Sun Devil Soccer Hosts No. 1 Santa Clara Friday
Sept. 19, 2007
Tempe, Ariz. - The Arizona State University soccer team hosts No. 1 Santa Clara Friday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. PT at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. It will be the fourth meeting between the schools as the Broncos lead the all-time series 3-0-0.
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.
The Sun Devils swept their games last weekend in the Lone Star state. ASU first defeated SMU 4-1 Friday as three Sun Devils scored their first goal of the season. They capped off the weekend with a 2-0 victory over TCU Sunday, marking the third shutout of the year for ASU.
Friday's game versus Santa Clara has been tabbed a Gold Game. Fans who wear gold will receive $2 admission. Additionally, the game will be Student Sun Devil Club Night #1. Students who wear their Student Sun Devil Club t-shirt can earn attendance points. Post-game autographs will also be available at the South end of the stadium bleachers.
Through their first six games, the Sun Devils have only allowed four goals, which is tied for second among Pac-10 teams. Additionally, ASU has recorded three shutouts on the year. Last season, the Sun Devils posted seven shut outs on the year, second most in school history.
Sophomore GK Briana Silvestri earned her first career start as a Sun Devil in the season opener versus Idaho State. So far, she has collected 13 saves and recorded three shutouts on the season. Her seven saves at UNLV (Sept. 2) is a conference high. The three shutouts ranks her tied for first in the confernece in number of shutouts and shutouts per game (.500). Further, her goals against average (.670) is fourth in the Pac-10.
Scoring by Committee
Of the nine ASU goals scored so far this season, seven were by different players. The first weekend of action saw both junior Carla Scanniello and freshman Karin Volpe score their first career goals. This past weekend, five others netted goals, including sophomore Carly Kallas who put in two at SMU.
While the Sun Devils remain unranked in the national polls, they have moved up three spots in the Soccer Buzz West Region poll to No. 12. Santa Clara, who ASU faces Friday, is currently No. 2 in SoccerBuzz's top 30 and in the West Region poll.
Crane Climbs Charts
With her goal against SMU Friday, senior Courtney Crane is currently tied for eighth place on ASU's all-time career goals scored list with 12 goals. She is also three points away from moving into ninth place in ASU's all-time career points category; she currently has 31.
Nine of the 10 teams in the Pac-10 currently have a winning record. Currently, Stanford (6-0-0) is ranked No. 1 in the Soccer Buzz rankings; others include No. 7 UCLA (3-1-1), No. 18 USC (4-1-1), No. 23 Washington State (4-0-1), and No. 26 California (5-1-0).
Making Their Debut
Through the first six matches of the 2007 season, 21 of the 26 players on the roster have seen action on the pitch in 2007. Five of the 21 were true freshmen; Alexandra Elston, Erica Long and Karin Volpe all recorded their first collegiate starts. Freshmen Jessie Richardson and Jill Shoquist have also seen time on the pitch this season.
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 Soccer Buzz Preseason Top 25, including No. 2 UCLA, No. 6 Stanford, No. 9 Texas, No. 14 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.
Welcoming Coach Boyd
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.
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 Liz Harkin and Carly Kallas, as well as, true freshmen Alexandra Elston and Karin Volpe.
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: Santa Clara
The Sun Devils and Broncos will be meeting for the fourth time in the head-to-head series in 2007. Santa Clara has defeated ASU in the three previous matches. The Broncos are currently ranked No. 1 accoding to the Soccer America rankings and No. 2 by Soccer Buzz. After their match with the Sun Devils, the Broncos will head down to Tucson, Ariz., to face the Arizona Wildcats on Sunday.
Arizona State will face Santa Clara from the West Coast Conference Friday. The Sun Devils have had tough luck against the WCC as they are 3-12-2 overall against opponents.
Following this weekend's match, the Sun Devils travel to Albuquerque, N.M., to take on the Lobos at 7 p.m. MT on Tuesday, Sept. 25. ASU will then return to Tempe for a five-game home stand beginning with San Diego State on Friday Sept. 28 at 7 p.m.
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