WHAT’S HAPPENING:The 24th-ranked Arizona women’s soccer team (5-2-2) will finish up its non-conference schedule against 12th-ranked BYU (9-0-1) at home on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT: Arizona lost on the road to No.3 Portland, 3-0, and then returned home to defeat UC-Santa Barbara, 4-3.
In Friday’s match versus Portland, the Pilots’ Christine Sinclair took a shot from the top of the box and placed it into the back of the net to give the Pilots the 1-0 lead at 18:42. Sinclair then scored her second goal of the night, 18th of the season, at 26:06 off of assists from Lindsey Huie and Angie Woznuk.
The Pilots’ Megan Por Rapinoe scored the team’s third goal at 31:15 with an assist from Sinclair. The teams cleared the field at halftime with Portland leading Arizona, 3-0.
Arizona sophomore goalkeeper McCall Smith had three saves in the second half to keep the Pilots off of the scoreboard. Pilot goalkeeper Cory Alexander had two saves to keep the game at 3-0 and earn her fifth shutout of the season.
Senior Mallory Miller had four of the team’s nine shots on the night.
In Sunday’s game, Arizona took the early lead at 13:16 with a goal by Miller off of an assist from sophomore Nicole Scheid. The Gauchos responded at 20:03 off of a score from Darci Gwartz. Miller scored at 37:11, with an assist by sophomore Claire Bodiya, to give the Wildcats back the lead. The UA had 15 shot opportunities in the first 45 minutes of play.
The back-and-forth play continued into the second half. At 50:07, sophomore Nicole Scheid scored with an assist going to senior Kamaya Damwijk to give Arizona a two-goal lead. UCSB once again responded by scoring at 58:16 with a goal by Allie Kueny off of a pass from Katie Smith. The Gauchos tied up the game with less than 15 minutes to play with a goal coming on a corner kick. With less than two minutes to play in regulation, Miller scored a the game-winning goal for the hat trick and the 4-3 Wildcat victory.
ABOUT BYU: The No. 12-ranked Cougars are undefeated with a 9-0-1 record. The Cougars had a nine-game winning streak with victories over George Mason, Hawaii, Washington State, Utah State, Denver, Texas, Colgate, Wisconsin and California. BYU tied Eastern Washingon on Sept. 24, 2005 to end their winning streak at nine.
BYU’s leading scorer is Jaime Beck, who has five goals and five assists. The Cougars’ starting goalkeeper is Erika Woodbury who has allowed one goal on the season and has posted a 0.19 goals against average.
BYU returns 19 letterwinners, including nine starters, from a team that went 7-10-4 and 3-1-2 in the Mountain West Conference, finishing second in the conference standings.
Cougars vs. Cats:BYU leads the series with a 4-1 record over Arizona. In the last matchup between the two teams, Arizona defeated BYU on Sept. 23, 2004 in Provo, Utah, by a score of 1-0.
ARIZONA IN THE RANKINGS: The National Soccer Coaches’ Association of America has ranked the Wildcats as No. 24, while Soccer America has Arizona in the No. 21 spot. Soccer Buzz Magazine has ranked Arizona No. 22 in its national poll. Additionally, the publication placed the Wildcats as the No. 7-ranked team in the West Region.
TOUGH NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE: Four of the Wildcats non-conference opponents are ranked in this week’s NSCAA Top-25 poll. No. 3 Portland, No. 10 Pepperdine, No. 12 BYU and No. 23 Cal Poly are all on Arizona’s non-conference schedule. Additionally, two other Pac-10 schools are ranked in the Top-25, No. 4 UCLA and No. 15 California. Stanford received votes in the poll.
MILLER ON TOP: Senior Mallory Miller leads Arizona in goals scored with nine. Miller scored the only scored a hat trick in the Wildcats’ victory over the Gauchos of UC-Santa Barbara. Additionally, Miller has scored seven of the Wildcats’ eight goals at home. Sophomore Nicole Scheid is the only other Wildcat to score at home this season.
Miller has also reached the of the program’s all-time records. She is now the program’s leader in game-winning goals with nine, surpassing former Wildcat Candace Wilks with eight. Miller is also Arizona’s career assist leader with 15.
IN THE LAST TWO SEASONS: The Wildcats are close to matching their success of the 2004 season, easily the best season in the history of the program. At this point in 2004, Arizona held a 7-2 record. In the 2004 and 2005 seasons, Arizona has posted a 20-8-2 record. In 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003, the Wildcats won a total of 20 games. In less than two seasons, the Wildcats have met the 20-win mark for the 2004 and 2005 schedules.
SENIOR LEADERSHIP: Five Arizona seniors have participated in all seven matches for the Wildcats. Kamaya Damwijk, Jennifer Klein, and Mallory Miller have started all seven games. Althea Jones will return to the lineup after she recovers from ACL surgery she had during the spring.
IN THE NETS: Sophomore goalie McCall Smith is coming off of a freshman season in which she broke four of the program’s goalkeeping records and was named a finalist for Freshman of the Year. Smith is the program’s leader in career shutouts with 15.
IN THE BACK: The Wildcats rely on a fairly young defense made up entirely of freshmen and sophomores. Sophomores Claire Bodiya, Nicole Scheid, Kaity Heath and Shannon Kusmit, and freshmen Savanah Levake, Brianna Caceres and Erika Olson make up the back line for the Wildcats. In its first two matches, the Wildcats started Bodiya, Heath, Scheid and Caceres defensively.
HEAD COACH DAN TOBIAS: In 2004, Tobias led the Wildcats to a 15-6 overall record. Additionally the 6-3 Pac-10 record gave Arizona its first Pac-10 championship in the history of the program.
For his efforts, Tobias was the first coach in Arizona soccer history to be named Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Tobias is the second coach to receive Pac-10 Coach of the Year accolades twice, after being named 2002 Coach of the Year while at Washington State. USC’s Jim Millinder accomplished the feat in 1996 and 1998.
Additionally, Tobias received national recognition by being named 2004 National Coach of the Year by Soccer America. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America and Soccer Buzz Magazine also named him West Region Coach of the Year.
IN THE PAC: The Wildcats currently hold the fifth-best record in the conference. Nine of 10 Pac-10 teams have earned at least a .500 record at this point in the season.
Oregon State 7-2-0
Arizona State 5-3-1
Washington State 5-3-1