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Wildcats to Kick off Home Slate against Gamecocks
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 08/24/2011
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Aug. 24, 2011

Arizona (0-2) vs. South Carolina (1-1)
Friday, Aug. 26 • 7 p.m. MST
Tucson, Arizona • Murphey Field at Mulcahy Stadium

TUCSON--The Arizona women's soccer team will kick off its home schedule on Friday, August 26, hosting South Carolina on Murphey Field at Mulcahy Stadium. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

Last Weekend: The Wildcat squad started the 2011 season on the road, first facing San Diego State last Friday. In the 1-0 loss to the Aztecs, the Wildcats were bolstered by the return of forward Renae Cuellar, who missed the last 14 games of the 2010 season due to injury. Cuellar led the team with five shot attempts, with one on-goal try.

On Sunday, Arizona headed up the coast to Malibu and dropped a 2-0 decision to Pepperdine. In the match, Cuellar, and sophomore Jazmin Ponce led the team with three shot attempts each. Juniors Alex Smith, Ariel Boulicault, Kirstyn Magyar, Kristin Strother, sophomore Ana-Maria Montoya, and freshmen Julia Glanz and Emily Lairound out Arizona's 13-shot total.

Noting the Gamecocks: South Carolina kicked off the 2011 season on the road last week, and took home a win and a loss. South Carolina (1-1) first faced East Carolina last Friday, and defeated the Pirates 4-0. Four Gamecocks scored in the victory: seniors Kayla Grimsley and Maria Petroni, and sophomores Danielle Au and Gabrielle Gilbert. Sunday, South Carolina suffered its first lost of the season in the 2-0 shutout against Duke. In the highly physical match, the teams combined for 23 fouls. For the day, Duke out-shot the Gamecocks 17-8.

About the Cats: Arizona enters the 2011 season with eight returning starters and high expectations following a 5-13-2 campaign a season ago ... The Wildcats return players with 234 combined starts in their collegiate careers ... Forward Renae Cuellar, who scored six goals and had three assists in the first six games of 2010, returns after missing the final 14 matches due to a knee injury ... Senior goalkeeper Ashley Jettreturns after playing every minute in goal over the course of the final 18 matches last season ... Several of the UA's seven freshmen could make their collegiate debuts this weekend.

It's Only A Matter Of Time: The Wildcats may still be seeking their first goal of the season, but that doesn't mean they have been short of opportunities. Arizona has 23 shot attempts through two games, including 11 on goal (.478). That's a very good percentage. Now it's just a matter of finishing. The Wildcats have the players to do it. A total of 12 players have attempted a shot this season, with seven placing a shot on goal. Last year's leading goal scorer Renae Cuellarleads the team with eight shots (three on goal).

Welcome to the Show: Last weekend, four freshmen made their collegiate debuts at Arizona. LeeAndra Smith earned a start in her first career game against San Diego State, while Julia Glanz and Emily Lai made appearances as reserves. Glanz made her first collegiate start two days later against Pepperdine, and Desiree Bramlettesaw her first action as a Wildcat off the bench against the Waves. Against Pepperdine, Lai and Glanz each registered their first shot attempts.

Head Coach Lisa Oyen: Lisa Oyen enters her second full season as head coach of the Arizona women's soccer program. In her two seasons at the helm, Oyen has provided stability to the program that is seeking its first winning season 2005. She has improved talent, depth and skill on the roster, and revitalized the Wildcats' recruiting efforts. Her 2010 team - her first full year in charge - was hit hard by injury and illness, but showed its toughness and resilience in a 5-13-2 campaign. Oyen served as a co-interim head coach for the final seven games of 2009, before being named the head coach after the season. She has a career coaching record of 6-19-2 counting all 27 games she has been a head coach or co-interim head coach. Prior to becoming a head coach, she served as an assistant at the school for seven seasons.

Filling up the Stat Sheet: Despite playing just six of 20 games, Cuellar posted team-leading figures in most of the major stat categories: goals (6), points (15) and shot percentage (.231). Cuellar didn't achieve the team lead in these categories by a small margin either; despite missing 14 games, her six goals doubled the number two goal-scorer on the squad, her 15 points were nine more than her closest competition and her .231 shot percentage was 55 points higher than the second highest percentage. Her one game-winning goal and three assists tied for the most on the team.

Jetting into the Record Books: Senior goalkeeper Ashley Jett recorded 104 saves in 2010, the most in the Pac-10. Arizona has had a rich history at her position; since 2001, seven UA goal keepers have led the Pac-10 in saves. Her 104 saves are the second most in the conference since UA's Chelsea McIntyrestopped 109 shots on goal in 2006.

Up Next: Next up, the Wildcats return to the road to face Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah on Monday, September 5. Game time is scheduled for 11 a.m. MST.

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