One Road, One Home Match Awaits Sun Devil Soccer

Sept. 12, 2006

Match Notes (pdf) | Statistics | Schedule/Results | Roster

TEMPE, Ariz. - The Arizona State University soccer team, unbeaten in its last three matches, will play one road and one home match this weekend, opening at UC Santa Barbara at 5 p.m. Friday night before returning home to face Pepperdine at 5 p.m. Sunday. The Sun Devils, which stand 4-1-1 overall this season, are coming off a weekend sweep of Denver (1-0) and UCF (2-0) at the UNLV Rebel Classic in Las Vegas, Nev.

This weekend marks the first two of Arizona State's final four non-conference matches of the season with two each being played on the road and at home. After this weekend, the Sun Devils will head to San Diego on Sept. 24 before closing the non-conference season with a Sept. 29 tilt with UNLV in Tempe.

All home Arizona State matches will have live statistical updates available on the official web site home of the Sun Devils, Fans can go to the soccer team page, click on the schedule link and then click on the Gametracker link for the match they wish to view. Fans also can visit, ASU's student radio station, to listen to highlights and other archived clips of Sun Devil soccer home matches.

The Sun Devil soccer program has announced it will meet the Mexican Women's National Team in a friendly match inside Sun Devil Soccer Stadium starting at 6 p.m. on Oct. 1. The exhibition will pit the Sun Devils against the No. 26 team in the world according to the May 2006 FIFA World Rankings. Tickets for the event will go on sale Sunday at ASU's next home match. Stay tuned to for more details as the match approaches.

On Wednesday (Sept. 13), former Sun Devil Amy LePeilbet will join the United States Women's National Team for an international friendly with the Mexican side as the two teams meet in PEATEC Park in Rochester, N.Y., for an 8 p.m. EST (5 p.m. Arizona) match. The match will be carried live on ESPN2.

The Sun Devils got back to their winning ways over the weekend and did so with solid defense as Arizona State posted back-to-back shutouts of its opponents for the second time this year. The Sun Devils, playing in the 2006 UNLV Rebel Classic in Las Vegas, opened the weekend with a 1-0 defeat of Denver with Lara Kezer netting the lone goal with an assist to Dante Perea. In the second contest, the Sun Devils handed down a 2-0 defeat of UCF with Brittney Doty and Courtney Crane each recording their third goals of the season. Kylla Sjoman added assists on both goals scored. Defensively, Kim Bingham picked up a pair of shut outs while stopping three shots against the Pioneer and five in the finale with UCF.

The Sun Devils put together an impressive scoreless streak to open the season that ended with No. 1 Florida State scoring 2:14 into the first overtime session Friday night. Overall, the Sun Devils held their foes scoreless for 272 minutes and 14 seconds to open the year. Dating back to St. Louis' goal scored at 25:03 in the first half of a 1-1 tie with the Sun Devils on Sept. 3, the defense currently holds a streak of 264 minutes and 47 seconds of scoreless play.

Arizona State has won four matches this season and has not allowed a goal in all four wins.

With four shut outs so far this season, the 2006 defense has recorded the eighth-most blankings in a season in program history. The 2000 squad set the bar high with 10 shut outs while 2003 (8), 2002 (7) and 2001 (6) round out the Top 4. Overall, teams coached by Ray Leone and his staff have accumulated 34 of the program's 58 shutouts, averaging 5.5 shut outs per season in his tenure with the Sun Devils.

Last year, the Sun Devils posted four shut outs, but did not record their first blanking until the ninth match of the season, a 1-0 overtime victory at home over UC Santa Barbara. This year, ASU has already posted four and allowed just two goals in its four matches. The small amount of goals allowed to open the season ranks as the second-best in program history, just behind the 2001 team that allowed just one goal in its first four matches.

GK Kim Bingham and her defensive teammates have been impressive so far in 2006 with the senior leading the Pac-10 in save percentage at .917. She also sits second with four shut outs (lead has five), second in goals against average at 0.32 (leader is 0.16), ranks fourth in saves with 22 (leader has 33) and fifth in saves per match at 3.67 (leader is 5.75). Overall, the Sun Devils have allowed just two goals in 2006 with California leading the league by allowing just one score against them.

According the NCAA, the Sun Devils appear in five categories statistically so far this season, all coming on the defensive end of the pitch. Individual, GK Kim Bingham ranks 23rd in the nation in goals against average (0.32) and 24th in save percentage (.917). The Sun Devil team sits tied for 20th nationally with a .917 save percentage, 22nd with a 0.32 goals against average and tied for 23rd with a 0.67 saves per match average.

In the Pac-10 statistics, several individuals on the offensive side of play have put their names on the lists this week. Both Brittney Doty and Courtney Crane have scored three times in 2006, ranking them tied for third in goals scored while tying for fifth in points with six. Following her two-assist match against UCF, Kylla Sjoman it tied for third in the Pac-10 with three assists this season while Alissa Oldenkamp is tied for ninth with two.

The Sun Devils, as a team, currently sit third in the Pac-10 in assists with 10 and rank fifth in both goals scored (nine) and points (28).

Through six matches this season, Brittney Doty has scored three total goals, including a two-goal performance earlier in the season. In both matches she has scored, one of her goals has gone down as the game-winning strike. Not only does she for the conference lead this season, she also ranks tied for eighth on single-season list and ninth on the career ledger. The single-season record is seven game winners.

Courtney Crane has found a scoring touch this season, netting three goals in 2006 to bring her career total to nine goals, the 10th-most in program history. After scoring in the first two matches of the season, Crane found the back of the net again, this time against UCF, as Kylla Sjoman played a free kick to Crane's feet before she turned and scored.

Individually, the Sun Devils have seen six different players record assists this year. Included in the list is Kylla Sjoman, the team leader with three, Alissa Oldenkamp and Dante Perea, the only other Sun Devils with multiple helpers in 2006, and GK Kim Bingham, who assisted in the first match of the year to record her first career point.

The national polls, although not having Arizona State ranked yet, are starting to notice the start the Sun Devils have put together as both SoccerBuzz (regional poll) and Soccer Times (national poll) have ASU receiving votes in polls released Sept. 11 and Sept. 12. Neither of ASU's foes this weekend are nationally ranked, but SoccerBuzz' West Region poll has Pepperdine listed as the No. 12 team in the West.

Over the weekend, each of the 10 members of the Pac-10 Conference played two matches each with the conference posting a stellar 17-2-1 record. Arizona State joined UCLA, Oregon State, USC, Arizona, Stanford and Oregon with perfect 2-0-0 records on the weekend while California posted a 1-0-1 mark. Washington (to North Carolina) and Washington State (to Nevada) were the only two losses on the weekend.

The standings did little changing this week as nearly every team won twice. The Sun Devils remained in a tie for third place with Oregon State and USC as all three squads share similar 4-1-1 overall records. UCLA moved ahead of California for the conference's top spot as they moved to 5-1-0 while the Golden Bears are just percentage points behind with a 4-0-2 record.

The Gauchos enter the contest with a 2-2-2 record and are coming off a 3-1 defeat of Tulsa at home Sunday, just their second home match of the season after opening the year with four road matches. Chandi Bickford leads UCSB in scoring with seven points on three goals and one assist. In the series, the Sun Devils and Gauchos are tied with each team winning on its home pitch. Last year, the Sun Devils took a 1-0 decision in overtime one year after suffering a 3-0 defeat in Santa Barbara, Calif.

The Waves are 3-1-2 on the year and are unbeaten in their last four matches (2-0-2), all of which came at home with wins over Ohio State (1-0) and Tulsa (3-1) and ties with Dayton (2-2) and Wisconsin (1-1 last Sunday). Emily Wynne is the leading scorer for the Waves as she has recorded 12 points on four goals and four assists. In the series between the two programs, PU holds a 2-0-1 lead after winning the last tilt, 2-1, in Malibu, Calif., during the 2004 season. ASU is 0-1-1 in home matches with the Waves with the last meeting in Tempe (2002) ending in a 1-1 draw.

As always, the Sun Devils will once again play a solid schedule of opponents, including two of the Final Four teams from one year ago in Florida State and UCLA. Arizona State also has matches slated against five foes ranked in the preseason NSCAA Top 25, including No. 2 UCLA, No. 6 FSU, No. 10 California, No. 17 Arizona and No. 20 Pepperdine. Of those five foes, only the match with Cal is on the road in 2006 while the rest will visit Tempe.

Christine Nieva, a sophomore on the ASU squad, recently gained international experience with the Mexican U-20 team as she and her teammates traveled to Moscow, Russia, taking part in the 2006 FIFA Women's U-20 World Championships. Nieva, who holds dual citizenship with Mexico and the United States, played in three matches and started all three. In the first match, the Mexicans scored a 4-2 defeat of Switzerland before dropping a tough decision to Germany, the defending champions before being knocked out of the event by eventual World Champion Korea. Nieva and her teammates' victory over Switzerland marked the first time in Mexican history that a women's team had won a match in World Cup play.

Former Sun Devil Amy LePeilbet and current assistant coach Nancy Augustyniak Goffi have been training with the U.S. Women's National Team in the recent months with LePeilbet also earning playing time during several international matches throughout 2006. LePeilbet has competed in 10 matches so far this season and brought her career cap total to 20. Augustyniak Goffi recently returned from the WNT residency camp with LePeilbet at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., as the team prepares for two more international matches on home soil in the coming month.

A pair of seniors will serve as the team's captains this season. Both Kim Bingham and Katie Mahoney were selected for the duty this year.

In recent years, the members of the Arizona State University soccer program have been the walking definition of a 'student-athlete' as the Sun Devils have held the top team grade-point average (GPA) of any varsity team on campus, signified by earning the Sparky Award since its inception three years ago. During the 2004 season, 20 of the team's 21 players recorded a 3.00 GPA or better while the 2005 edition saw 21 of the 25 rostered student-athletes attain the same standard. Also in 2005, the Sun Devil soccer program enjoyed success academically among the Pac-10 Conference as well as the nation. In the league, the Sun Devils saw a school-record 11 student-athletes attain Academic All-Pac-10 accolades, including a program-best four first-team honorees. Among the 10-team league, the Sun Devils had the most first-team honorees (four) and placed the third-most student-athletes on the overall list with 11 total. On the regional level, ASU also placed five of its players on the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District VIII lists, including Elizabeth Bogus and Manya Makoski on the first team.

The Sun Devils will play their final road non-conference match of the season as they travel to face San Diego on Sunday, September 24, for a noon meeting with the Torreros.

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