Washington State Plays Two Nationally Ranked Teams For Opening Weekend
Aug. 26, 2003
Washington State will begin its 2003 campaign Friday against second ranked North Carolina and will then play the Maryland Terrapins who are ranked 14th on Sunday. Friday's match will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the University of Washington's Husky Soccer Field, Seattle, Wash., and Sunday's kick-off is also at Husky Soccer Field at 11 a.m.
The Cougars are coming off of an 11-7-2 record and their second NCAA tournament appearance in three years. Nine starters and 20 letter winners are returning from last year's squad, but come with a first-year coaching staff. First-year Head Soccer Coach, Matt Potter replaced Dan Tobias, and brought first-year assistant coaches Pete Leebrook and Lindsey Jorgensen.
'Both North Carolina and Maryland are exceptional programs,' Potter said. 'To start the season against two top 25 teams is a credit to how far our program has come. We look forward to the challenges of both matches.'
Scouting the Tar Heels: University of North Carolina is ranked second coming into Friday's match. They are returning eight starters and 21 letter winners from 2002's squad that made it to the NCAA tournament semifinals where they lost to Santa Clara 21-1. The Tar Heels finished 21-2-4 overall. The Tar Heels will go into Friday's match having two pre-season games under their belts. They beat No. 17 Michigan 4-1 and Big 10 Conference champs Ohio State 3-2 last weekend. Legendary head coach, Anson Dorrance is heading into his 25th season at North Carolina where he's coached 21 NCAA tournament teams including 16 national champions. The Tar Heels are led by senior forward Alyssa Ramsey who is among the top points leaders in UNC history going into the 2003 season 25th in points (94), 24th in goals (30) and 23 rd in assists (34). The Tar Heels will be missing senior defender Catherine Reddick, sophomore forward Lindsey Tarpley, freshman forward Heather O'Reilley and assistant coach Bill Palladino who are training and coaching with the U.S. Women's National Team as it prepares for the 2003 World Cup.Scouting the Terrapins: University of Maryland is returning 10 starters and 16 letter winners from a squad that lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament to eventual NCAA Semifinalist Penn State 2-1 and ended with a 13-8-1 record. The Terrapins are ranked 14th in Soccer Buzz's pre-season poll, and are coached by former UNC Tar Heel Shannon-Higgins Cirovski who is 29-28-3 at Maryland. They are led by junior midfielder Jen Brisco who led the team in points last year with 15, and senior midfield/forward Kim King.Cougar Coaching Staff: First-year Head Coach Matt Potter came to WSU in the spring semester of 2003 as an assistant... Potter is a USSF 'A' licensed coach and is currently the Region IV Olympic Development Program (ODP) head coach for the girls 87 age group and has been on the regional ODP staff since 1998...before coming to WSU Potter was the Head Coach for Scottsdale Community College women's soccer team...led the Artichokes to a 9-7-1 record and to the 2002 ACCAC playoffs...was with the Sereno Soccer Club in Arizona for eight years where he was a head coach and professional trainer... played professionally for the Watford F.C. in England ...first-year assistant Pete Leebrook comes to WSU from the Sereno Soccer Club in Arizona where he was an assistant technical director/camp and clinic coordinator, coach and trainer for Sereno from 1997-2003... played professionally for Burnley F.C. (English Div.1)... first-year assistant Lindsey Jorgensen is a former Washington State keeper (1998-2001) who set several WSU records... 2002 was Washington State women's soccer volunteer assistant; training goalkeepers and assisting with recruiting and office duties... was a member of the founding Seattle Sounders (W-league) women's soccer team
Eight Seniors Lead WSU: Washington State returns eight seniors from the 2002 NCAA tournament squad... goalkeeper Sara Leibowitz started 17 of 18 games she played last year and tallied a 10-2-1 record...Mariette Boyce is a strong, 5-11 defender who along side Soccer Buzz 3rd Team All-Region defender, Shay Hobby leads a solid defensive line...two-time team captain, Kim Morgan earned co-mvp honors last year from her teammates and has appeared in 57 matches, including 56 starts, putting her just 15 matches from the WSU's top 10 in matches played, and 5 from matches started...Shelby Brownfield was expected to red shirt due to a knee injury last year, but she ended up playing and tallying 11 points for the season...Jenna Wirtz is a three-time letter winner who scored two goals in 15 matches last year... three-time team captain and senior striker, Rachel Rodrick is currently 3rd in WSU's all-time points category with 46 points, adding 15 points in 2002 with five goals and five assists...Rodrick scored the winning goal in WSU's exhibition match against the Ghana National Team...earning Second-Team All-Pac-10 and Soccer Buzz's Second Team All-West Region honors in her first year as a Coug, Nicole Wilcox led the team with eight goals and eight assists for 24 points.
Cougars Face Most Challenging Schedule to Date: The Washington State Soccer Team is playing one of if not the hardest pre-conference schedules in WSU history...the Cougars jump into the hot seat right off the bat with a match against No. 2 North Carolina... they turn around two days later and play No. 14 Maryland...Sept. 12 the Cougs play Wake Forest who were ranked 19th at the end of the 2002 season...the weekend of Sept. 26-28 Washington State will face No. 4 Texas and No. 16 Texas A&M...the Cougars play their first conference match Oct. 9 in Los Angeles, Calif. against No. 7 UCLA.