Wildcat Soccer Team Plays at Denver, Air Force This Week

Oct. 2, 2001

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WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's soccer team (3-3-1) continues its six-game road swing this weekend with a pair of matches in Colorado. The Wildcats play at Denver on Friday, Oct. 5, at 3 p.m. MDT, then they take on Air Force on Sunday, Oct. 7, at 12 p.m. MDT.

ABOUT ARIZONA: The Wildcats slipped to 3-3-1 on the season after being swept in Utah last weekend. Arizona was blanked by Brigham Young (2-0) last Friday, then lost 4-1 at Utah on Sunday. The Cats have already matched last season's wins total, and with 21 goals on the year, they have more goals than they scored in all of last season games combined.

There is a four-way tie for the Wildcat scoring lead. Freshman forward Candice Wilks (five goals), senior forward Kristi Loro�a (five goals), freshman midfielder Vanesha Bailey (four goals, two assists) and freshman forward Cassie Daniels (three goals, four assists) have amassed 10 points apiece.

Sophomore forward Liz Bartlett is fifth with two goals and one assist (five points), followed by senior midfielder Katie Winship with one goal and one assist (three points) and junior transfer Tymarie Novak with one goal (two points). Sophomore defender Samantha Bartlett, sophomore midfielder Sierra Cristiano, junior midfielder Twila Kaufman and senior defenders Erin Nelson and Cassidy Guinn have one assist (one point) apiece.

In the nets, senior goalkeeper Shannon Monti has played all 660 minutes of the season thus far, tallying 35 saves, one shutout and a 1.91 goals-against average.

As a team, Arizona is tied for second in the Pac-10 in goals per game (3.00 gpg), tied for second in saves (37), tied for third in goals scored (21) and tied for fourth in total points (55). Cassie Daniels is leading the conference in assists per game (0.67 apg) and is tied for fourth in total assists (4). Shannon Monti is third in saves per game (5.00 spg) and fourth in total saves (35).

ABOUT DENVER: The Pioneers stand a 6-2-0 overall and 2-1 in Sun Belt Conference play after garnering a pair of home victories last weekend. Denver drilled Arkansas-Little Rock (5-0) last Friday, then pounded Arkansas State (8-0) on Sunday. The Pioneers will take on Air Force in Colorado Springs this Wednesday before facing Arizona on Friday.

Senior forward Molly George is Denver's top scorer, with seven goals and one assist (15 points). Junior forward Katie Antongiovanni is in second with five goals and four assists (14 points), followed by sophomore midfielder Mychael Movius with five goals and three assists (13 points).

Junior goalkeeper Erica Izard has played 675 minutes for the Pioneers this season, tallying 35 saves, four shutouts and a 1.07 GAA. Fellow junior Pam Clark has seen 45 minutes in the nets, with 0.00 GAA.

Head coach Jeff Hooker holds a 105-51-16 record in 10 seasons at the helm of the Denver program. He is 125-63-20 in 13 years as a head coach.

THE SERIES vs. DENVER: Arizona won the only previous meeting with Denver, 3-1, in Tucson on Sept. 25, 1998. The Pioneers went on the board early with a goal at 3:43, but 12 minutes later, Arizona knotted the game at 1-1.

Neither team scored again until senior Nikki Jones, now the UA's all-time leading scorer, scored the go-ahead goal at 77:58. Then-freshman Twila Kaufman iced the victory for the Cats with her third goal of the season at 85:58.

ABOUT AIR FORCE: Winners of three of their last four matches, the Falcons moved to 4-3-1 overall after splitting two games last week at the Toys for Tots/Military Academies Women's Soccer Classic in St. Louis, Mo. The Falcons lost to Navy (2-0) last Friday, then rebounded to defeat Army (2-0) on Sunday. Air Force will take on Washington State at home this Friday before playing host to Arizona on Sunday.

With seven goals and three assists (17 points), senior midfielder Beth Boyer has a solid hold on the USAFA scoring lead. Freshman forward Jennifer Rowland is second with three goals and three assists (nine points), followed closely by junior defender Christine Miller's three goals and one assist (seven points).

Sophomore goalkeeper J.J. Wolf has played 480 minutes in the nets for the Falcons, gathering 20 saves, two shutouts and a 1.31 goals-against average. Fellow sophomore Jennifer Monson has played 270 minutes, has 15 saves and a 1.67 GAA.

Tenth-year head coach Marty Buckley (Chico State, 1978) holds a 79-95-9 record with the Falcons.

THE SERIES vs. AIR FORCE: Sunday's game will mark a first-ever matchup for the Arizona and Air Force women's soccer teams.

ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: After giving up three first-half goals, the Arizona women's soccer team dropped a 4-1 decision at Utah on Sunday, Sept. 30.

The Utes struck barely 10 minutes into the match, then went up 2-0 by connecting on a penalty kick in the 37th minute. With less than three minutes to play in the first half, the Utes gained a 3-0 halftime lead.

Arizona freshman midfielder Vanesha Bailey finally broke the shutout for the Cats early in the second half, scoring her fourth goal of the season at 55:02. The Wildcats were unable to make any other gains offensively, and Utah put the cap on the win with a goal at 72:05.

Senior goalkeeper Shannon Monti played all 90 minutes in the nets for Arizona, collecting three saves, as Utah out-shot Arizona, 12-5. Wildcat freshman forward Candice Wilks had a pair of shots, while Bailey and sophomores Sierra Cristiano and Liz Bartlett had one shot apiece. Wilks, Bailey and Bartlett each had shots on-goal.

ARIZONA HEAD COACH CATHY KLEIN: Second-year head coach Cathy Klein (SUNY-Cortland, 1987) holds a 6-18-3 mark at the helm of the Arizona program. She has a Division I career record of 63-59-4 over six years and is 85-112-9 in 11 years as a head coach.

Klein was named as the Wildcats' new head coach in January, 2000. She came to the UA after a five-year stint building a new women's soccer program at Iowa State. In four varsity seasons with the Cyclones, Klein garnered a 43-37-1 mark. Before Iowa State, Klein was head coach at Creighton and Division III schools Earlham College and Utica College.

THE REST OF THE STAFF: In her second season at the UA, Melissa Estrada (Creighton, 1995) followed Cathy Klein from Iowa State, where Estrada was part of Klein's coaching staff for four years. She assists with recruiting and works with the field players.

Assistant coach Casey Mann (Grand View College, 1997) is in his first season with the Wildcats. His primary responsibility at the UA is coaching the goalkeepers. His wife, Tawnya Mann, is also lending a hand as a volunteer assistant.

LOOKING AHEAD: Arizona will wrap up its six-game road swing and will kick off Pac-10 play in Los Angeles next weekend. The Cats will take on UCLA on Friday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m., then they face USC on Sunday, Oct. 14, at 1 p.m.

After that, the Wildcats will finally return home for games against Oregon on Oct. 19 and Oregon State on Oct. 21.

PRACTICE SCHEDULE: All daily practices during the regular season, until Nov. 8, will be held from 2:30-4:30 p.m. The team will have weight-lifting sessions each Tuesday and Wednesday immediately after practice until 5:45 p.m., therefore no post-practice interviews on these days will be allowed until the strength training is completed.

Media are encouraged to attend all practices but are not permitted to converse with coaches or players during practice. Media can interview coaches and players after practice only. No pre-practice interviews will be permitted. All practices and games are conducted at Murphey Soccer Stadium, located at 15th Street and Plumer Ave.

RECORDS ARE FALLING: Only seven matches into the season, and the Cats have broken or tied eight school records already. Among those are most goals in a game (nine), most assists in a game (six) and longest unbeaten streak (four games).

RACKING `EM UP: Freshman forward Candice Wilks has five goals on the season, but she notched them all within a three-game span. She ran off three goals against Southern Utah on Sept. 7 then dented the net twice against UNLV on Sept. 23.

CONSISTENT CONTRIBUTOR: Freshman midfielder Vanesha Bailey has scored or assisted at least one goal in six of the season's seven matches. She scored Arizona's only goal during the two-game trip in Utah last weekend.

RANKED OPPONENTS: Eight of the 18 opponents on Arizona's schedule this year are either nationally ranked or are receiving votes for ranking.

In the NSCAA Coaches Poll, UCLA is No. 2, Nebraska is No. 5, California is No. 6, Stanford is No. 7 and Washington is No. 14. BYU, Pepperdine and Arizona State received votes for ranking.

The Soccer America Top 20 has UCLA at No. 2, Stanford at No. 4, Nebraska at No. 7, California at No. 8, Washington at No. 16 and Brigham Young at No. 19.

In the SoccerBuzz.com national rankings, UCLA stands at No. 2, followed by #4 Stanford, #6 California, #8 Nebraska, #13 Brigham Young and #23 Washington.

RANKED OPPONENTS, PART DEUX: The UA played six nationally ranked opponents last year, more than in any other season in the program's history. The Cats' opener this year against No. 5 Nebraska on Aug. 31 marked the first time the UA has ever faced a ranked opponent in the first game of a season.

NOTING THE PAC-10: With perfect 7-0-0 marks, Stanford and UCLA are still tied for the lead in the conference. California is close behind at 8-1-0, followed by Oregon State at 7-1-1. UCLA (No. 2), California (No. 6), Stanford (No. 7) and Washington (No. 14) are all ranked in this week's NSCAA Coaches Poll.

ON LOCATION: The Wildcats are 3-0-1 at home this season, 0-3-0 on the road and 0-0-0 in neutral games. Last year, Arizona garnered a 2-5-0 mark at home, was 1-8-1 on the road and was 0-0-1 in neutral matches.

MUSICAL LINEUPS: Fifteen different Wildcats have started at least one match for the UA this season.

TWICE IS NICE: Traditionally, the Cats have fared rather well when scoring two or more goals in a match. They have scored two or more in five of the season's seven games and have a 3-1-1 mark when doing so. Over the eight years of Wildcat soccer, the UA has a 31-18-2 record when scoring two goals or more.

CLOSE BUT...: The outcome of 10 of the Wildcats' 20 games last season was decided by one goal or less. In the eight-year history of the Arizona soccer program, 56 matches have been decided by that one-goal-or-less differential.

CAT SCRATCHES: Arizona has a 3-0 record this year when scoring three or more goals... The Cats are also 3-0 when allowing the opponent to score one or fewer goals... Freshman forward Cassie Daniels has four assists already this year, only two away from tying the school single-season record in that category.

MONTI'S MUSINGS: Each week throughout the 2001 season, senior goalkeeper Shannon Monti will be sharing her thoughts with fans via the official UA athletics web site, www.arizcats.com.

NICE START: The Wildcats' 3-1-1 start to the season is the best record ever through the first five games of a season. The previous best was 3-2 during the 1995 and 1999 seasons.

WVU, PITT GAMES CANCELLED: Arizona's road games at West Virginia (Sept. 14) and at Pittsburgh (Sept. 16) were cancelled after theterrorist attacks in the East. These contests will not be rescheduled.

CATS ADD TWO GAMES TO REPLACE CANCELLED DATES: The Wildcats added a pair of non-conference road games in October to replace those September games that were cancelled. Arizona will play at Denver on Friday, Oct. 5, at 3 p.m. MDT, then they will travel to Colorado Springs to take on Air Force on Sunday, Oct. 7, at 12 p.m. MDT.

LORO�A NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Sept. 11): After a record-setting scoring performance during the Sept. 7 and 9 home games, senior forward Kristi Loro�a was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 4-10.

Loro�a tallied seven shots and scored five goals to lead the Wildcats to a pair of wins over that weekend. She came off the bench to score a school-record five goals while leading Arizona to a 9-1 home victory over Southern Utah on Sept. 9. Loro�a notched four of her five goals in a 24-minute span in the first half, including two goals that were 42 seconds apart. Loro�a notched one shot on-goal in UA's 3-0 win over New Mexico Sept. 7. That win ended an 11-game winless streak for Arizona.

This is Loro�a's first career Pac-10 Player of the Week honor, and Arizona's second women's soccer Player of the Week honor all-time.

LINEUP SHAKE-UP: Six new Wildcats made their debut in the UA starting lineup during the season opener at No. 5 Nebraska on Aug. 31. A total of seven freshmen and sophomores played in that game, which saw Cathy Klein bring only three subs off the bench.

SISTER ACT: The Wildcat roster features two pairs of sisters this year. Sophomores Liz and Samantha Bartlett are twins. Senior midfielder Erin Nelson and freshman defender Heather Nelson are also sisters. All four players have seen action already this season.

LOCAL CONNECTION: The 2001 Wildcat roster features three players from Tucson high schools -- Kristi Loro�a (Canyon del Oro), Erin Nelson (Sabino) and Heather Nelson (Sabino).

Five other players are from Phoenix-area high schools -- Cassidy Guinn (Shadow Mountain), Jenn Meintel (Glendale Cactus), Tara Monteleone (Xavier College Prep), Shannon Monti (Shadow Mountain) and Courtney Russell (Glendale Cactus).

PAC-10 COACHES POLL: UCLA was tabbed by the league's coaches as the favorite to win the Pac-10 crown this year, while the Wildcats were picked to finish ninth, one spot higher than last season...
Pac-10 Preseason Women's Soccer Coaches Poll
2. California
3. Washington
4. Stanford
5. USC
6. Arizona State
7. Washington State
8. Oregon State
10. Oregon

2000 IN BRIEF: Under the direction of then-first-year head coach Cathy Klein, the squad finished the 2000 season with a 3-15-2 overall record that belies the progress which was actually made during the year. With a brutal schedule, the Wildcats played an unprecedented six nationally ranked teams, all in the final seven matches of the year.

Through a variety of events, including numerous injuries, Klein ended up with a group of only 15 players who were able to see action in more than half the season's games. Five freshmen and sophomores received the starting nod more than once.

The whole season, the Wildcats were just this close to a different outcome in many of their games. They played a school-record six overtime contests -- all within a nine-game stretch midway through the season. Ten of the season's 20 matches were decided by a margin of one goal or less. The squad set or tied 30 school records, including most overtime wins (two) and most corner kicks in a match (eight).

INDIVIDUALLY IN 2000: Despite missing the last two matches of the season because of illness, rookie Liz Bartlett was Arizona's leading scorer, with five goals and one assist (11 points). Kristi Loro�a was second in scoring with four goals (eight points), followed closely by Sierra Cristiano's three goals and one assist (seven points). Five other players registered one goal or more during the season. Erin Nelson was the team leader in assists, with three, although a total of eight Wildcats were credited with assists for the year.

Goalkeeper Shannon Monti saw the majority of minutes for the Cats, starting all 20 matches and garnering 87 saves and a 2.59 goals-against average. She combined with senior Inger Airheart for the UA's only shutout of the season on Sept. 30.

Junior defender Cassidy Guinn was named the team's Most Valuable Player, while Cristiano was selected the Most Improved Player. Bartlett was the team's Newcomer of the Year, and senior defender Niki Aguiar received the Coach's Award.

Guinn and Bartlett were both honorable mention All-Pac-10 selections, marking the first time since 1997 that a Wildcat received all-conference honors. Kate Nighswander-Will was a second team Academic All-Pac-10 honoree for the first time in her career. Guinn, Monti, Nelson, Ann Giallonardo, Twila Kaufman and Keri Kennedy-Weber all received honorable mention Academic All-Pac-10 laurels.

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