Women's Soccer Continues Pac-10 Play At Arizona State, Arizona

Oct. 14, 2002

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THIS WEEK - The No. 12 USC women's soccer team (6-4-3, 1-1) will continue Pac-10 Conference play this weekend with road games at No. 17 Arizona State (8-1-2, 1-0) on Friday (Oct. 18) at 7 p.m. and Arizona (5-5-1, 0-1) on Sunday (Oct. 20) at 1 p.m. The Trojans have lost only one game in their last seven (4-1-2) after opening the season with a 2-3-1 record.

RANKINGS - USC is ranked No. 12 in the nation in the latest Soccer America poll and No. 19 by the NSCAA. Arizona State is ranked No. 17 by Soccer America. Arizona 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 Oct. 14 show the Trojans playing nine of the top 25 teams in the nation: No. 1 Stanford, No. 3 North Carolina, No. 5 Santa Clara, No. 6 UCLA, No. 7 California, No. 10 Penn State, No. 11 Wake Forest, No. 17 Arizona State and No. 19 Washington.

CLOSING IN - Head coach Jim Millinder is three wins away from his 100th career win (97-65-13). Millinder, in his seventh season at USC (where he is 89-38-4), has guided the Women of Troy to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances. He spent two seasons at Loyola Marymount (1994-95) before taking the USC position.

LAST WEEK - The Trojans went 1-1 at home in Pac-10 play with a 2-0 loss against No. 2 Stanford and a 2-0 win against No. 7 California. OCTOBER 11 VS. STANFORD - An early goal on a penalty kick at 3:02 paved the way for the Cardinal. Stanford outshot the Women of Troy, 13-12, adding another goal in the second half for the win. Megan Abbamonto led USC with four shots. OCTOBER 13 VS. CALIFORNIA - Amy Mann and Ali Fennell scored as USC defeated its third Top 10 team of the season. Julie Peterson did not register a save, but set a school record with her seventh shutout of the season. Mann scored at 64:16 on a header off a cross from the right side while Fennell hit a shot from 15 yards out. Fennell scored her team-leading sixth goal of the season and moved into fifth place on USC's all-time scoring list with 51 points.

ALI FENNELL - Senior Ali Fennell (Santa Ana/Mater Dei HS) played her first three seasons at USC as a midfielder, but this season is playing as a forward. Fennell recorded a goal in three straight games (Sept. 15-27) and leads the team this season in goals (six) and points (12). On Oct. 6, she scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win against No. 8 Santa Clara. She has started in every match at USC and has 51 points in her career (21-9=51), good for fifth place on USC's all-time scoring list. Fennell garnered All-Pac-10 second team honors in her first two seasons.

JULIE PETERSON - Sophomore Julie Peterson (Mission Viejo/Santa Margarita HS) has made an impact in her first season as the team's No. 1 goalkeeper. She has a 0.73 goals-against-average in 13 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. Peterson tied a school record with her third straight shutout on Sept. 13 vs. Vanderbilt, equalling a record set last year by Shaelyn Fernandes. On Oct. 13 vs. California, Peterson set a school record with her seventh shutout of the season in a 2-0 win, breaking the previous mark of six held by Laura Badagliacco (1994), Karin Puccinelli (1998) and Shaelyn Fernandes (2001).

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 and scored the game-tying goal in the final two minutes of regulation in a 2-2 tie on Oct. 4 against Loyola Marymount. She started in every game last year, recording three goals (including two game-winners).

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). She scored her first goal of the season on Sept. 13 in a 2-0 win against Vanderbilt. 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.

BEST DEFENSE - USC has scored only 12 goals this season, but the team's strength has been its defense, which has allowed only 10 goals in 13 games. The starting backfield of Kaitlyn Pruett, Nikki Goza, Amanda Roach, Hillary Schwarzbach and reserve Jenna Killion has allowed only seven goals in the last 11 games. The fewest goals allowed in a season by USC is 20, set by the 2001 squad.

ARIZONA STATE NOTES - Arizona State returns five starters and 12 letterwinners from last year's squad that went 10-8-1. Head coach Ray Leone is 18-9-3 in his second season at Arizona State. Freshman forward Elizabeth Bogus leads the Sun Devils in goals (seven) and points (16), while sophomore goalie Kelly Fitzgerald has a 0.61 goals-against-average with four shutouts. USC leads the all-time series with Arizona State by a 5-1 margin. The Women of Troy have won the last four meetings between the two teams.

ARIZONA NOTES - Arizona returns seven starters and 11 letterwinners from last year's squad that finished 5-12-1. Head coach Cathy Klein is 13-32-4 in her third season at Arizona. Freshman forward Kelly Nelson leads the team in goals (10) and points (20), while freshman goalie Amanda Martin has a 1.29 goals-against-average with two shutouts. USC leads the all-time series with Arizona by a 7-1 margin and has won the last six meetings between the two teams.

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 16-5-2 (.739) 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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