18. Miller has been a part of 18 goals for the Wildcats with five scored and eight assists. Senior Kamaya Damwijk leads the Cats in goals with six. Senior Candice Wilks has also been a major contributor to the Wildcat offense with four goals. Two of Wilks’ scores have been game-winning goals.
PAC-10 FINISHES: Arizona finished with the best Pac-10 record in the program’s history last season with a 2-6-1 record.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS: With 20 goals in her career, senior Candice Wilks is five away from Nikki Jones’ record of 25. Junior Mallory Miller is one assist away from being the all-time leader. Jones is the current leader with 14.
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 18-14-1 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 at Washington State.