USC Opens 2004 Season Against Rhode Island At Nike Seminole Classic

Aug. 23, 2004

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THIS WEEK -- The women's soccer team will open the 2004 regular season on Friday (Aug. 27) against Rhode Island in a 4:30 p.m. (Eastern time) match at the Nike Seminole Classic in Tallahassee, Fla. The Women of Troy then take on host No. 5 Florida State on Sunday (Aug. 29) at 1 p.m. Eastern. Sunday's game will be broadcast live on with Gametracker live stats available for both games as well.RANKINGS -- Florida State is ranked No. 5 in the Soccer America and Soccer Buzz preseason poll. USC and Rhode Island are not ranked.2004 SEASON PREVIEW -- The 2004 USC women's soccer team returns eight starters and 18 letterwinners as the team looks to make its seventh straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Senior goalkeeper Julie Peterson holds several school records, including career goals-against-average (1.04) and career shutouts (15). Sophomore Rosa Anna Tantillo earned 2003 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors last season after leading the Women of Troy in goals (seven), points (16) and game-winning goals (three). Tantillo will be moved back to the midfield as the forward position will feature junior Tina Sutorius, whose Pleasanton Rage club team won the 2004 U-19 U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship. Seniors Ashley Casas and Kelly Blais, along with Tantillo, will comprise a solid midfield for the Women of Troy. Juniors Jocelyn Leche and Hillary Schwarzbach will play on the flanks in the backfield while sophomore Lauren Shepherdson and freshman Kat Stolpa will start as the central defenders. USC added Nat Gonzalez to its coaching staff as an associate head coach. Gonzalez, a former goalkeeper at UCLA, spent the last three seasons as the head men's coach at UC Riverside.USC-FLORIDA STATE II: DEJA' VU -- For the second straight year, USC will open its season in Tallahassee, Fla. Last year, the No. 21-ranked Women of Troy upset the No. 15-ranked Seminoles, 2-1, in the season opener.JULIE PETERSON -- Senior goalkeeper Julie Peterson (Mission Viejo/Santa Margarita HS) begins her final season with a chance to improve on her school records. Peterson earned All-Pac-10 second team honors last season after recording a 1.14 goals-against-average with seven shutouts. She holds school career marks for goals-against-average (1.04) and shutouts (15). During the 2002 and 2003 season, she also set a school record with three consecutive shutouts.ROSA ANNA TANTILLO -- Sophomore midfielder Rosa Anna Tantillo (San Diego/La Jolla HS) earned 2003 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors after leading the team in goals (seven), points (16) and game-winning goals (three). She registered a five-point game with two goals and an assist in a 3-0 upset win last year on Sept. 26 at No. 18 Santa Clara.RHODE ISLAND NOTES -- Rhode Island returns eight starters and 13 letterwinners from last year's squad that went 8-9-2. Head coach Lisa Cole is in her second season with the Rams. This is the first-ever meeting between the two schools.FLORIDA STATE NOTES -- No. 5 Florida State returns nine starters and 18 letterwinners from last year's team that reached the semifinals of the NCAA College Cup. Head coach Patrick Baker is 68-41-6 in his sixth season with the Seminoles. USC defeated Florida State, 2-1, on Aug. 29 last year in Tallahassee in the season opener for both teams.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. The team split games between McAlister Field and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before playing exclusively at McAlister Field, located on the corner of 30th and Hoover, prior to the 2002 season. USC boasts a 21-7-4 (.719) record at McAlister Field.LAST SEASON -- In 2003, the Women of Troy went 9-8-4 overall and tied for third in Pac-10 play with a 5-3-1 record. The Trojans made their sixth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, losing to Pepperdine (1-0) in the first round at UCLA.

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