WHAT’S HAPPENING:The University of Arizona women’s soccer team will host the Four Points Sheraton Cats Classic. Pacific, Gonzaga and Hawaii complete the four team field. Pacific and Hawaii kick off the tournament with their opening game at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8. The Wildcats will follow with their home opener against Gonzaga at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 10, the tournament will continue with Pacific and Gonzaga facing off at 11 a.m. followed by Arizona’s match against Hawaii at 1:30 p.m.
TOURNAMENT FORMAT: All Four Points Sheraton Cats Classic games will be regulation 90-minute contests with two sudden-victory overtime periods if needed. Matches tied after overtime will be declared ties. The tournament champion will be the team who earns the best win-loss record. The procedures for breaking ties for the team title will be as follows: (1) head-to-head record; (2) goal differential; or (3) total goals scored. Along with a trophy for the the team champion, awards will be given to the offensive MVP and defensive MVP as voted by the coaches.
TOURNAMENT HISTORY: This will be the fifth season that the Wildcats host the Cats Invitational. Teams that have participated in the past include St. Louis, Idaho State, Youngstown, Weber State, Iowa State, Cal State-Fullerton, New Mexico, Utah and Kent State.
The previous winners of the invitational were Iowa State (2003), Arizona (2002, 2004) and Cal State-Fullerton (2005).
LAST YEAR IN THE TOURNAMENT: Arizona was 1-0-1 in the 2005 Four Points Sheraton Cats Classic. In the Wildcats’ first game of the tournament, Arizona defeated No. 25 Utah, 1-0 (OT). The Wildcats then played New Mexico to a 1-1 tie in double overtime. Tournament champion Cal State-Fullerton swept the tournament awards.
TOUGH COMPETITION: All four teams participating in this season’s classic hold a record of at least .500.
LAST TIME OUT: The Wildcats split their two games over the weekend in the Utah Fall Classic. London King’s two goals led Arizona to its 3-0 win over Utah State. The Wildcats fell to Utah, 2-1
IN GOAL: Through four games, Chelsea McIntyre’s stats so far look very similar to what McCall Smith did last season in the team’s first four games. Both goal keepers allowed four goals, while Smith had 23 saves compared to McIntyre’s 17.
ABOUT GONZAGA:Gonzaga has earned a 3-0-1 record so far this season. Its wins have come against Oregon State, Birmingham Southern and Eastern Washington. The Zags have three players who have scored two goals so far this season. Gonzaga’s goalkeeper is freshman Jessie Thalman. Thalman has played in all four games this season and holds a 0.27 GAA allowing only one goal so far.
The Zags went 12-4-4 last season, 3-1-3 in the West Coast Conference. Gonzaga returns nine starters and 18 letterwinners from last season’s squad.
Gonzaga is coached by Shannon Stiles, who is in her ninth season with the Zags. She has a 53-77-7 career record.
ZAGS VS. WILDCATS: Arizona won the only meeting between the two teams. The Wildcats defeated the Zags, 6-2, on Oct. 5, 1996.
ABOUT HAWAII: Hawaii has earned a 3-1-0 record so far. The Rainbows have beaten Oklahoma, Kent State and Winthrop. Kelli-Anne Chang and Ambree Ako both have two goals and two assists for Hawaii this season. Sophomore Kori Lu is the Rainbows goalkeeper. Lu has played in all four of Hawaii’s games this season and has a 0.25 GAA, allowing only one goal.
The Rainbows return seven starters and 15 letterwinners from the 2005 squad that went 9-9-2 overall and 5-2-0 in the Western Athletic Conference.
Hawaii is coached by Pinsoom Tenzing, who is in his 13th season with the Rainbows. He has compiled a 104-110-18 while at Hawaii.
RAINBOWS VS. WILDCATS: This is the first meeting between the two teams.
ABOUT PACIFIC: Pacific is undefeated so far this season going 4-0-0. The Tigers four wins have come against Portland State, Long Island, Colorado College and Air Force. Pacific has four players who have scored two goals in its four wins. In goal, the Tigers have junior Jaime Souza. Souza has recorded four shut outs so far this season.
The Tigers are coached by Keith Coleman, who is in his 13th season. Coleman has compiled a 115-97-22 record.
Pac-10 IN THE RANKINGS: UCLA is ranked No. 5 in the Soccer America, No. 3 in the Soccer Buzz and No. 6 NSCAA polls. California stands as the No. 18 in the Soccer America poll and No. 16 in both the Soccer Buzz and NSCAA polls. Southern California is ranked No. 22 in the Soccer Buzz poll.
Additionally, Pac-10 teams hold six of the top-15 spots in Soccer Buzz’s West Region Poll,
2. Santa Clara
7. Long Beach St.
12. Cal St. Fullerton
13. San Diego State
14. Fresno State
15 (tie). Oregon State
UC Santa Barbara
HEAD COACH DAN TOBIAS: In 2005, Tobias led the Wildcats to a 11-8-3 overall record and a 4-4-1 record in the Pac-10. Additionally, Tobias led the team to its first berth in the NCAA Sweet 16 in the program’s history. In three years, Tobias has compiled a 34-27-5 record at Arizona.