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Wildcat Soccer to Face UTEP in Exhibition Game
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 08/19/2003
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Aug. 19, 2003

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WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's soccer team (0-0-0 overall, 0-0-0 Pac-10) will see its first outside competition of the 2003 season this weekend. The Wildcats will hit the road to play an exhibition game at Texas-El Paso on Saturday, Aug. 23, at 1 p.m. CDT.

ABOUT ARIZONA: The Wildcats not only have a new season to look forward to, but they are also receiving a new start with a complete coaching staff change during the off-season.

Head coach Dan Tobias came to Arizona in late July after after five years at the helm of the Washington State program. He was the 2002 Pac-10 Coach of the Year after leading the Cougars to a third-place finish in the conference and their second NCAA Tournament berth in three years. His assistant coaches, Lisa Oyen and Harold Warren, came from Washington State and UC Irvine, respectively.

The Wildcats return 16 letterwinners, including nine starters, from a 2002 squad that was 6-12-1 overall and 1-8-0 in Pac-10 play. They'll also see the return of two redshirt sophomores in Cassie Daniels and Heather Nelson, both of whom had to sit out last season with ACL injuries. Daniels was a starter during the 2001 season, so she will definitely be in the mix for a starting job again this year.

Lindsey Greenwood is the only senior on a roster that features 17 freshmen and sophomores. Of the 13 sophomores on this year's squad, six started the majority of matches for last year's team. Five of last season's top six scorers return this year, accounting for 61 percent of the offense on a 2002 team that obliterated many school scoring records. And, of course, all five of those players are sophomores.

RETURNING STARTERS FOR THE WILDCATS:

Name               Pos.  Yr.  Hometown         GP/GS   Shots    G     A        Pts.
Vanesha Bailey      D    Jr.  Las Vegas, NV    19/19     3      0     0         0
Erin Clewett       F/M   So.  Yorba Linda, CA  19/16    12      1     4         6
Lindsey Greenwood   M    Sr.  Bettendorf, IA   19/18    12      2     2         6
Natalie Juarez     GK    So.  Claremont, CA    14/10  971min   30ga  2.78gaa  70svs
Jennifer Klein      M    So.  Prescott, AZ     19/19     9      0     4         4
Mallory Miller     F/M   So.  Tucson, AZ       19/19    47      2     3         7
Kelly Nelson        F    So.  Lakewood, CA     19/13    40     13     1        27
Lindsey Peeples     D    Jr.  Arcadia, CA      19/19     5      0     1         1
Candice Wilks       F    Jr.  Altadena, CA     19/15    20      0     2         2

ABOUT UTEP: The Miners earned a 16-3-0 overall mark in 2002, going 6-2-0 in Western Athletic Conference action. Head coach Kevin Cross was the 2002 WAC Coach of the Year and was named the Central Region Coach of the Year by SoccerBuzz Magazine. UTEP finished second in the WAC standings and was the NCAA leader in goals per match (4.42 gpm) and total goals (84).

UTEP's top three scorers have graduated -- Holly Cohen (22g, 7a, 51 pts), Miranda Cuthbertson (20g, 8a, 48pts) and Kelly Parker (11g, 19a, 41pts) combined for 140 of the Miners' 241 points in 2002. The Miners' top returning scorer this year is senior midfielder Kate Stevens, who tallied seven goals and seven assists (21 points) a year ago. Sophomore goalkeeper Kyla Clarke saw the majority of time in-goal for UTEP last year, starting 14 matches and tallying 55 saves, four shutouts and a 1.24 goals-against average in 1089 minutes.

LAST MEETING WITH UTEP: Playing an exhibition match of three 30-minute periods, Arizona lost to UTEP, 6-2, at home on Aug. 22, 2002.

The Cats' prospects looked good early on, as Lindsey Peeples connected on a header from a corner kick by Jennifer Klein in the sixth minute. Nine minutes later, UTEP's Miranda Cuthbertson tallied her first goal of the night, tying the score at 1-1. Cuthbertson sent the Miners ahead by one just six minutes later, taking advantage of a miscue by a UA defender to score from the right side.

Lindsey Greenwood evened the score for the Wildcats in the 41st minute, sending a shot over UTEP goalkeeper Carol Moore's head from 15 yards out. Jennifer Klein was credited with the assist on that goal as well, with her free kick setting up Greenwood's strike.

Arizona held UTEP off for another 20 minutes, then the Miners began a scoring barrage that resulted in four goals over a 13-minute period. Miranda Cuthbertson finished the game with a hat track for UTEP, while Holly Cohen had two goals.

Lindsey Greenwood finished the contest with a team-best three shots on-goal for Arizona. Mallory Miller also had three shots, while Lisa Kosena had two shots.

LOOKING AHEAD: The Wildcats will officially kickoff the 2003 season at home next weekend, playing host to Weber State, Kent State and Iowa State for the Arizona Invitational. Action begins on Friday, Aug. 29, with Weber State and Kent State facing off at 5 p.m., followed by Arizona versus Iowa State. On Sunday, Aug. 31, Weber State will take on Iowa State in the first game at 12 p.m., with Arizona and Kent State following.

The Cats hit the road the following weekend to compete in the Nike Tiger Invitational in Columbia, Mo., on Friday, Sept. 5, and Sunday, Sept. 7. Other teams featured in the tournament are Arkansas, Purdue and host Missouri.

ARIZONA HEAD COACH Dan Tobias: First-year head coach Dan Tobias (Cal Poly, 1987) holds a career record of 44-45-6 over five years, all spent at the helm of the Washington State program. Tobias was the 2002 Pac-10 Coach of the Year after guiding the Cougars to a third-place finish in the conference and their second NCAA tournament appearance in three years.

THE REST OF THE STAFF: In her first season at the UA, Lisa Oyen (Montana, 1998) followed Dan Tobias from Washington State, where she was part of Tobias' coaching staff for two years.

Assistant coach Harold Warren (Cal Poly SLO, 2002) is also in his first season with the Wildcats. He came to the UA after spending the 2002 season on the women's soccer staff at UC Irvine.

ABOUT THE 2003 SCHEDULE: The Wildcats again face a tough schedule that includes eight NCAA Tournament participants and four teams that were nationally ranked at then end of 2002.

The Cats open the 2003 slate at home, playing host to Weber State, Kent State and Iowa State for the Arizona Invitational on Friday, Aug. 29 and Sunday, Aug. 31. The following weekend, the Wildcats head for Columbia, Mo., to face Arkansas and host Missouri in the Nike Tiger Invitational. They remain on the road on Sunday, Sept. 14, for a match at Northern Arizona.

Arizona will take on Kentucky (Sept. 19) and San Francisco (Sept. 21) at home before hitting the road again for three more matches. The Wildcats will play at Montana on Sept. 26, then take on UNLV the next day in a neutral contest. The road swing wraps up with a match at San Diego on Oct. 3.

The Cats begin conference action at home on Oct. 10 and 12 against Stanford and California, respectively, then they face foe Arizona State on Oct. 18 to close out a three-game homestand. The Wildcats travel to Los Angeles the next weekend to take on USC (Oct. 24) and UCLA (Oct. 26). They play their final home matches of the season against Oregon State on Oct. 31 and Oregon on Nov. 2. Regular-season play ends with road action on Nov. 7 and 9 at Washington State and Washington.

2002 IN BRIEF: With a roster that sported a combined total of only four juniors and seniors, the very young University of Arizona women's soccer team finished the 2002 season with a 6-12-1 overall record and a 1-8-0 mark in Pac-10 play.

Of the 19 opponents that the Cats faced in 2002, 10 earned NCAA Tournament berths and four were ranked in the final NSCAA/adidas National Rankings. Conference foes UCLA and Stanford advanced to the third round and the quarterfinals, respectively, of the NCAA Tourney.

The 2002 Wildcats broke or tied 17 school records, including most goals in a season (37), most goals per game (1.94 gpg), most assists in a season (32) and most total points in a season (106).

Individually for Arizona, redshirt freshman forward Kelly Nelson obliterated many previous single-season scoring records with her 27 points on 13 goals and one assist. She led the Pac-10 in goal scoring, becoming the first Wildcat to accomplish this feat. In the process, Nelson was named the Cats' Most Valuable Player, was a second team All-Pac-10 selection and earned West Region All-Freshman Team honors from SoccerBuzz Magazine.

True freshman Lisa Kosena was second in scoring, with four goals and four assists (12 points). Fellow freshman Maggie MacCool was a close third with five goals and one assist (11 points), followed by redshirt freshman Courtney Moseley with three goals and two assists (eight points).

In the nets, true freshman goalkeeper Amanda Martin started the first nine matches of the season, registering 56 saves, two shutouts and a 1.39 goals-against average in 778 minutes of play. Redshirt freshman keeper Natalie Juarez took over as starter for the final 10 matches, tallying 70 saves and a 2.78 GAA in 971 minutes of action. Juarez finished the season tied for third in the Pac-10 in saves per game (5.00 spg) and was sixth in total saves.

Other Wildcats received post-season honors as well. Sophomore Candice Wilks was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 choice for the second year in a row. Senior defender Tymarie Novak and sophomore defender Lindsey Peeples were honorable mention Academic All-Pac-10 selections as well.

THE FUTURE'S SO BRIGHT...: The Cats should be in pretty good shape offensively for the next few years. Five of Arizona's top six scorers last season were freshmen. Out of the 106 total points that the Wildcats accumulated for the season, freshmen accounted for 84 points -- that's almost 80% of the team's total offense.

CURRENT CATS AMONG UA CAREER LEADERS: Junior forward Candice Wilks is tied for fifth on the UA career lists in gamewinning goals (2), tied for sixth in assists (5), tied for seventh in goals scored (8), tied for seventh in total shots (68) and is eighth in total points (21). Fellow junior Vanesha Bailey is tied for sixth in career assists (5) and tied for 10th in total points (17).

TOUGH SCHEDULE: Six of Arizona's 2003 opponents finished last year nationally ranked or received votes for ranking in the final polls.

In the NSCAA Coaches Regional Polls, Stanford (#1), UCLA (tied #2), California (#7), Washington State (#8), Washington (#9), USC (tied #10) and California (tied #10) were all among the top 10 in the West Region. Missouri was ranked No. 10 in the Central Region.

In the Soccer America Top 25, Stanford finished at No. 1, UCLA at No. 3, Washington State at No. 16, California at No. 18 and Arizona State at No. 25.

In the Soccer Buzz Magazine Top 25, Stanford was No. 2, UCLA was No. 8 and California was No. 22. Arizona State and USC received votes for ranking in that poll.

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The Wildcats have a 23-33-3 record in seven seasons playing on their home field, Murphey Stadium.

ON LOCATION: The Wildcats were 4-5-0 at home last season, 1-7-0 on the road and 1-0-1 in neutral games.

TWICE IS NICE: Traditionally, the Cats have fared rather well when scoring two or more goals in a match. They won five of the seven matches last season in which they scored more than one goal. Over the nine years of Wildcat soccer, the UA has a 38-21-2 record when scoring two goals or more.

CLOSE BUT...: The outcome of seven of the Wildcats' 19 games last season was decided by one goal or less. In the nine-year history of the Arizona soccer program, 68 matches have been decided by that one-goal-or-less differential.

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