Women's Soccer Goes West Coast This Weekend

Sept. 30, 2002

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THIS WEEK - The No. 18 USC women's soccer team (4-3-2) will host Loyola Marymount (6-2-1) on Friday (Oct. 4) at 3 p.m. and No. 8 Santa Clara (6-2-1), the defending national champions, on Sunday (Oct. 6) at 1 p.m.

RANKINGS - USC is ranked No. 18 in the nation in the latest Soccer America poll. Santa Clara is ranked No. 8 by Soccer America and No. 11 by the NSCAA. Loyola Marymount is 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. 30 show the Trojans playing 10 of the top 25 teams in the nation: No. 1 Stanford, No. 2 North Carolina, No. 3 UCLA, No. 7 Penn State, No. 8 Santa Clara, No. 10 California, No. 12 Washington, No. 13 Wake Forest, No. 16 Arizona State and No. 21 Virginia.

LAST WEEK - The Trojans went 1-0-1 with a scoreless tie against San Diego and 2-1 win on the road at UC Irvine. SEPTEMBER 27 VS. SAN DIEGO - The Women of Troy outshot the Toreros by a 17-7 margin as both teams exchanged good scoring opportunities in overtime. Sophomore goalkeeper Julie Peterson made three saves to record her fifth shutout of the season and needs one more to tie the school record, held by three others. The tie was the first in the five-year history of McAlister Field. SEPTEMBER 29 AT UC IRVINE - Junior defender Amanda Roach scored from 35 yards out on a free kick at 25:48 for the game-winner. The Anteaters got on the scoreboard first at 6:05, but junior forward Jessica Edwards scored three minutes later on a header off a cross from Kelly Blais. It was a physical contest as the teams registered 20 fouls each.

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 recorded a goal in three straight games (Sept. 15-27) 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 0.64 goals-against-average in nine 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. She has five shutouts on the season and is one away from tying the school record of six, held by Laura Badagliacco (1994), Karin Puccinelli (1998) and Shaelyn Fernandes (2001).

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.

BEST DEFENSE - USC has scored only seven goals this season, but the team's strength has been its defense which has allowed only six goals. The starting backfield of Kaitlyn Pruett, Nikki Goza, Amanda Roach, Hillary Schwarzbach and reserve Jenna Killion has allowed only three goals in the last seven games. The fewest goals allowed in a season is 20, set by the 2001 squad.

LOYOLA MARYMOUNT NOTES - Loyola Marymount returns nine starters and 16 letterwinners from last year's squad that finished with a 7-10 record. Head coach Gregg Murphy is 66-45-9 in his sixth season at Loyola Marymount. Kelly Lewandowski leads the team with three goals and seven points (3-1=7). USC leads the all-time series with LMU by a 5-3-1 margin and has won five of the last six meetings. USC head coach Jim Millinder was the head coach at LMU for two seasons (1993-94).

SANTA CLARA NOTES - Santa Clara returns eight starters and 15 letterwinners from last year's national championship squad that went 23-2, earning the first-ever title for the program. Head coach Jerry Smith is 248-62-16 in his 16th year at Santa Clara. Former USC forward and last year's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Megan Kakadelas leads the Broncos this season with four goals and 12 points. Santa Clara defeated USC, 2-1, in the only meeting between the two schools on Oct. 18, 2000, in Santa Clara.

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 14-4-1 (.763) 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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