ASU Soccer Set to Host #1 Florida State, #27 St. Louis
Aug. 29, 2006
GET YOUR KICKS
The Kicks Against Breast Cancer tournaments have been held around the nation each of the past 10 years with Arizona State adding an event in Tempe for 2006. Pitting several top collegiate programs against one another, the tournament offers fans a chance to watch collegiate soccer while also helping worthy causes. During this weekend's matches, several raffles will be held with the money raised being divided amongst two organizations: 50 percent of the money will go to the Kicks Against Breast Cancer Foundation while the remaining 50 percent will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Phoenix Chapter.
There are two matches scheduled for each day with Loyola (Md.) and St. Louis opening the invitational Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. before the Sun Devils take on top-ranked Florida State at 7 p.m. The action concludes Sunday with Loyola and Florida State facing one another at 10:30 a.m. while the Sun Devils and Billikens close out the weekend at 1 p.m. On the off-day (Saturday), all four participating teams will come together for a banquet.
All home Arizona State matches will have live statistical updates available on the official web site home of the Sun Devils, thesundevils.com. Fans can go to the soccer team page, click on the schedule link and then click on the Gametracker link for the match they wish to view.
TOP RANKED FOE
When the Sun Devils play host to No. 1 Florida State, it will mark just the second time ASU will take on the top-ranked team in the nation. The first instance came during the 2002 season when the Sun Devils dropped a 2-0 decision on the road to Stanford on Nov. 8. The match also will mark the first time ASU will play host to the nation's top-ranked team.
CLOSE TO THE TOP
Although the Sun Devils have not face the No. 1 team in the nation at home, they have met the No. 2 team twice inside Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. The last time the No. 2 team visited Tempe was in 2004 when No. 2 Notre Dame recorded a 2-1 victory in front ASU's largest home crowd ever. But, in 2001, the Sun Devils did defeat the No. 2 team in the nation as Stanford visited Tempe with ASU taking a 1-0 decision in overtime.
REVERSE THE TREND?
Since defeating No. 2 Stanford during the 2001 season, the Sun Devils have not had the same type of results against other foes ranked in the national Top 5. Following the win over the Cardinal, Arizona State has dropped its last 10 matches against the highly-ranked opponents, including two matches played on the road last year. In 2005, ASU opened the year with a 2-0 loss at No. 5 Santa Clara before closing the campaign with a 2-1 setback at No. 4 UCLA, the national runner-up.
Arizona State opened its season over the weekend with a pair of victories, taking down UC Irvine, 3-0, on the road before shutting out Loyola (Md.), 2-0, Monday night in Tempe. The back-to-back shut outs marks the third time in the history of the program that the team has opened a season with two shut outs in a row. The first was in 2000 (3-0 at Northern Arizona and 4-0 home over Michigan) and the second coming the following season (3-0 at Baylor and 6-0 over LaSalle at Baylor).
MORE GOOSE EGGS
The back-to-back shut out victories over their opponents also was the first time the Sun Devils had done so at any point in the season dating back to the 2003 campaign. That year, the Sun Devils picked up 1-0 victories over Oregon State (at home) and on the road at No. 24 Washington in consecutive Pac-10 matches. The Sun Devils did post back-to-back shut outs last year, scoring a 3-0 win at Washington before settling for a 0-0 draw with Stanford.
Last year, the Sun Devils posted four shut outs, but did not record their first blanking until the ninth match of the season, a 1-0 overtime victory at home over UC Santa Barbara.
With the defense playing strong in front of her, senior GK Kim Bingham has seen her name climb up several ASU all-time categories. Following the two shut outs, Bingham sits second all-time in saves (182), goals against average (1.22) and is fourth in career shut outs (11.5). On the season ranks, she holds the seventh (4.0 in 2004) and eighth (3.0 in 2005) most shut outs in a season with her 2.0 this season ranking 11th. Bingham also picked up the first point of her collegiate career as she recorded an assist on a Brittney Doty goal at UC Irvine.
Courtney Crane has made a strong return from her redshirt year of 2005 as she has scored one goal in each of the two matches the Sun Devils have played in 2006. In both matches, Crane's goal ended the scoring for both teams and both strikes came with an assist from Alissa Oldenkamp. For her career, Crane now has eight goals, tying her for the 10th-most in a career at ASU with Aisha Thomas (1996-98).
So far in 2006, three freshmen have recorded at least one point with two of the rookies scoring at least one goal. Brittney Doty got the scoring started for the rookies as she found the back of the net twice in the opening match of the season while Dante Perea scored a goal in the second tilt of 2006. Perea, who earned her first point while assisting Doty, was assisted by fellow classmate Liz Harkin, making her the third rookie with a point.
GETTING IN THE ACT
The three freshmen with points are not the only newcomers to the scoring column this year. Sophomore defender Kylla Sjoman assisted on the first goal of the season to secure the first point of her collegiate career with goalkeeper Kim Bingham following with her first collegiate point as she assisted on the team's second goal of 2006.
MAKING THEIR DEBUT
Through the first two matches of the season, 19 of the 24 players on the roster have seen action on the pitch in 2006. Of those 19 players, 11 made their Sun Devil debuts, including eight true freshmen and one redshirt freshman. Also included in the debuts was Carla Scanniello, who sat out last year after transferring in from Memphis, and Michelle Deatherage, a transfer from Utah.
THE LAST TIME...
The last time the Sun Devils opened a season 2-0-0 was in 2003 when they won 4-0 at Hawaii before defeating Bowling Green, 5-1. Despite falling at No. 5 Notre Dame, 3-1, the Sun Devils posted a 13-5-3 overall record and was selected for the NCAA Championships where the team defeated Cal Poly, 3-1, before falling to host No. 3 Santa Clara, 1-0.
As always, the Sun Devils will once again play a solid schedule of opponents, including two of the Final Four teams from one year ago in Florida State and UCLA. Arizona State also has matches slated against five foes ranked in the preseason NSCAA Top 25, including No. 2 UCLA, No. 6 FSU, No. 10 California, No. 17 Arizona and No. 20 Pepperdine. Of those five foes, only the match with Cal is on the road in 2006 while the rest will visit Tempe.
NIEVA GOES INTERNATIONAL
Christine Nieva, a sophomore on the ASU squad, is currently gaining international experience with the Mexican U-20 team as she and her teammates are in Moscow, Russia, taking part in the 2006 FIFA Women's U-20 World Championships. Nieva, who holds dual citizenship with Mexico and the United States, has played in two matches and started both. In the first match, the Mexicans scored a 4-2 defeat of Switzerland before dropping a tough decision to Germany, the defending champions. Mexico closes out pool play Thursday against Korea and will need help from Switzerland to advance to the knock-out stages.
RED, WHITE & BLUE
Former Sun Devil Amy LePeilbet and current assistant coach Nancy Augustyniak Goffi have been training with the U.S. Women's National Team in the recent months with LePeilbet also earning playing time during several international matches throughout 2006. LePeilbet has competed in 10 matches so far this season and brought her career cap total to 20. Augustyniak Goffi recently returned from the WNT residency camp with LePeilbet at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., as the team prepares for two more international matches on home soil in the coming month.
ONE LAST TIME
Four of the 26 Sun Devils on the roster for the 2006 season are in their senior campaigns, led by goalkeeper Kim Bingham. The team's backstop will be joined on the defensive end by Michelle Deatherage, a transfer from Utah and a product of Scottsdale, Ariz. The remaining two seniors, Michelle Becker and Katie Mahoney, will again serve as undergraduate coaching assistants this year as injuries have sidelined them.
GREEN AS GRASS
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Sun Devils will have 12 true freshmen and two redshirt freshmen on the roster this season. Combine them with four other players from last year's squad and the team has 18 student-athletes that did not play an entire collegiate season in 2005.
The 12 newcomers on the field are not the only new additions to the program this fall as the team also welcomed Nancy Augustyniak Goffi to the coaching staff as an assistant coach. Augustyniak Goffi comes to Tempe following stints of play in both domestic and international leagues following her graduation from Clemson in 2000. As a member of the Tiger team, she was coached by current Sun Devil boss, Ray Leone, and assistant coach, Tracey Leone.
The Sun Devils also bring back five juniors and three sophomores. This group includes the top two returning scorers from last year in Lara Kezer (two goals for four points) and Alissa Oldenkamp (four assists for four points) and several starters from the 2005 squad.
In recent years, the members of the Arizona State University soccer program have been the walking definition of a 'student-athlete' as the Sun Devils have held the top team grade-point average (GPA) of any varsity team on campus, signified by earning the Sparky Award since its inception three years ago. During the 2004 season, 20 of the team's 21 players recorded a 3.00 GPA or better while the 2005 edition saw 21 of the 25 rostered student-athletes attain the same standard.
Also in 2005, the Sun Devil soccer program enjoyed success academically among the Pac-10 Conference as well as the nation. In the league, the Sun Devils saw a school-record 11 student-athletes attain Academic All-Pac-10 accolades, including a program-best four first-team honorees. Among the 10-team league, the Sun Devils had the most first-team honorees (four) and placed the third-most student-athletes on the overall list with 11 total. On the regional level, ASU also placed five of its players on the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District VIII lists, including Elizabeth Bogus and Manya Makoski on the first team.
LOOKING AT: FLORIDA STATE
ASU will look to avenge a 3-2 setback absorbed in the first match of the 2004 season when the Sun Devils visited No. 5 Florida State on Aug. 27. The Seminoles enter the match as the top-ranked team in the nation and among the Top 5 in several other polls following their 2-1 defeat of defending NCAA Champion Portland at a match played in Tallahassee last weekend. Mami Yamaguchi scored the game-winner for the 'Noles to help the team to a 1-0-0 mark heading into their match in Tempe with the Sun Devils.
LOOKING AT: ST. LOUIS
The match between the Sun Devils and Billikens will mark the first in the series and just the second against a member of Conference USA. St. Louis is 0-1-0 on the year (plays Missouri State on Tuesday night) after falling at No. 12 Duke, 3-1. Maureen Hughes netted the lone goal for the Billikens in the defeat.
The Sun Devils will face foes from the Atlantic Coast (ACC) and Conference USA this weekend as they face Florida State and St. Louis, respectively. All-time, the Sun Devils stand 0-2-0 against teams currently in the ACC while standing 0-1-0 against teams from CUSA.
NEXT ON THE PITCH
After playing three consecutive matches at home, the Sun Devils return to the road for a trio of matches, including two next weekend in Las Vegas. Arizona State will compete in the UNLV Rebel Classic and faces Denver at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, before closing out the weekend with an 11 a.m., Sept. 10, match with UCF.
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