Women's Soccer Prepares For NCAA Tournament

Nov. 12, 2002

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THIS WEEK - The USC women's soccer team (10-7-3) will play San Diego (11-6-3) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at 6 p.m. on Friday (Nov. 15) at Drake Stadium on the UCLA campus. The winner of Friday's game will face the winner of the UCLA-Loyola Marymount game on Sunday (Nov. 17) at 1 p.m.

POST-SEASON NOTES - USC is making its fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and has a 2-4 all-time post-season record. The Women of Troy played to a scoreless tie on Sept. 27 against San Diego at McAlister Field. USC defeated USD, 2-1, in an NCAA Tournament first-round game on Nov. 8, 2000, at the Coliseum in the only postseason meeting between the two schools. The all-time series between the two schools is tied at 2-2-1.

RANKINGS - UCLA is ranked No. 3 in the nation in the latest Soccer America and NSCAA polls. USC, San Diego and Loyola Marymount are not ranked.

NOT AN EASY SCHEDULE - The Women of Troy's schedule is among the toughest in the nation with 14 games against opponents that were selected to this year's NCAA Tournament. The schedule is rated as the nation's third toughest, according to the Nov. 7 report by www.soccerratings.com. The latest Soccer America rankings as of Nov. 11 show the Trojans playing 10 of the top 25 teams in the nation: No. 1 Stanford, No. 2 North Carolina, No. 3 UCLA, No. 4 Santa Clara, No. 13 Penn State, No. 16 Washington State, No. 17 BYU, No. 18 California, No. 24 Virginia and No. 25 Arizona State.

MILESTONE WIN - Head coach Jim Millinder registered his 100th career win on Nov. 1 against Oregon State and now has a 101-68-13 career mark. Millinder, in his seventh season at USC (where he is 93-41-4), has guided the Women of Troy to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances. He spent two seasons at Loyola Marymount (1994-95) before taking the USC position.

WORKING OVERTIME - With the Nov. 3 win against Oregon, USC set a school record by playing its seventh overtime game of the season. The Women of Troy are 4-0-3 this season in overtime games with all four wins coming against conference opponents (Arizona State, Arizona, Oregon State and Oregon).

INJURY REPORT - Midfielder Megan Abbamonto is out for the season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee in the Nov. 1 game against Oregon State.

LAST WEEK - The Trojans finished the regular season with two losses at Washington State (4-1) and Washington (5-0). NOVEMBER 8 AT WASHINGTON STATE - The Cougars scored twice in the first six minutes on goals by Kim Morgan and Mariette Boyce. Amy Mann scored her second goal of the season for the Women of Troy. NOVEMBER 10 AT WASHINGTON - Melissa Bennett scored three goals and added an assist for the Huskies, who outshot the Trojans by an 18-5 margin. Kim Taylor opened the scoring at 1:11 for Washington.

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 forward. Fennell recorded a goal in three straight games (Sept. 15-27) and leads the team this season in goals (nine), game-winning goals (five) and points (19). She also leads the team with five game-winning goals, including an overtime winner in a 1-0 victory on Nov. 3 vs. Oregon in her final career regular season home game. On Oct. 6, she scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win against No. 8 Santa Clara. She has started in every match at USC and has 58 points in her career (24-10=58), good for fifth place on USC's all-time scoring list. Fennell garnered All-Pac-10 second team honors in her first two seasons.

JULIE PETERSON - Sophomore Julie Peterson (Mission Viejo/Santa Margarita HS) has made an impact in her first season as the team's No. 1 goalkeeper. She has a 0.97 goals-against-average in 18 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, equalling a record set last year by Shaelyn Fernandes. On Oct. 13 vs. California, Peterson set a school record with her seventh shutout of the season in a 2-0 win, breaking the previous mark of six held by Laura Badagliacco (1994), Karin Puccinelli (1998) and Shaelyn Fernandes (2001).

JESSICA EDWARDS - Junior forward Jessica Edwards (Mesa, AZ/Dobson HS) is second on the team this season in goals (four) and points (10). On Oct. 18, she scored the game-winner in overtime with 15 seconds left in a 2-1 win at Arizona State and added another goal two days later in a 2-1 overtime win at Arizona. 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.

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 and scored the game-tying goal in the final two minutes of regulation in a 2-2 tie on Oct. 4 against Loyola Marymount. Abbamonto, however, is out for the season after suffering a left knee injury in the Nov. 1 game against Oregon State. She started in every game last year, recording three goals (including two game-winners).

SAN DIEGO NOTES - San Diego is making its fourth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Head coach John Cossaboon is 73-41-6 in his sixth season at San Diego. Midfielder Brooke Roby has 21 points (6-9=21) while forward/midfielder Lee Ann Klopschinski leads the team with nine goals and has 19 points (9-1=19).

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 18-6-2 (.731) 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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