ASU Soccer Plays Host to #3 Texas, UNC-Charlotte
Sept. 6, 2007
Tempe, Ariz. -- After opening the season 1-1-0 in Las Vegas, the Sun Devils look to improve their record as they play host to No. 3 Texas (2-0-0) in their home opener Friday night. It will be the first ever meeting between the two schools. The Devils will round out the weekend Sunday as they face UNC-Charlotte (2-0-0) at 5 p.m.
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.
Welcoming Coach Boyd
This weekend's games will mark first for new head coach Kevin Boyd in Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. Boyd was named as head coach of the Arizona State University women's soccer program on March 30, 2007. The third head coach in the 11-year history of the Sun Devil program, Boyd brings a successful track record and years of collegiate coaching experience to Tempe following a 10-year stint as the head coach of Pac-10 rival California where he collected a 124-63-20 record and eight appearances in the NCAA tournament.
Reverse the Trend?
Since defeating No. 2 Stanford during the 2001 season, the Sun Devils have not has 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 12 matches against the highly-ranked opponents, including two matches last season. In 2006, ASU hosted No. 1 Florida State, but fell 1-0. The Sun Devils also lost to No. 3 UCLA, a Final Four participant in 2006, 2-1 in Tempe.
After posting seven shut outs last season, the Sun Devils continued to show great defensive efforts this season as they posted a 1-0 win over Idaho State in the season opener.
Sophomore GK Briana Silvestri earned her first career start as a Sun Devil in the season opener versus Idaho State. She posted one save and the shutout for the game. Against UNLV, Silvestri collect seven saves, totaling eight so far on the season, which currently ranks her second in the Pac-10 in saves and saves per game.
That's a First
Junior Carla Scanniello, a 2005 transfer from the University of Memphis, and freshman Karin Volpe both scored their first goals as Sun Devils over the weekend. It was Scanniello's seventh collegiate goal of her career.
Making Their Debut
Through the first two matches of the season, 19 of the 26 players on the roster have seen action on the pitch in 2007. Four of the 19 were true freshman; Alexandra Elston, Erica Long and Karin Volpe all recorded their first collegiate starts.
As always, the Sun Devils will once again play a solid schedule of opponents, including a Final Four participant from one year ago in UCLA. Arizona State also has matches slated against six foes ranked in the preseason Soccer Buzz Top 25, including No.5 Texas, No. 6 UCLA, No. 7 Stanford, No. 13 USC, No. 15 Santa Clara and No. 19 Oregon. Three of the six matches will be on the road, all of which are Pac-10 contests.
The coaches of the Pac-10 Conference conducted a vote prior to the season and the Sun Devils were selected to finish seventh in the league.
One Last Time
Five of the 26 Sun Devils on the roster for the 2007 season are entering their senior campaigns, led by forward Courtney Crane. Also on the offense for the Sun Devils are seniors Lara Kezer and Alissa Oldenkamp, both of whom will be competing in their final seasons for ASU. The defense will be led by two seniors, Kyleyn Felts and Lauren Niblett.
Green as Grass
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Sun Devils will have nine true freshmen and 10 sophomores in 2007. Leading the way will be sophomores Brittney Doty and Dante Perea, as well as, true freshmen Alexandra Elston and Erica Long.
Along with the nine incoming freshmen, the Sun Devils welcome new assistant coach Blair Quinn. Quinn, a former professional soccer player, also coached at the Kansas and Loyola Marymount prior to coming to ASU.
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.Following the 2006 season, six Sun Devils earned academic honors. Senior Kim Bingham was joined by Kyleyn Felts in earning Pac-10 First Team All-Academic honors. Alissa Oldenkamp was named to the second team, while Lara Kezer, Lauren Niblett and Kylla Sjoman were honorable mention selections. Bingham and Felts were also named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VII First Team.
Looking At: Texas
The Sun Devils and Longhorns will be meeting for the first time ever in 2007. Texas (2-0-0) is currently ranked No. 3 in the nation after defeating No. 2 UCLA, 2-1, in Houston. The Longhorns also defeated TCU, 3-1, in their season opener Friday. After their match with the Sun Devils, Texas heads down to Tucson, Ariz. to take on the Arizona Wildcats.
Looking At: UNC-Charlotte
The match between the Sun Devils and 49ers will mark the first in the series and just the sixth against a member of the Atlantic-10. UNCC is 2-0-0 to start the 2007 season. The 49ers defeated The Citadel 6-0 in their season opener, followed by a 2-0 shut out of East Carolina. Freshman Whitney Weinraub was named the Co-Rookie of the Week in the Atlantic-10. Charlotte travels to Georgia to take on the Bulldogs Thursday before making the trip to Tempe.
Arizona State will face foes from two different conferences this weekend, including its eighth match with a member of the Big XII (Texas) and its sixth against the Atlantic-10 (UNC-Charlotte). Against the Big XII, the Sun Devils hold an all-time mark of 5-2-0. ASU is also 4-0-1 against Atlantic-10 opponents.
Following this weekend's matches, the Sun Devils will pack their bags as they travel to Texas to face SMU Friday, Sept. 14 at 5 p.m. PT. ASU will conclude its weekend with a match at TCU Sunday, Sept. 16 at 11 a.m. PT.