Women's Soccer Hosts San Diego; Travels To UC Irvine

Sept. 23, 2002

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THIS WEEK - The No. 18 USC women's soccer team (3-3-1) will host San Diego (6-2-1) on Friday (Sept. 27) at McAlister Field at 3 p.m. and travel to UC Irvine on Sunday (Sept. 29) at 1 p.m.

RANKINGS - USC is ranked No. 18 in the nation in the latest Soccer America poll. San Diego and UC Irvine are not ranked.

NOT AN EASY SCHEDULE - 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. The latest Soccer America rankings as of Sept. 16 show the Trojans playing nine of the top 25 teams in the nation: No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 Stanford, No. 4 UCLA, No. 6 California, No. 8 Penn State, No. 9 Wake Forest, No. 10 Santa Clara, No. 15 Virginia and No. 16 Washington. According to Albyn Jones of Soccer Information Systems, USC has the toughest schedule in the nation as of Sept. 13.

LAST WEEK - The Trojans won their only match of the week with a 1-0 win at home against BYU. SEPTEMBER 21 VS. BYU - Senior Ali Fennell scored her third goal in as many games while sophomore goalkeeper Julie Peterson registered her fourth shutout of the season. Fennell split the defenders on a breakaway off a pass from freshman Jocelyn Leche and scored at 32:51 for the lone goal of the match. It was USC's first home game of the season.

ALI FENNELL - Senior Ali Fennell (Santa Ana/Mater Dei HS) played her first three seasons at USC as a midfielder, but this season is playing as a defender/forward. Fennell has recorded a goal in three straight games and leads the team this season in goals (three) and points (six). She has started in every match at USC and has 45 points in her career (18-9=45). She is four points away from tying Carol Hatcher (1996-98) for fifth place on USC's all-time scoring list with 49. Fennell garnered All-Pac-10 second team honors in her first two seasons.

JULIE PETERSON - Sophomore Julie Peterson (Mission Viejo/Santa Margarita HS) is off to a good start as the No. 1 goalkeeper. She has a 0.69 goals-against-average in six games. She earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors after registering back-to-back shutouts against No. 5 Penn State and No. 2 Virginia at the UCLA Women's Cup. Peterson tied a school record with her third straight shutout on Sept. 13 vs. Vanderbilt, tying a record set last year by Shaelyn Fernandes. Her fourth shutout of the season came on Sept. 21 in a 1-0 win at home against BYU.

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. On Sept. 6, she scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win against No. 5 Penn State at the UCLA Women's Cup. She started in every game last year, recording three goals (including two game-winners).

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). She scored her first goal of the season on Sept. 13 in a 2-0 win against Vanderbilt. 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 in 2001 as the team's central defender.

SAN DIEGO NOTES - San Diego returns eight starters and 11 letterwinners from last year's squad that went 14-7 and reached the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Head coach John Cossaboon is 68-37-1 in his sixth season at San Diego. Lee Ann Klopschinski leads the Toreros in goals (seven) and points (15). USC is 2-2 all-time against San Diego. The Toreros defeated the Trojans, 1-0, last year on Sept. 18 at San Diego.

UC IRVINE NOTES - UC Irvine returns eight starters and 16 letterwinners from last year's squad that finished with a 7-9-1 record. Head coach Marine Cano is 88-59-18 in his ninth season at UC Irvine. Hayley McNallan leads the team in goals (three) and points (six). USC leads the all-time series with UC Irvine by a 6-1-1 margin as the Trojans have won six straight against the Anteaters.

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 14-4 (.778) 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.

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