UA Soccer Takes on Kentucky, San Francisco at Home This Week

Sept. 16, 2003

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WHAT'S HAPPENING: The University of Arizona women's soccer team (2-3-0 overall, 0-0-0 Pac-10) returns to Murphey Stadium this weekend for its first home matches in nearly three weeks. The Wildcats will play host to Kentucky on Friday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m., then they will face San Francisco on Sunday, Sept. 21, at 1 p.m. Murphey Stadium is located at 15th Street and Plumer Avenue. Admission is free.

ABOUT ARIZONA: The Wildcats stand at 2-3-0 overall and 0-0-0 in Pac-10 play. They brought an end to a brief two-game losing skid over the weekend when they logged a 2-1 win at Northern Arizona on Sunday. Arizona is in the midst of a stretch that will see it play six of eight matches on the road.

Junior forward Candice Wilks scored once again over the weekend to remain in the top spot on the Wildcat scoring chart, with four goals (eight points). Midfielders Erin Bevacqua (2 goals) and Mallory Miller (1 goal, 2 assists) are tied for second in scoring, with four points apiece. Fellow midfielders Lisa Kosena and Vanesha Bailey are close behind with one goal and one assist (three points) each.

Miller continues to hold the team lead in shots, with 15 on the season. Kosena and Wilks are tied for second in shots, with 11 each, followed by Bevacqua and freshman forward Lauren Winters with seven shots apiece.

Junior goalkeeper Krystal Werges has played three complete games (270 minutes) and has tallied seven saves, one shutout and a 2.00 goals-against average. Sophomore keeper Natalie Juarez has two complete games under her belt (180 minutes) and has registered five saves and a 1.50 GAA.

ABOUT KENTUCKY: The Wildcats are 2-3-1 on the season. They have three losses in their last four matches, but two of those losses were to nationally ranked opponents. Last weekend, UK was swept at home by then-No. 12 Brigham Young (2-1) and Rutgers (2-1).

With three goals and three assists (nine points), senior forward Elizabeth Ramsey leads Kentucky in scoring. Fellow senior Lauren Russell is second with two goals and one assist (five points), followed by Allie Haeussler and Heather Saas with one goal and one assist (three points) apiece. Sophomore goalkeeper Liz Butler has played in four matches, tallying 17 saves, one shutout and a 2.02 goals-against average in 356 minutes of play.

In his 12th season at the helm of the Kentucky program, head coach Warren Lipka (South Carolina, 1986) holds a 135-89-11 record.

THE SERIES vs. KENTUCKY: Kentucky won the only previous matchup with Arizona, 2-1, last season in Lexington.

LAST MEETING WITH KENTUCKY: With all three of the match's goals coming in the final nine minutes of action, Arizona was edged, 2-1, by Kentucky in Lexington on Sept. 29, 2002.

The two teams played 81 scoreless minutes, then UA forward Kelly Nelson broke the shutout off a pass from Mallory Miller at 81:22. Just three minutes later, Kentucky's Jen Wilkinson scored a header off a corner kick to tie the game, and four minutes after that, Kristen Jedlo logged the gamewinner for UK with less than two minutes left on the clock.

Kentucky was credited with 20 shots, including 14 on-goal, while Arizona was cited as having just four shots, all on-goal.

ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO: The Dons stand at 3-3-0 on the year after being edged by Pacific, 1-0, at home on Sept. 14. USF will play at Arizona State on Friday night before heading to Tucson for Sunday's match.

Freshman forward Shuree Hyatt holds the scoring lead for the Dons, with four goals and two assists (10 points). Junior midfielder Annika Schmidt is a close second, with two goals and five assists (nine points), followed by fellow junior Ashley Davies' four goals (eight points). Senior goalkeeper Jennifer Orantes has played in all six matches, starting four, and has amassed 15 saves, one shutout and a 1.08 GAA in 502 minutes of action.

USF head coach Pamela Kalinoski (North Carolina, 1991) holds a 20-23-2 record in three seasons with the Dons.

THE SERIES vs. SAN FRANCISCO: The Dons won each of the previous two meetings with Arizona. The two teams haven't met since the 1996 season, when San Francisco slipped past the Wildcats, 2-0, during the inaugural contest at Murphey Stadium on Sept. 15, 1996. USF took the first meeting with Arizona, 6-1, on Sept. 24, 1994, during the Wildcats' first-ever season of soccer.

ARIZONA'S LAST TIME OUT: Wrapping up a three-game road swing, Arizona slipped past Northern Arizona, 2-1, in Flagstaff on Sept. 14. The victory also ended a two-game losing skid for the Cats.

The two teams played scoreless through the first 43 minutes of the game, before Mallory Miller struck for the Wildcats. Her initial attempt to score off a free kick was blocked, but she gathered her own rebound and sent the ball into the corner of the net.

Northern Arizona knotted the score at 1-1 at 62:40 on the Lumberjacks' only shot of the second half. Scoring her fourth goal in five games, Candice Wilks won the contest for the Cats in the 82nd minute off an assist from Vanesha Bailey.

Arizona out-shot NAU, 17-4, for the game and had an 8-3 edge in shots on-goal. The Wildcats also had a 9-1 advantage in corner kicks. Miller and senior defender Lindsey Peeples finished the game with match-highs of four shots each, while Wilks had three shots for the contest. Goalkeeper Natalie Juarez played the full 90 minutes in the nets for the Cats, logging two saves.

LOOKING AHEAD: The Cats wrap up non-conference play with another three-game road swing that begins next weekend. On Friday, Sept. 26, Arizona plays at Montana at 5 p.m. MDT. The next day, the Wildcats face UNLV in a neutral contest in Missoula, Mont., at 3 p.m. MDT. The Cats close out their non-conference slate at San Diego on Friday, Oct. 3, at 5 p.m.

Arizona opens Pac-10 action at home against Stanford (Oct. 10) and California (Oct. 12).

ARIZONA HEAD COACH Dan Tobias: First-year head coach Dan Tobias (Cal Poly, 1987) is 2-3-0 with the Wildcats. He holds a career record of 46-48-6 over six years, five of which were spent at the helm of the Washington State program. Tobias was the 2002 Pac-10 Coach of the Year after guiding the Cougars to a third-place finish in the conference and their second NCAA tournament appearance in three years.

THE REST OF THE STAFF: In her first season at the UA, Lisa Oyen (Montana, 1998) followed Dan Tobias from Washington State, where she was part of Tobias' coaching staff for two years.

Assistant coach Harold Warren (Cal Poly SLO, 2002) is also in his first season with the Wildcats. He came to the UA after spending the 2002 season on the women's soccer staff at UC Irvine.

IT'S THE Candice Wilks SHOW: Junior forward Candice Wilks has scored one goal in four of the Cats' first five matches this year. She has been responsible for four of the team's nine strikes on the season. One of her goals was the game-winner in the Northern Arizona match on Sept. 14.

KEEP SHOOTING: The Wildcats have out-shot their opponents, 75-34, for the season. That means the Cats are taking an average of eight more shots per game than their opponents.

Arizona also has an enormous 42-10 advantage in corner kicks already this year, further proof that the Cats are spending much more time in the opponent's third than in their own. Against Arkansas on Sept. 5, the Wildcats took 12 corner kicks, tying the school record of 12 set previously on Oct. 21, 2001, against Oregon State at home.

TWICE IS NICE: Traditionally, the Cats have fared rather well when scoring two or more goals in a match. They have won two of the three matches this year in which they have scored more than one goal. Over the 10 years of Wildcat soccer, the UA has a 40-22-2 record when scoring two goals or more.

CLOSE BUT...: The outcome of three of the Wildcats' five games so far this season was decided by one goal or less. In the 10-year history of the Arizona soccer program, 71 matches have been decided by that one-goal-or-less differential.

TOUGH SCHEDULE: Five of Arizona's 2003 opponents are either nationally ranked or received votes for ranking in this week's polls.

In the NSCAA Coaches Poll, UCLA is No. 3, California is No.10, Washington is No. 14, and Stanford is No. 24.

In the Soccer America Top 25, UCLA stands at No. 3, California is No. 14, Stanford is No. 16, Arizona State is No. 19, and Washington is No. 20.

In the Soccer Buzz Magazine Top 25, UCLA is holding down the No. 3 spot, Stanford is No. 11, Arizona State is No.18, Washington is No. 22, and California is No. 23.

In the NSCAA Regional Polls, Missouri is ranked No. 10 in the Central Region Top 10, and in the West Region, UCLA is No. 1, Washington is tied for No. 3, California is tied for No. 3, Stanford is No. 7, and San Diego is tied for No. 10.

CURRENT CATS AMONG UA CAREER LEADERS: Junior forward Candice Wilks is tied for third on the UA career list for game-winning goals (3), is fourth in total points (29), fourth in goals scored (12), fourth in total shots (79) and is tied for sixth in assists (5).

Junior midfielder Vanesha Bailey is sixth in career assists (6), ninth in total points (20) and is tied for ninth in goals scored (7). Sophomore midfielders Lisa Kosena, Mallory Miller and Erin Clewett are all tied for seventh in career assists, with five apiece. Miller is also 10th in total shots, with 62.

Sophomore goalkeeper Natalie Juarez is fourth in career goalkeeping minutes played (1151) and fourth in saves (75).

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The Wildcats have a 24-34-3 record in eight seasons playing on their home field, Murphey Stadium.

ON LOCATION: Arizona is 1-1-0 at home this year, 1-1-0 in road contests and 0-1-0 in neutral matches. The Wildcats were 4-5-0 at home last season, 1-7-0 on the road and 1-0-1 in neutral games.

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