Carolina On The Mind For Women's Soccer This Weekend

Sept. 10, 2002

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THIS WEEK - The No. 21 USC women's soccer team (1-2-1) will compete at the 2002 Wake Forest adidas Invitational this weekend with matches against Vanderbilt (1-1) on Friday (Sept. 13) at 5 p.m. Eastern time and No. 25 Wake Forest (4-0) on Sunday (Sept. 15) at 2 p.m. Eastern. Sunday's game will be broadcast via LiveStats on wakeforestsports.ocsn.com.

RANKINGS - USC is ranked No. 20 in the latest Soccer Times poll and No. 21 by Soccer America. Wake Forest is ranked No. 13 in the NSCAA/adidas poll, No. 18 by Soccer Buzz, No. 21 by Soccer Times and No. 25 by Soccer America. Vanderbilt is not ranked.

NOT AN EASY SCHEDULE - The Women of Troy's schedule is among the toughest in the nation with 11 games against opponents that competed in last year's NCAA Tournament, including national champion Santa Clara and runner-up North Carolina. The latest Soccer America rankings as of Sept. 9 show the Trojans playing eight of the top 14 teams in the nation: No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 Stanford, No. 4 Santa Clara, No. 5 UCLA, No. 7 California, No. 8 Virginia, No. 9 Penn State and No. 14 Washington.

LAST WEEK - The Trojans won the UCLA Women's Cup after defeating No. 5 Penn State (1-0) and tying No. 2 Virginia (0-0). SEPTEMBER 6 VS. PENN STATE - Megan Abbamonto scored the game-winner at 84:00 in one of the biggest wins in the Women of Troy's history with a shot from 25 yards out. Abbamonto led the team with four shots. Sophomore goalkeeper Julie Peterson made six saves to register her first collegiate shutout. SEPTEMBER 8 VS. VIRGINIA - Peterson registered her second straight shutout with two saves against the Cavaliers. USC controlled the tempo in the first half, but Virginia answered in the second half. The Women of Troy had several chances in both overtime periods, but could not convert on the opportunities.

MEGAN ABBAMONTO - Junior Megan Abbamonto (Mission Viejo/Capistrano Valley HS) represents the heart of the Women of Troy's midfield after earning All-Pac-10 second team honors last season. On Sept. 6, she scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win against No. 5 Penn State at the UCLA Women's Cup. She started in every game last year, recording three goals (including two game-winners).

ALI FENNELL - Senior Ali Fennell (Santa Ana/Mater Dei HS) will move from the midfield to right back after garnering All-Pac-10 second team honors in her first two seasons. Fennell has started in every match at USC and has 39 points in her career (15-9=39).

JULIE PETERSON - Sophomore Julie Peterson (Mission Viejo/Santa Margarita HS) is off to a good start as the No. 1 goalkeeper. She has a 0.71 goals-against-average in four games. She earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors after registering back-to-back shutouts against No. 5 Penn State and No. 2 Virginia at the UCLA Women's Cup.

JESSICA EDWARDS - Junior forward Jessica Edwards (Mesa, AZ/Dobson HS) looks to rebound after a difficult sophomore season last year, when she recorded only five points (2-1=5). Edwards earned All-Pac-10 Conference second team and Soccer Buzz Freshman All-West Region first team honors in her 2000 freshman season after leading the team in goals (11), points (29), game-winning goals (4) and shots (97). She set a school record with 97 shots during the season.

KAITLYN PRUETT - Freshman defender Kaitlyn Pruett (Encinitas/La Costa Canyon HS) looks to repeat her freshman success after earning All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors last year. She started and played in 18 games as the team's central defender.

VANDERBILT NOTES - Vanderbilt returns nine starters and 16 letterwinners from last year's squad that finished with a 7-10 record. Head coach Ronnie Covaleskie Hill is 8-11 in her second season at Vanderbilt. The Commodores defeated Alabama-Birmingham last weekend, 4-2. Junior midfielder Michelle Bruntlett leads the team with two goals on the season. This is the first meeting ever between the two schools.

WAKE FOREST NOTES - Wake Forest returns eight starters and 17 letterwinners from last year's squad that finished with a 9-9-2 record and reached the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Tony da Luz is 64-38-5 in his sixth season at Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons defeated Georgia, 3-1, last weekend at home. Junior forward Alena Thom and junior defender Katherine Winstead lead the team with three goals on the season. This is the first meeting ever between the two schools.

McALISTER FIELD - After sharing the practice field with the football team, the USC women's soccer team moved to its own facility prior to the 1998 season. McAlister Field, located on the corner of 30th and Hoover just north of the USC campus, is the permanent home for the team. USC boasts a 13-4 (.765) record at McAlister Field.

LAST SEASON - In 2001, the Women of Troy went 10-7-2 overall and placed fourth in Pac-10 play with a 5-3-1 record. The Trojans made their fourth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, losing to Pepperdine (1-0) in the first round.

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