WHAT’S HAPPENING:The University of Arizona women’s soccer team (2-0-0 overall, 0-0-0 Pac-10) will play host to Fairleigh Dickinson, UC-Irvince, and U. Buffalo this weekend for the Arizona Invitational. Play will begin on Friday, Sept. 3 at 5 p.m. with Fairleigh Dickinson taking on U. Buffalo. Arizona will then follow with its first home match of the season against UC-Irvine at 7 p.m. All four teams will then return to the field on Sunday, Sept. 5 to play in the final matches of the tournament with UC-Irvine taking on U. Buffalo at 11 a.m., followed by Arizons and Fairleigh Dickinson at 1:30 p.m. All games will be played at Murphey Stadium, 15th street and Plumer Avenue. Admission is free.
LAST TIME OUT: The Wildcats started the season on the right foot over the weekend with two wins in the Cyclone Classic in Ames, Iowa. Arizona posted two shutout wins over Iowa State (1-0) and Drake University (3-0).
In Friday’s game against Iowa State, Arizona senior forward Candice Wilks scored the first goal of the game and the season for the Wildcats off of an assist by freshman Nicole Scheid in the fourteenth minute of the first half. In the second half, freshman Sally Thurner had a break away opportunity but was unable to score. Arizona held off Iowa State for the 1-0 victory.
In action on Saturday, Arizona junior midfielder Mallory Miller scored the first goal of the game in the tenth minute to give the Wildcats an early 1-0 lead over Drake University. Scheid received the assist on the goal to give her two assists in as many games. Later in the first half, senior Kamaya Damwijk scored her first goal as a member of the Arizona soccer team to put the Wildcats on top, 2-0. Miller and freshman Kaity Heath assisted on Damwijk’s goal. The assist by Heath is her first point as an Arizona Wildcat. Arizona then came out in the second half with a 2-0 lead. Junior Nikki David added to the lead by scoring a goal off of assists by Damwijk and Miller.
CONNECTIONS: Wildcat assistant coach Harold Warren served as an assistant coach for UC-Irvine prior to accepting the position at Arizona. Warren was part of a staff that lead the Anteaters to a 8-10-1 overall record and a 5-3-1 mark in Big West Conference action to earn a fourth-place finish in the league in 2002.
ABOUT FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON: The Knights are 0-2 on the early season after losing their first two games on the road. On Friday, Fairleigh Dickinson was shut out by Syracuse, 4-0, after a 90 minute lightening delay. The Knights then traveled to Piscataway, N.J. to take on Rutgers. Fairleigh Dickinson was again shutout by Rutgers for the second loss of the season, 3-0. The Knights’ goalkeeper, Andra Maston, has registered 10 saves with 7 goals against.
The Knights have not yet had a player register a point in competition. They return 14 of 19 letterwinners from the 2003 squad that finished 10-8-1 on the season with a 4-4-1 Northeast Conference record.
Wildcats vs. Knights:This is the first meeting between Arizona and Fairleigh Dickinson in the Wildcats’ ten-year history.
ABOUT UC-IRVINE: The UC Irvine Anteaters (1-1) received one win and one loss in their opening weekend.
On Friday, UCI out shot the Spartans 7-2 in the opening half with neither team able to knock one in, to go into the half tied at 0-0. Sophomore Britney Webster scored the lone goal of the game off an assist from senior Alyson Spencer in the 64th minute of the game. Sophomore goalkeeper Marissa Welliver had zero saves and earned the shutout for the ?'Eaters.
The Anteaters then took on the San Diego Toreros on Sunday. The Toreros defeated the Anteaters, 3-0, in the first loss of the season for UC-Irvine.
UC-Irvine returns seven starters from last season’s squad that went 10-5-5 and 4-2-3 in the Big West Conference.
Head Coach Marine Cano is in his eleventh season as the leader of the UC-Irvine program. In ten seasons, Cano has a 104-70-24 record.
Wildcats vs. Anteaters: This will be the first meeting between the Wildcats and the Anteaters.
ARIZONA INVITATIONAL: This will be the third season that the Wildcats have hosted the Arizona Invitational. The previous winners of the invitational were Iowa State (2003) and Arizona (2002). In last season’s tournament, senior Lindsey Peeples was named Tournament Defensive MVP.
SENIOR LEADERSHIP: Seniors Candice Wilks and Kamaya Damwijk led the Wildcat attack over the weekend. Wilks scored the seventeenth goal of her collegiate career to give the Wildcats the 1-0 victory over Iowa State.
Although she is a senior, Damwijk is one of the newest members of the Wildcat squad. She joined the team as a senior walk-on. Damwijk had a goal and an assist in the game against Drake University. She hails from Poway, Calif. and had previously played for the Arizona women’s soccer club team.
IN THE NETS: Freshman goalie McCall Smith has yet to allow a goal with two shutout wins in her only two collegiate games. Smith’s save total on the season is four.
HEAD COACH DAN TOBIAS: Dan Tobias begins 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 led the Wildcats to the best Pac-10 finish in the program's history. Tobias 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 her seventeenth goal of her career, senior Candice Wilks is one goal closer to Nikki Jones’ record of 25 career goals.
With four points over the weekend, junior Mallory Miller has continued to move up in quite a few categories in the history books. Miller is now third on the list of most shots, tied for seventh on the list of most goals, tied for second on the list of most assists, and has moved up to sixth on the list of most points.
IN THE RANKINGS: The University of Arizona women's soccer team received seven points in this week's voting at soccertimes.com.
AT HOME: The Wildcats have a 26-8-4 record in eight seasons playing on their home field, Murphey Stadium.