Women's Soccer Plays Final Regular Season Home Games This Weekend
Oct. 28, 2002
THIS WEEK - The No. 13 USC women's soccer team (8-5-3, 3-2) will host Oregon State (8-7-2, 1-5) on Friday (Nov. 1) at 2 p.m. and Oregon (2-11-2, 1-4-1) on Sunday (Nov. 3) at 1 p.m. in Pac-10 Conference action at McAlister Field. Sunday's game is the final home game of the regular season and Senior Day for three USC seniors (Ali Fennell, Jackie Fodor and Stephanie Scholl).
RANKINGS - USC is ranked No. 13 in the nation in the latest Soccer America poll and No. 16 by the NSCAA. Oregon State and Oregon are 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 schedule is rated as the nation's fifth toughest, according to the Oct. 16 report by www.soccerratings.com. The latest Soccer America rankings as of Oct. 28 show the Trojans playing nine of the top 25 teams in the nation: No. 1 Stanford, No. 2 North Carolina, No. 4 UCLA, No. 7 Santa Clara, No. 10 Penn State, No. 16 Wake Forest, No. 17 Arizona State, No. 18 California and No. 20 Washington.
CLOSING IN - Head coach Jim Millinder is one win away from his 100th career win (99-66-13). Millinder, in his seventh season at USC (where he is 91-39-4), 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 lost to No. 5 UCLA, 2-0, at McAlister Field in the only match of the week. OCTOBER 27 VS. UCLA - Crystal James and Stacy Lindstrom scored in the Bruins' win as UCLA outshot USC by a 26-6 margin, including a 17-2 advantage in the first half. USC goalkeeper Julie Peterson made a season-high 10 saves for the Women of Troy.
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 (seven) and points (15). She also leads the team with four game-winning goals, including an overtime winner in a 2-1 victory on Oct. 20 at Arizona. 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 54 points in her career (22-10=54), 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 0.83 goals-against-average in 16 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).
JESSICA EDWARDS - Junior forward Jessica Edwards (Mesa, AZ/Dobson HS) is second on the team this season in goals (four) and points (nine). On Oct. 18, she scored the game-winner in overtime with 15 seconds left in a 2-1 win at Arizona State and added another goal two days later in a 2-1 overtime win at Arizona. 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.
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).
BEST DEFENSE - USC has scored only 16 goals this season, but the team's strength has been its defense, which has allowed only 14 goals in 16 games. The starting backfield of Kaitlyn Pruett, Nikki Goza, Amanda Roach, Hillary Schwarzbach and reserve Jenna Killion has allowed only 11 goals in the last 14 games. The fewest goals allowed in a season by USC is 20, set by the 2001 squad.
OREGON STATE NOTES - Oregon State returns 10 starters and 14 letterwinners from last year's 10-8-2 squad. Head coach Steve Fennah is 28-43-6 in his fifth year at Oregon State. Courtney Carter leads the team in goals (eight) and points (19). USC leads the all-time series with Oregon State by a 7-2 margin and has won seven straight.
OREGON NOTES - Oregon returns six starters and 15 letterwinners from last year's 8-8-2 squad. Head coach Bill Steffen is 37-80-4 in his seventh season at Oregon. Four players have two goals on the season, including Amanda Orand who has two goals and two assists. USC leads the all-time series with Oregon by a 6-0 margin as the Women of Troy have outscored the Ducks by a 21-3 margin in the series.
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.