Women's Soccer Opens 2002 Season At Nebraska Tournament

Aug. 26, 2002

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THIS WEEK - The USC women's soccer team will open the 2002 season in Lincoln, Neb., at the Nebraska adidas Invite. The Women of Troy will play Wisconsin on Friday (Aug. 30) at 5 p.m. and last year's NCAA runner-up and perennial power North Carolina on Sunday (Sept. 1) at 11 a.m.

RANKINGS - North Carolina is ranked No. 1 in the Soccer America preseason poll and No. 2 by Soccer Buzz and the NSCAA/adidas preseason polls. USC and Wisconsin are not ranked.

2002 SEASON PREVIEW - The 2002 season marks the 10th anniversary for women's soccer at USC and this year's squad features just two seniors and three juniors. Junior forward Jessica Edwards will be the focal point of the Trojans' offense while junior midfielder Megan Abbamonto will switch to a more offensive-minded role after two seasons as a central midfielder. Senior Ali Fennell moves to the right back position while sophomore defender Kaitlyn Pruett will be a key on defense. Sophomore Julie Peterson starts the season as the team's No. 1 goalkeeper. The Women of Troy's schedule is among the toughest in the nation with 11 games against opponents that competed in last year's NCAA Tournament, including national champion Santa Clara and runner-up North Carolina.

MEGAN ABBAMONTO - Junior Megan Abbamonto (Mission Viejo/Capistrano Valley HS) represents the heart of the Women of Troy's midfield after earning All-Pac-10 second team honors last season. She started in every game last year, recording three goals (including two game-winners).

ALI FENNELL - Senior Ali Fennell (Santa Ana/Mater Dei HS) will move from the midfield to right back after garnering All-Pac-10 second team honors in her first two seasons. Fennell has started in every match at USC and has 39 points in her career (15-9=39).

JESSICA EDWARDS - Junior forward Jessica Edwards (Mesa, AZ/Dobson HS) looks to rebound after a difficult sophomore season last year, when she recorded only five points (2-1=5). Edwards earned All-Pac-10 Conference second team and Soccer Buzz Freshman All-West Region first team honors in her 2000 freshman season after leading the team in goals (11), points (29), game-winning goals (4) and shots (97). She set a school record with 97 shots during the season.

KAITLYN PRUETT - Freshman defender Kaitlyn Pruett (Encinitas/La Costa Canyon HS) looks to repeat her freshman success after earning All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors last year. She started and played in 18 games as the team's central defender.

WISCONSIN NOTES - Wisconsin returns seven starters and 22 letterwinners from a squad that went 5-11-3 last season. Head coach Dean Duerst enters his ninth season with the Badgers and has a 92-63-20 record at Wisconsin. Senior goalkeeper Kelly Conway registered a 1.41 GAA last season with four shutouts while senior forward Lauren Schmidt started in every game and recorded five points (2-1=5). This is the first meeting ever between USC and Wisconsin.

NORTH CAROLINA NOTES - North Carolina returns eight starters and 18 letterwinners from last year's NCAA runner-up squad that finished with a 24-1 record. Head coach Anson Dorrance has a 512-23-11 record as he enters his 24th season at North Carolina. The Tar Heels have recorded 16 NCAA championships during Dorrance's tenure. Junior forward Alyssa Ramsey led the Tar Heels last year in goals (15), assists (19) and points (49) while senior goalkeeper Jenni Branam recorded a 0.57 GAA with 32 saves. North Carolina defeated the Women of Troy, 5-0, in the only meeting between the two schools on Sept. 26, 1999, in Durham, N.C.

McALISTER FIELD - After sharing the practice field with the football team, the USC women's soccer team moved to its own facility prior to the 1998 season. McAlister Field, located on the corner of 30th and Hoover just north of the USC campus, is the permanent home for the team. USC boasts a 13-4 (.765) record at McAlister Field.

LAST SEASON - In 2001, the Women of Troy went 10-7-2 overall and placed fourth in Pac-10 play with a 5-3-1 record. The Trojans made their fourth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, losing to Pepperdine (1-0) in the first round.

2002 USC NUMERICAL ROSTER        NO.	NAME	POS.	HT.	YR.	HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL/UNIV.)	0	Katy Boynton	GK	5-9	Fr.	St. Paul, MN (Minnehaha Academy)	00	Samantha Platt	GK	5-6	Fr.	Piedmont (Piedmont)	1	Julie Peterson	GK	5-10	So.*	Mission Viejo (Santa Margarita)	2	Amy Mann	MF	5-5	Fr.	Alamo (San Ramon Valley)	3	Amanda Roach	D	5-7	Jr.	Upland (Upland)	4	Jessica Edwards	F	5-1	Jr.	Mesa, AZ (Dobson)	5	Rachel Field	MF/D	5-2	So.	San Jose (Presentation)	6	Nikki Goza	D	5-4	So.*	Walnut Creek (Carondelet)	7	Megan Abbamonto	MF	5-8	Jr.	Mission Viejo (Capistrano Valley)	8	Stephanie Scholl	MF/F	5-6	Sr.	Torrance (South Torrance)	9	Tina Sutorius	F	6-0	Fr.	Pleasanton (Amador Valley)	10	Kaitlyn Pruett	D	5-7	So.	Encinitas (La Costa Canyon)	11	Ashley Casas	MF	5-1	So.	Mission Viejo (Capistrano Valley)	12	Ali Fennell	D	5-5	Sr.	Santa Ana (Mater Dei)	13	Jackie Fodor	F	5-4	Sr.	Winnetka (Chatsworth)	14	Lindsey Green	MF	5-8	So.	Redondo Beach (Redondo Union)	15	Shannon Cross	F	5-7	So.*	Manhattan Beach (Mira Costa)	16	Marie Pedersen	MF/D	5-5	Fr.	Rancho Palos Verdes (Peninsula)	17	Jocelyn Leche	D/F	5-3	Fr.	Pinole (Salesian)	18	Kelly Blais	MF	5-9	So.	Redondo Beach (Mira Costa)	19	Jenna Killion	D	5-2	Fr.	Encinitas (La Costa Canyon)	21	Ali Nowell 	D	5-7	Fr.	Capistrano Beach (San Clemente)	24	Hillary Schwarzbach	F	5-8	Fr.	Ben Lomond (San Lorenzo Valley)	25	Heather Jablonsky	MF/F	5-6	Fr.	Yorba Linda (Esperanza)	26	Carolyn Staples	MF	5-8	So.	Mission Viejo (Calvary Chapel)

* Used up redshirt yearHead Coach: Jim Millinder (Cal State Dominguez Hills '93)Assistant Coaches: Neil Sedgwick (Dalhousie University '95), Andrea Warner (USC '01)Athletic Trainer: Leana RiceStrength and Conditioning Coach: Aaron AusmusSports Psychology Consultant: Mike Voight

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