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Arizona Soccer Heads to Missouri for Nike Tiger Invitational
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 09/02/2003
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Sept. 2, 2003

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WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's soccer team (1-1-0 overall, 0-0-0 Pac-10) hits the road this weekend, heading for Columbia, Mo., to participate in the Nike Tiger Invitational. The Wildcats kickoff the tournament on Friday, Sept. 5, with a contest against Arkansas at 4:30 p.m. CDT, followed by host team Missouri against Purdue at 7 p.m. CDT. On Sunday, Sept. 7, Arkansas and Purdue faceoff at 10:30 a.m. CDT, with Arizona and Missouri playing at 12 p.m. CDT.

ABOUT ARIZONA: The Wildcats are 1-1-0 on the season after finishing as runner-up of their own Four Points University Plaza Arizona Invitational last weekend. The Cats opened the new year with a close 2-1 loss to Iowa State on Friday, but they bounced back for a 3-0 win over Kent State on Sunday. That was new head coach Dan Tobias' first victory at Arizona.

Junior forward Candice Wilks seems to have returned to her offensive form of two years ago, currently holding down the top scoring spot for the Wildcats, with four points on two goals. Sophomore midfielder Lisa Kosena and freshman midfielder Erin Bevacqua are tied for second with one goal (two points) each. Kosena is tied with Wilks for the team lead with five shots apiece.

Sophomore midfielders Mallory Miller, Erin Clewett and Courtney Moseley and junior defender Lindsey Peeples have each been credited with one assist so far this season.

Both Wildcat goalkeepers have logged complete games in the young season. Junior transfer Krystal Werges registered a complete-game shutout against Kent State on Aug. 31, tallying four saves in the match. Sophomore Natalie Juarez played all 90 minute in the season opener against Iowa State on Aug. 29, allowing two goals and recording three saves.

ABOUT ARKANSAS: The Lady Razorbacks opened their season 0-2 over the weekend, suffering losses at Oklahoma (3-1) on Friday and at Tulsa (2-1) on Sunday.

Freshman sisters Christina and Devon Burger were responsible for both of Arkansas goals during last weekend's action. Fellow freshman Blair Miller assisted the Razorbacks' goal on Sunday. Another freshman, goalkeeper Carrie Dillsaver has played all 180 minutes of the season so far, collecting 10 saves and a 2.50 goals-against average.

Arkansas head coach Alan Kirkup (Loughborough, 1981) holds a 27-51-4 record in five seasons with the Lady Razorbacks. He has a career record of 217-129-17 in 18 seasons.

THE SERIES vs. ARKANSAS: Arizona won the only previous matchup with Arkansas, 3-0, on Aug. 30, 1997, in Fayetteville, Ark.

ABOUT MISSOURI: The Tigers began the 2003 season with a perfect 2-0-0 record last weekend. Missouri opened the year with a 3-0 win at Iowa on Friday, then logged a 2-0 victory at home on Sunday.

The Tigers aren't nationally ranked this week, but they did get votes for national ranking in both the SoccerBuzz Magazine Top 25 and the NSCAA Rankings. Missouri is ranked No. 6 in the Central Region in both polls.

Sophomore forward Jennifer Nobis holds the scoring lead for MU, with two goals and one assist (three points). Three other players have one goal each to their credit, while four others have one assist apiece. Senior goalkeeper Megan Duncan played all of Friday's match, tallying three saves and earning the shutout. Fellow senior Stephanie Krawczyk logged a complete-game shutout on Sunday, with five saves.

In his eighth season at Missouri, head coach Bryan Blitz (Tulsa, 1987) holds a 74-68-4 mark with the Tigers. He has a 119-112-12 record in 13 years as a collegiate head coach.

THE SERIES vs. MISSOURI: Sunday's meeting will be the first for Missouri and Arizona.

ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: The Cats opened the season by splitting a pair of matches to finish as runner-up in their own Four Points University Plaza Arizona Invitational last weekend.

In the season opener on Aug. 29, Arizona was narrowly edged by Iowa State, 2-1. Iowa State jumped on the Cats right away, scoring just 1:27 into the game. The two teams battled back and forth, then Wildcat junior Candice Wilks was fouled hard in the box during the 26th minute. She connected on the resulting penalty kick and tied the score at 1-1. The tie didn't last for long, however, as the Cyclones struck again in the 28th minute. Neither team scored for the remainder of the game.

The Wildcats finished the match with a 13-7 edge in shots, including a 7-5 advantage in shots on-goal. Freshmen Lauren Winters and Erin Bevacqua each had three shots, with all of Winters' being on-goal. Sophomore midfielder Lisa Kosena had two shots, as did fellow sophomore Althea Jones. Sophomore goalkeeper Natalie Juarez played the full 90 minutes in the nets for the Cats, registering three saves.

Earning its first victory of the 2003 season, Arizona shutout Kent State, 3-0, in the final game of the tournament on Aug. 31. The victory also marked new head coach Dan Tobias' first win at the UA.

The Wildcats got on the scoreboard fairly early, when sophomore midfielder Courtney Moseley sent a corner kick into the box, near the goal mouth. Kent State's goalkeeper punched the ball out to the top of the box, but Lisa Kosena was there to collect the rebound and send a left-footed shot into the back of the net at 13:34. The Cats held a 1-0 lead at the break.

Arizona again capitalized on an offensive opportunity early in the second half. In the 50th minute, sophomore midfielder Mallory Miller served a ball from the right side to junior defender Lindsey Peeples at the top of the box. Peeples turned and slotted the ball to Erin Bevacqua, whose shot just slipped past the Kent State keeper.

Candice Wilks put the icing on the cake with her goal in the 70th minute, carrying through the KSU defense after taking a pass from sophomore midfielder Erin Clewett.

The Wildcats out-shot Kent State, 19-6, for the match and had an 8-4 advantage in shots on-goal. Wilks finished with a game-high-tying four shots, including two on-goal. Sophomore midfielder Jennifer Klein also had four shots, while Kosena and Miller ended with three apiece. Junior goalkeeper Krystal Werges made four saves to earn her first shutout as a Wildcat.

Iowa State was the tournament champion, by virtue of its 2-0 mark in the tourney. Cyclone Amy Flores was named the tournament Offensive Most Valuable Player, while Arizona's Lindsey Peeples was chosen the tournament Defensive Most Valuable Player.

LOOKING AHEAD: The Wildcats remain on the road next weekend, heading for Flagstaff to take on Northern Arizona on Sunday, Sept. 14, at 2 p.m.

Arizona returns home for a pair of matches the weekend after that. The Cats will face Kentucky on Friday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m., then they take on San Francisco on Sunday, Sept. 21, at 1 p.m. Both matches will be played at Murphey Stadium, 15th Street and Plumer Avenue.

ARIZONA HEAD COACH Dan Tobias: First-year head coach Dan Tobias (Cal Poly, 1987) is 1-1-0 with the Wildcats. He holds a career record of 45-46-6 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 season with the Wildcats. He came to the UA after spending the 2002 season on the women's soccer staff at UC Irvine.

THE FUTURE'S SO BRIGHT...: The Cats should be in pretty good shape offensively for the next few years. Five of Arizona's top six scorers last season were freshmen. Out of the 106 total points that the Wildcats accumulated for the season, freshmen accounted for 84 points -- that's almost 80% of the team's total offense.

CURRENT CATS AMONG UA CAREER LEADERS: Junior forward Candice Wilks is fourth on the UA career list for total points (25), is tied for fourth in goals scored (10), is tied for fifth in game-winning goals (2), is sixth in total shots (73) and is tied for sixth in assists (5).

Junior midfielder Vanesha Bailey is tied for sixth in career assists (5) and tied for 10th in total points (17). Sophomore midfielder Erin Clewett is also tied for sixth in career assists (5), while fellow sophomores Mallory Miller, Lisa Kosena and Jennifer Klein are all tied for ninth in career assists, with four apiece.

Sophomore goalkeeper Natalie Juarez is fourth in career goalkeeping minutes played (1061) and fourth in saves (73).

TOUGH SCHEDULE: Eight 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 No. 2, Stanford is No. 4, Washington is No. 10, USC is No. 15 and California is No. 25 Kentucky, Missouri and Arizona State all received votes for ranking.

In the Soccer America Top 25, Stanford stands at No. 2, UCLA is No. 3, Arizona State is No. 13, Washington is No. 17, USC is No. 22 and California is No. 25.

In the Soccer Buzz Magazine Top 25, UCLA is holding down the No. 2 spot, Stanford is No. 3, Arizona State is No. 9, USC is No. 20, Washington is No. 21, California is No. 23 and Kentucky is No. 24.

Regionally, Missouri is ranked No. 6 in the NSCAA Central Region Top 10, and Kentucky is No. 3 in the Great Lakes Region. In the West Region, UCLA is No. 1, Stanford is No. 3, USC is tied for No. 4, Washington is tied for No. 4, California is No. 7 and Arizona State is tied for No. 10.

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The Wildcats have a 24-34-3 record in eight seasons playing on their home field, Murphey Stadium.

ON LOCATION: Arizona is 1-1-0 at home this year, 0-0-0 in road contests and 0-0-0 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.

TWICE IS NICE: Traditionally, the Cats have fared rather well when scoring two or more goals in a match. They won five of the seven matches last season in which they scored more than one goal. Over the 10 years of Wildcat soccer, the UA has a 39-21-2 record when scoring two goals or more.

CLOSE BUT...: The outcome of seven of the Wildcats' 19 games last season was decided by one goal or less. In the 10-year history of the Arizona soccer program, 69 matches have been decided by that one-goal-or-less differential.

2002 IN BRIEF: With a roster that sported a combined total of only four juniors and seniors, the very young University of Arizona women's soccer team finished the 2002 season with a 6-12-1 overall record and a 1-8-0 mark in Pac-10 play.

The 2002 Wildcats broke or tied 17 school records, including most goals in a season (37), most goals per game (1.94 gpg), most assists in a season (32) and most total points in a season (106).

Individually for Arizona, redshirt freshman forward Kelly Nelson obliterated many previous single-season scoring records with her 27 points on 13 goals and one assist. She led the Pac-10 in goal scoring, becoming the first Wildcat to accomplish this feat. In the process, Nelson was named the Cats' Most Valuable Player, was a second team All-Pac-10 selection and earned West Region All-Freshman Team honors from SoccerBuzz Magazine.

True freshman Lisa Kosena was second in scoring, with four goals and four assists (12 points). Fellow freshman Maggie MacCool was a close third with five goals and one assist (11 points), followed by redshirt freshman Courtney Moseley with three goals and two assists (eight points).

In the nets, true freshman goalkeeper Amanda Martin started the first nine matches of the season, registering 56 saves, two shutouts and a 1.39 goals-against average in 778 minutes of play. Redshirt freshman keeper Natalie Juarez took over as starter for the final 10 matches, tallying 70 saves and a 2.78 GAA in 971 minutes of action. Juarez finished the season tied for third in the Pac-10 in saves per game (5.00 spg) and was sixth in total saves.

Other Wildcats received post-season honors as well. Sophomore Candice Wilks was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 choice for the second year in a row. Senior defender Tymarie Novak and sophomore defender Lindsey Peeples were honorable mention Academic All-Pac-10 selections as well.

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