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2004 Arizona Soccer Season Review
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 12/13/2004
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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2004 SEASON IN BRIEF: The University of Arizona women’s soccer team finished the 2004 season with their first ever Pac-10 Championship and berth to the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats earned an overall record of 15-6 and a 6-3 Pac-10 mark, while breaking or tying 31 team or individual school records and earning a final ranking of No. 13.

After being picked to finish seventh in the preseason Pac-10 Coaches’ Poll, the Wildcats exceeded all expectations except their own. With 15 overall and six Pac-10 victories, the Wildcats shattered the previous school records of eight overall in 1997 and two in the Pac-10 in 1997, 2001 and 2003. The 2004 season also marked the first time that Arizona earned a spot in the Top 25 rankings with the highest ranking of No. 10 coming on Nov. 2 in the Soccer America Top 25.

Additionally, the Wildcats’ broke season records for most games played (21), most home victories (8), highest winnng percentage (.714) and fewest losses (6). Arizona’s three four-game winning streaks this season broke the record for the longest win streak and longest unbeaten streak.

The Wildcats also broke season records for fewest opponent shots (210), fewest opponent goals scored (11), most assists (34), fewest opponent assists (12), most total points (108), fewest opponent points (34), most shutouts (11), most consecutive shutouts (4), fewest goals allowed (11), lowest goals against average (0.52) and tied the record for most goals scored (37).

PAC-10 COACH OF THE YEAR: Arizona Head Coach Dan Tobias earned the 2004 Pac-10 Coach of the Year honor. In his second year with the program, Tobias guided the Wildcats to their first-ever share of the Pac-10 title, along with UCLA. With Tobias as head coach, Arizona improved from worst (tied for ninth) to first (Pac-10 co-champions) in just one season.

Tobias is just the second coach to be named Pac-10 Coach of the Year twice, after receiving the honor in 2002 while at Washington State. USC’s Jim Millinder accomplished the feat in 1996 and 1998.

ALL PAC-10: Seniors Candice Wilks and Lindsey Peeples, juniors Mallory Miller and Nikki David, and freshman McCall Smith all earned all-Pac-10 accolades. The five Pac-10 individual honors are the most in the history of the program.

Wilks was a first team All-Pac-10 selection for the second time in her Wildcat career; the first came last season as a junior. She also earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors as a freshman and sophomore. Wilks led the Wildcat offense this season with seven goals and four assists. With four game-winning goals, she was vital to the Wildcats’ success this season. She is the first player in the history of the program to earn All Pac-10 accolades in all four seasons as a Wildcat.

Peeples was also named first team All-Pac-10. She was named to the second team as a sophomore and to the honorable mention team as a freshman. Starting 17 games as a defender, Peeples led the Wildcat defense that only allowed 11 goals all season. She was one of three co-captains for the team.

Miller was a second team all-Pac-10 selection. She earned honorable mention accolades as a sophomore. She started all 21 games for the Wildcats and led the team in assists with nine. She is also Arizona’s points leader, combining her nine assists with five goals for 19 points.

In the first All-Pac-10 selection of her career, David was garnered honorable mention kudos. She started 13 games for the Wildcats while posting five goals, including the game-winning goal in Arizona’s 1-0 double overtime victory over Stanford.

Smith received an honorable mention selection for her efforts as the Wildcat goalkeeper. She recorded 11 shutouts while allowing only 11 goals against. She played every minute of the season and posted a 0.52 goals against average.

INDIVIDUAL RECORDS: In addition to breaking 20 team records, junior Mallory Miller, freshman McCall Smith, senior Lindsey Peeples and senior Candice Wilks all combined to change 11 individual marks in the Cats’ record book.

With 21 games played and 18 games started this season, Peeples has established herself as the Wildcat to earn the most playing time ever with 77 total games played and 73 games started in her career. The previous record holder was Twila Kaufman, who played in 74 games and started 72 in her career.

Miller posted nine assists this season to break the record of six previously held by Nikki Jones in 1998 and Sara Field in 1996. She also tied Jones’ record for most career assists with 14.

Wilks made her mark on the Wildcat record books by scoring four game-winning goals this season. The four goals broke the previous season record of three by Kelly Nelson (2002) and Christine Keeley (1995). Additionally, she had scored four game-winning goals in her first three seasons as a Wildcat to bring her career total to eight which passes Jones record of six.

In her first season as a Wildcat, Smith broke nearly every season goalkeeping record. She logged every minute in the nets for the Wildcats to give her 1911 total minutes, which places her ahead of the previous record-holder, Inger Airheart who logged 1862 minutes in 1997. With only 11 goals against, she shattered the previous record of 21 which came in 1999 and was also held by Airheart. The 11 shutouts posted by Smith not only broke the season record of six previously held by Airheart, but it also broke the career record of nine which was also held by Airheart. Additionally, she broke the record for lowest goals against average in a season with a 0.52 mark. Airheart was the previous record holder with a 1.50 GAA in 1997.

LAST TIME OUT: The Wildcats finished their season in Storrs, Conn., as they lost to the Colgate Red Raiders. As the two teams prepared for kick off, the biggest story was the ice and snow that blanketed the field. Despite the rough weather, the Wildcats came out strong with two chances within the first five minutes of the half. Both were shot high and wide.

Junior Mallory Miller had one of the best opportunities for the Cats in the fifth minute off of a pass from sophomore Erin Bevacqua. She headed the pass towards the upper corner, but the ball sailed just over the crossbar.

Freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith was forced to make two key saves in the 13th and 15th minutes to keep the game at a scoreless tie.

The Raider offense continued to pressure the Wildcat defense and eventually found the back of a net off of a scramble in front of Smith. Megan Bergman managed to control the ball long enough to place it in the net behind Smith to give the Raiders the 1-0 lead.

Freshman defender Kaity Heath took a series of free kicks late in the first half, but the Wildcats were unable to place the ball in the back of the net.

Senior Candice Wilks looked to score for Arizona with less than 10 seconds remaining in the first half when she shot the ball at the Raider goalkeeper Luisa Miller. The ball was deflected off of a Wildcat and sent out of bounds for a Raider goal kick and the end of the first half.

The Raiders got the first offensive opportunity of the second half with a corner kick at 47:50, but junior Jennifer Klein quickly cleared out the ball.

The Wildcats had their first corner kick of the second half at 53:16 but the ball was cleared out by the Raider defense. Arizona and Colgate continued to battle throughout the second half, with neither team able to generate many scoring opportunities resulting in a 1-0 final score.

WILDCAT OPPONENTS IN THE TOURNAMENT: Seven of the Wildcats’ regular-season opponents also participated in the NCAA Tournament (California, West Virginia, Pepperdine, Stanford, Weber State, UCLA and Washington). Stanford defeated Cal Poly 2-0 to advance to the second round where they lost to Santa Clara, 1-0, in double overtime. Weber State lost in the first round to Portland, 3-0. West Virginia defeated Southern Methodist in the first round and then lost to Texas, 2-1. Washington advanced to the quarterfinals with wins over Birmingham (5-0), Auburn (1-0) and Maryland (1-0). The Huskies fell in the quarterfinals to Princeton, 3-1. UCLA reached the finals by defeating Pepperdine (1-0), San Diego (3-0), Duke (2-0) and Ohio State (1-0). The Bruins competed against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The two teams sat at a 1-1 tie after regulation and two overtimes. The Fighting Irish claimed the NCAA Championship by defeating the Bruins in penalty kicks.

IN THE RANKINGS: 2004 marked the first time in the history of the program that the Wildcats earned rankings in National Top 25 polls. Arizona finished the season by earning rankings in all four national polls and two regional polls. Arizona finished ranked No. 13 in the Soccer America Top 25, No. 25 in the NSCAA Top 25, No. 15 in the Soccer Buzz Top 30 and No. 21 in the Soccertimes.com Top 25. Arizona finished No. 5 in both the SoccerBuzz.com and in the NSCAA coaches poll regional rankings. Arizona is a part of the Western Region, which contains 47 teams.

Arizona’s highest ranking of the season came on Nov. 2 when the Wildcats were ranked No. 10 in the Soccer America Top 25, No. 15 in the NSCAA Top 25, No. 16 in the Soccer Buzz Top 30 and No. 19 in the Soccertimes.com Top 25. Arizona also earned its highest regional rankings at No. 4 in both the SoccerBuzz.com and the NSCAA coaches poll regional rankings in that same week.

PAC-10 CHAMPS: For the first time in the history of the program, the Wildcats claimed the Pac-10 title with a 6-3 conference record. With an identical 6-3 conference record, the UCLA Bruins shared the title with the Cats. Arizona more than exceeded expectations as they were picked to finish seventh in the preseason coaches’ poll.

1. Arizona (6-3-0 Pac-10, 15-5-0 overall)
UCLA (6-3-0, 13-6-0)
3. Washington (5-3-1, 14-4-1)
4. Stanford (4-3-2, 12-5-3)
ASU (4-3-2, 8-9-2)
California (4-3-2, 11-5-3)
7. Oregon State (4-4-1, 10-9-1)
8. Washington St. (3-4-2, 8-7-4)
9. USC (3-6-0, 9-9-1)
10. Oregon (0-7-2, 3-13-3)

Arizona earned the title by defeating three Top 10 opponents, including No. 4 Washington, No. 10 Stanford and No. 5 UCLA. Previous to this season, the Wildcats had never defeated Stanford or UCLA, and had only posted one win over Washington.

Previously, the best finish in the Pac-10 for the Wildcats was in a tie for seventh in 1997 with a 2-7-0 conference record. The best conference record came last season as the Wildcats finished in a tie for ninth with a 2-6-1 conference record.

STATISTICALLY IN THE PAC: Arizona finished the regular season among the leaders in several categories in the Pac-10. The Wildcats were second in the conference in assists (34), points registered (108), goals (37), fewest goals allowed (10) and most shutouts (11).

Individually in the Pac-10, junior Mallory Miller finished the regular season tied for eighth in points (19), while leading the conference in assists (9). Senior Candice Wilks finished tied for 10th in goals scored (7) and points (18) and fourth in game-winning goals (4). Freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith finished the regular season at the top of the Pac-10 in nearly every goaltender statistic. She led the conference in saves (89), shutouts (11) and save percentage (.899). She finished second in goals against average (0.50) behind Stanford’s Nicole Barnhart (0.44).

SEASON RECAP: The Wildcats defeated No. 4 Washington, Washington State, No. 10 Stanford, USC, No. 5 UCLA and Oregon. The three conference losses for Arizona came on the road against No. 11 California, Arizona State and Oregon State. 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. Eleven of the 15 Wildcat victories were shutouts.

HEAD COACH DAN TOBIAS: Dan Tobias finished 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 20-17-1. Not only did he coach the Wildcats to the program’s first ever Pac-10 Championship this season, but he has led the team to the best overall record in the history of the program. He earned the 2004 Pac-10 Coach of the Year award. Tobias had previously been named 2002 Pac-10 Coach of the Year as the head coach at Washington State.

IN THE NETS: Freshman McCall Smith was strong in the nets for the Wildcats and is one of 12 finalists for Soccer Buzz’s National Freshman of the Year Honor. She went the first 379:49 minutes of the season without allowing a goal scored. The nearly 380 consecutives minutes without a goal allowed is the longest time without a goal allowed 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. Smith is also the first Wildcat goalkeeper to log four consecutive shutouts. She has already rewritten the Wildcat record books by breaking five goalkeeping records including minutes played in a season (1911), fewest goals allowed in a season (11), most shutouts in a season (11), most career shutouts (11) and lowest goals against average in a season (0.52). Additionally, the 0.52 goals against average ranked her sixth in the nation.

AMONG THE ELITE: On Sept. 8, freshman defender Kaity Heath was named to Soccer Buzz Magazine’s National Elite Team of the Week for her play during the week of August 30. In that week, Heath scored the lone goal in UA’s win over UC-Irvine, and had an assist in the victory over Fairleigh Dickinson. She was also named Defensive Most Valuable Player for the Arizona Invitational.

On Sept. 26, freshman midfielder Amanda Urtuzuastegui was named to Soccer America's team of the week for her play during the week of Sept. 20. Urtuzuastegui scored the lone goal in the Wildcats' 1-0 win over Brigham Young on Sept. 23 for her first goal of her collegiate career.

On Oct. 12, junior Mallory Miller was named to Soccer Buzz Magazine’s National Elite Team of the Week for her play during the week of Oct. 4. In that week, Miller led the Wildcats to victories over Washington State and No. 4 Washington, posting two goals and an assist.

Freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith was the third Wildcat to be named to Soccer Buzz Magazine’s National Elite Team of the Week for her play during the week of Oct. 24. Smith led the Wildcats to two shutout victories over USC and No. 5 UCLA.

PAC-10 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Junior midfielder Mallory Miller and freshman goalkeeper McCall Smith were the two Wildcats to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors during the 2004 season.

Miller was the first Wildcat to be named Pac-10 Women’s Soccer Player of the Week. She earned the honor for her play during Oct. 5-11. Miller, a Tucson native, helped the Wildcats to a 2-0-0 start in Pac-10 play with wins over Washington State and No. 4 Washington. She was part of the Arizona midfield that limited the Cougars to eight shots in the game. She also assisted in the third Wildcat goal that sealed the victory and helped the Wildcats open the Pac-10 season at 1-0. With her eighth assist of the season, Miller broke the school record for most assists in a single season. In Sunday’s match versus Washington, she scored a goal at the 45:53 mark to tie the game 1-1. She then headed the game-winning goal into the back of the net at 72:10. With 18 points on the season, Miller is tied for fourth in points in the Pac-10. The honor was Miller’s first Pac-10 Player of the Week honor and Arizona’s fifth weekly honor all-time.

Smith was the second Wildcat to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors for her play from Oct. 26-Nov. 1. Smith, from Salt Lake City, Utah, led the Wildcat defense to a pair of shutout wins over USC and then-No. 5 UCLA. Against USC on Oct. 29, Smith had key saves early in the first half to keep the game scoreless until the Wildcats opened the scoring in the 34th minute. Smith had six saves on the night to lead Arizona to a 3-0 victory and her ninth shutout of the season. Against UCLA on Oct. 31, Smith posted four saves against a Bruin team that leads the Pac-10 in goals scored. The 1-0 shutout marked Arizona’s first-ever win over the Bruins in the 10-game series history. The honor was Smith’s first Pac-10 Player of the Week honor and Arizona’s sixth weekly honor all-time.

TOUGH DEFENSE: The Wildcats limited their opponents to 11 goals in 21 matches, while posting 11 shutouts. The only match in which the Wildcats allowed more than one goal came on Sept. 10 against No. 16 West Virginia, when the Mountaineers defeated the Wildcats, 2-0. Five of the Wildcats’ goals against came in the first half, while the other six were scored in the second half.

OFFENSIVELY: Arizona scored 37 goals this season. Seven of those came on Sept. 5 when the Wildcats defeated the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights 7-0 at home. The Wildcats scored 15 times in the first half, 21 in the second half and once in overtime. The Wildcats never lost a match in which they scored a goal.

WINNING STREAKS: The Wildcats had three four-game winning streaks during the season. Arizona opened the season with four victories over Iowa State, Drake, UC Irvine and Fairleigh Dickinson. The second winning streak started on Sept. 12 against Duquesne University. The Wildcats then went on to beat Northern Arizona, Brigham Young and Weber State. The final winning streak started on Oct. 3 against Colorado College, followed by Washington State, Washington and Stanford.

ON THE ROAD: The Wildcats went 7-5-0 on the road this season with a 2-3-0 road record in the Pac-10.

CROWD SUPPORT: In nine home games this season, the Wildcats had an average attendance of 582. The highest attendance at a home game came on Sept. 3 against UC Irvine, when there was a crowd of 811. The Wildcats went 8-1 at home during the regular season with only three goals allowed.

 

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