USC Opens Its 2004 Home Schedule This Weekend

Aug. 31, 2004

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THIS WEEK -- The USC women's soccer team will open its 2004 home schedule this week, covering both ends of the U.S. time zones. The Women of Troy (1-1) will host Hawaii (0-1-1) on Friday (Sept. 3) at 3 p.m. at McAlister Field. The Rainbow Wahine feature Natasha Kai, who led the nation last year with 29 goals. On Sunday (Sept. 5), USC will play Rutgers (2-0) at 1 p.m. The Scarlet Knights feature three-time U.S. National Team midfielder Carli Lloyd.RANKINGS -- USC, Hawaii and Rutgers are not ranked.WEEKEND RECAP -- USC went 1-1 last weekend at the Nike Seminole Classic in Tallahassee, Fla. The Women of Troy opened the season with a 3-2 win over Rhode Island on Aug. 27. Shannon Cross scored the game winner at 53:07 to snap a 2-2 tie. Rosa Anna Tantillo and Ashley Casas also tallied goals for the Women of Troy. On Aug. 29, USC fell to No. 5 Florida State, 2-1. USC held a 1-0 lead at halftime on a goal by Kelly Blais. The Seminoles evened the match on a penalty kick by Katie Beal and Jez Ratliff scored the second FSU goal at 60:03. Florida State avenged last year's 2-1 loss to USC in Tallahassee.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.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.HAWAII NOTES -- Hawaii is 0-1-1 this season after playing two home matches last weekend with a loss to St. Mary's (1-0) and a tie with Pacific (1-1). Head coach Pinsoom Tenzing is 80-96-13 in his 11th year at Hawaii. The Rainbow Wahine return nine starters and 20 letterwinners from last year's squad that finished 13-5-2. Natasha Kai led the nation in scoring last year with 29 goals for Hawaii. The series between the two schools is tied at 1-1. USC defeated Hawaii, 6-0, in the last meeting between the two schools on Sept. 18, 1996, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.RUTGERS NOTES -- Rutgers is 2-0 on the season after home wins last weekend against Drexel (2-0) and Fairleigh Dickinson (3-0). Head coach Glenn Crooks is 45-32-10 in his fifth season with the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers returns 10 starters and 18 letterwinners from last year's team that went 10-7-5, reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Scarlet Knights are led by three-time U.S. National Team midfielder Carli Lloyd. This is the first ever meeting between the two schools.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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