Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
UA Soccer Closes Non-Conference Play at San Diego
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: September 30, 2003
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Sept. 30, 2003

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WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's soccer team (4-4-1 overall, 0-0-0 Pac-10) wraps up non-conference play and a three-game road swing this week. In their only action of the week, the Wildcats will play at San Diego on Friday, Oct. 3, at 5 p.m.

ABOUT ARIZONA: The Wildcats are 4-4-1 overall after tying Montana, 1-1 in overtime, on Sept. 26 and falling to UNLV, 2-1, on Sept. 27. Both contests were played in Missoula, Mont., and Saturday's loss ended a four-game unbeaten streak for the Cats.

With four goals and two assists (10 points), sophomore midfielder Mallory Miller has a narrow hold over the Wildcat scoring lead. Junior forward Candice Wilks is close behind, with nine points off four goals and one assist. Freshman midfielder Erin Bevacqua is third in scoring, with three goals (six points), followed by junior midfielder Vanesha Bailey with two goals and one assist (five points).

Miller continues to hold the team lead in shots, with 32 on the season, including a team-best 14 on-goal. Wilks and sophomore midfielder Lisa Kosena are tied for second in shots, with 15 apiece. Bailey has the fourth-best shots total, with 14.

Sophomore goalkeeper Natalie Juarez has started six games this season, registering 17 saves, one shutout and a 1.13 goals-against average in 558 minutes of play. Junior keeper Krystal Werges has seen action in four matches, tallying seven saves, one shutout and a 1.99 GA average in 272 minutes.

ABOUT SAN DIEGO: On a four-game winless streak, the Toreros are 4-2-3 overall after losing at Cal Poly (3-1) and tying UC Santa Barbara (1-1) last weekend. San Diego has played four overtime matches already this season and has allowed opponents to score just six goals on the year.

Sophomore forward Michelle Rowe has a solid hold on the USD scoring lead, with 10 points off five goals. Senior midfielder Brenna Mullen is second, with two goals and one assist (five points). Senior goalkeeper Libby Bassett has played all 890 minutes in-goal for the Toreros this season, collecting 36 saves, five shutouts and a 0.61 goals-against average.

First-year head coach Ada Greenwood (Dominican, 1997) holds a 4-2-3 mark at the helm of the San Diego program.

THE SERIES vs. SAN DIEGO: USD won the only previous meeting with the Wildcats, 3-0, last season on Sept. 22 in Tucson.

LAST MEETING WITH SAN DIEGO: Playing at home for the first time in three weeks, Arizona was shutout, 3-0, by San Diego on Sept. 22, 2002.

San Diego struck early, when midfielder Brooke Roby sent a pass from the right side to Val Strocco, who dented the net in the 17th minute. The Wildcats had several good runs in the first half, including a breakaway by Candice Wilks with 18 minutes left in the period. She carried the ball for more than half the field but just couldn't get off a clean shot. Kelly Nelson had a solid shot that just skimmed the crossbar with less than three minutes left in the half. The Cats were down only 1-0 at the break.

Barely 10 minutes into the second half, San Diego's Brenna Mullen was awarded a penalty kick opportunity, which UA goalkeeper Amanda Martin was able to stop. USD's Val Strocco collected the rebound, however, and sent it into the net before the Wildcat defense could recover. A scramble in the goal mouth in the 62nd minute resulted in a goal by Michelle Rowe, sending USD ahead, 3-0.

The Cats did have some opportunities to score late in the game but were unable to convert. Senior midfielder Naomi Chu had a rocket from the right side stopped in the 76th minute, and USD backup goalkeeper Natalie Bobbit poked away a shot by Erin Clewett in the 84th minute.

San Diego had a 20-7 advantage in shots, including a 14-4 edge in shots on-goal. Each of Arizona's seven shots was taken by a different player.

ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: The Wildcats played a pair of nail-biter matches in Missoula, Mont., last weekend. On Sept. 26, Arizona played host team Montana to a 1-1 double-overtime tie, the Cats' first overtime contest of the season.

Montana's Shawn Destafney put her team on the board early, floating a long shot over Wildcat goalkeeper Natalie Juarez's head in the 12th minute. Keeping her scoring streak hot, Mallory Miller used a direct kick to score the equalizer for the Cats at 34:46, logging her fourth goal in four games.

Neither team scored again for the next 75 minutes. The Wildcats finished the game with a 20-13 advantage in shots but had just a 5-4 edge in shots on-goal. The Cats did set a new school record with 14 corner kicks in the match, breaking the old mark of 12 that was set against Oregon State on Oct. 21, 2001.

Miller had a game-high five shots, including two on-goal. Fellow sophomore Jennifer Klein added three shots off the bench, while Maggie MacCool had a pair of shots as well. Seeing her first action of the season after missing seven contests with an ankle injury, last year's leading scorer Kelly Nelson came off the bench and contributed two shots of her own. In the nets, Juarez finished with a trio of saves.

Despite out-shooting UNLV, 14-7, the Wildcats were edged by the Rebels, 2-1, in a neutral contest in Missoula on Sept. 27.

All three of the contest's goals were scored in the first half. UNLV struck first with a goal off a long-range free kick in the 13th minute. Vanesha Bailey answered for the Wildcats at 24:22 off a double-assist from forwards Candice Wilks and Kelly Nelson. The game-winner was another long-range shot for the Rebels, scored with just under six minutes remaining in the first half.

Neither team scored in the second half, although the Wildcats held a definitive 6-2 edge in shots for the period.

Wilks finished with a game-high four shots, including one on-goal, and Bailey had three shots, with two on-goal. Nelson and Mallory Miller contributed two shots apiece. Goalkeeper Natalie Juarez saw most of the action in the nets for Arizona, registering three saves in 88 minutes of play.

LOOKING AHEAD: The Wildcats will kick off Pac-10 play at home against Stanford on Friday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m., then they will face California on Sunday, Oct. 12, at 1 p.m. The homestand continues on Saturday, Oct. 18, when the Cats take on rival Arizona State at 7 p.m. All three matches will be played at Murphey Stadium, 15th Street and Plumer Avenue.

Arizona plays its first conference road games of the year in Los Angeles in late October. The Cats play at USC on Oct. 24 and at UCLA on Oct. 26.

ARIZONA HEAD COACH Dan Tobias: First-year head coach Dan Tobias (Cal Poly, 1987) is 4-4-1 with the Wildcats. He holds a career record of 48-49-7 over six years, five of which were spent at the helm of the Washington State program. Tobias was the 2002 Pac-10 Coach of the Year after guiding the Cougars to a third-place finish in the conference and their second NCAA tournament appearance in three years.

THE REST OF THE STAFF: In her first season at the UA, Lisa Oyen (Montana, 1998) followed Dan Tobias from Washington State, where she was part of Tobias' coaching staff for two years.

Assistant coach Harold Warren (Cal Poly SLO, 2002) is also in his first year with the Wildcats. He came to the UA after spending the 2002 season on the women's soccer staff at UC Irvine.

KEEP SHOOTING: The Wildcats have out-shot their opponents, 146-73, for the season. That means the Cats are taking an average of eight more shots per game than their opponents.

Arizona also has an enormous 78-18 advantage in corner kicks already this year, further proof that the Cats are spending much more time in the opponent's third than in their own. At Montana on Sept. 26, the Wildcats set a new school record with 14 corner kicks, breaking the original mark of 12 set previously on Oct. 21, 2001, against Oregon State.

ARIZONA'S RECORD WHEN: This season, the Wildcats are... 4-0-1 when tied or leading at the half... 3-1-0 when scoring two goals or more... 4-0-1 when giving up just one goal or less.

A TALE OF TWO HALVES: The Wildcats have been out-scored by their opponents, 10-7, in the first half during this season's matches. However, Arizona has out-scored its opponents, 8-3, in the second half.

TWICE IS NICE: Traditionally, the Cats have fared rather well when scoring two or more goals in a match. They have won three of the four matches this year in which they have scored more than one goal. Over the 10 years of Wildcat soccer, the UA has a 41-22-2 record when scoring two goals or more.

CLOSE BUT...: The outcome of six of the Wildcats' nine games so far this season has been decided by one goal or less. In the 10-year history of the Arizona soccer program, 74 matches have been decided by that one-goal-or-less differential.

TOUGH SCHEDULE: Six of Arizona's 2003 opponents are either nationally ranked or received votes for ranking in this week's polls.

In the NSCAA Coaches Poll, UCLA is tied for No. 3, Washington is No. 9, California is No. 17, and Stanford is No. 23. USC and Arizona State received votes for ranking.

In the Soccer America Top 25, UCLA stands at No. 3, Washington is No. 13, USC is No. 14, Arizona State is No. 16, Stanford is No. 18, and California is No. 23.

In the Soccer Buzz Magazine Top 25, UCLA is holding down the No. 4 spot, Arizona State is No. 12, Washington is No.13, California is No. 17, and Stanford is No. 24. USC received votes for ranking.

In the Top 25, UCLA is No. 4, Washington is No. 11, Arizona State is No. 15, and Stanford is No. 22.

CURRENT CATS AMONG UA CAREER LEADERS: Junior forward Candice Wilks is tied for third on the UA career list for game-winning goals (3), tied for third in total points (30), is fourth in total shots (83), fifth in goals scored (12) and is tied for sixth in assists (6).

Junior midfielder Vanesha Bailey is sixth in career assists (6), tied for seventh in total points (22), tied for 10th in games started (46) and is tied for ninth in goals scored (8). Sophomore midfielder Mallory Miller is fifth in total shots (79), is tied for sixth in game-winning goals (2) and tied for eighth in assists (5).

Sophomore forward Kelly Nelson is fourth in career goals scored (13) and is fifth in total points (28). Sophomore midfielders Lisa Kosena and Erin Clewett are both tied for eighth in career assists, with five apiece. Junior defender Lindsey Peeples is tied for 10th in games started, with 46.

Sophomore goalkeeper Natalie Juarez is second in career goals-against average (2.18), fourth in goalkeeping minutes played (1529) and fourth in saves (87).

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The Wildcats have a 26-34-3 record in eight seasons playing on their home field, Murphey Stadium.

ON LOCATION: Arizona is 3-1-0 at home this year, 1-2-0 in road contests and 0-1-1 in neutral matches. The Wildcats were 4-5-0 at home last season, 1-7-0 on the road and 1-0-1 in neutral games.

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