Soccer Opens Pac-10 Play at Home with Oregon Schools

Oct. 3, 2006

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TEMPE, Ariz. - After posting a 5-3-2 overall record in non-conference play, the Arizona State University soccer team heads into Pac-10 Conference play this weekend as the Sun Devils play host to the Oregon schools this weekend. The weekend opens at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium with the Sun Devils facing Oregon State (7-2-2, 0-0-0 Pac-10) at 7 p.m. Friday night before closing with Oregon (6-5-0, 0-0-0 Pac-10) Sunday at 1 p.m.

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 Devils played at home twice over the weekend with only one match counting toward their 2006 season totals. On Friday night, the Sun Devils played host to UNLV and won the match, 1-0, when Courtney Crane scored her team-high-tying fourth goal of the season on an assist from Lara Kezer. The win snapped a two-match losing streak for Arizona State and gave them a win in their final non-conference match of the season. On Sunday evening, the Sun Devils played host to the Mexican Women's National Team in a friendly match with the visiting Tricolores scoring a 3-0 victory.

Arizona State's friendly with Mexico on Sunday night saw a Sun Devil Soccer Stadium crowd of 2,136 fans in attendance to witness the match. The previous record was set on September 10, 2004, when No. 5 Notre Dame defeated the Sun Devils, 2-1, in front of 1,505 fans.

Arizona State holds an all-time record of 42-37-7 in 10 seasons of play in the Pac-10 Conference, including a 22-17-4 mark in home league matches. The Sun Devils posted a 4-4-1 record in the Pac-10 last year and went 1-2-1 in conference matches played in Tempe. In ASU's Pac-10 opener last year, the Sun Devils fell to Oregon State, 1-0, in overtime.

In the 10 previous seasons of conference action for the team, the Sun Devils have compiled a 6-3-1 in their first home Pac-10 match of the season and hold a similar mark of 6-2-2 in their first conference contest of the season (regardless of location). Under Head Coach Ray Leone, the Sun Devils hold a 3-1-1 record in their first home Pac-10 match of the season and stand 2-2-1 in their first overall conference match.

The match with Oregon State this weekend will mark the second year in a row the Sun Devils and Beavers have opened Pac-10 play against one another with both matches being played in Tempe. It also will mark the fifth season in a row the Sun Devils have opened league play at home after opening their Pac-10 seasons on the road each of the first six years of play. The match with OSU also will mark the fourth time the Sun Devils have opened Pac-10 play at home against the Beavers (ASU is 2-1-1).

The Beavers enter the weekend with a 7-2-2 record and are unbeaten in their last four matches (3-0-1). Oregon State has outscored its opponents, 21-9, this season and has won five of its seven matches by shut out. Jodie Taylor leads the way for the Beavers with 19 points (six goals, seven assists) while Jessica Velasquez is second on the team with 11 points (five goals, one assist). OSU and Arizona State share one common opponent so far this season with OSU tying UNLV, 1-1, and ASU defeating the Rebels, 1-0.

Arizona State leads the all-time series with Oregon State, 7-2-0, but has fallen in the last two contests played, including a 1-0 loss in overtime last year. The Sun Devils lead the series with a 4-1-0 record in matches played in Tempe and hold a scoring advantage of 12-3 in the series as well.

The Ducks enter the weekend with a 6-5-0 overall record and stand 3-3-0 in road contests this season. Oregon opened the season with a three-match losing streak before winning four in a row and have gone 2-2-0 in its last four matches. Nicole Garbin leads Oregon in scoring with nine points (four goals, one assist) while Allison Newton is just behind her with seven points (two goals, three assists).

Arizona State leads the all-time series, 6-2-2, with a 4-1-0 record in matches played in Tempe. The series has been high scoring with the Sun Devils holding an 18-11 advantage and holds a 3-0-1 mark in the last four meetings, including a 3-0 win in Tempe last year. The last loss in the series for the Sun Devils came in 2001 when UO won, 3-2, in overtime.

So far this season, the Sun Devils hold a 5-3-2 record with all five victories seeing the defense posting a shut out. Conversely, all three losses this season have come with the Sun Devils not scoring as all three ended in a 1-0 decision.

Twice this season, the Sun Devil defense has put together long scoreless streaks with the latest ending over the weekend in Santa Barbara, Calif. After opening the year with a streak of 272 minutes and 14 seconds, the Sun Devils held St. Louis without a goal for the final 25:03 of match before shutting out both Denver and UCF in Las Vegas. Adding in the 22:04 of scoreless play at UC Santa Barbara, the Sun Devils latest streak totaled 286 minutes and 51 seconds. Dating back to an early goal surrendered to Pepperdine and a 1-0 defeat of UNLV last weekend, the defense's current scoreless streak is 163:18.

So far this season, the defense has held five opponents scoreless, one more than the team compiled last season. The shut out total of 2006 is tied for the fifth-most in a season at Arizona State with the 2000 squad setting 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 35 of the program's 59 shutouts, averaging 5.5 shut outs per season in his tenure with the Sun Devils.

With the help of the defense, GK Kim Bingham continues to climb the statistic ladders at Arizona State, most recently stepping up into a tie for fourth on the single-season shut out lists with 5.0. With one more shut out, Bingham would take second place and move to within three of Erin Reinke's record of nine recorded in the 2001 season.

With her fifth shut out of the season last weekend, GK Kim Bingham has climbed the Pac-10 rankings once again. Her five shut outs rank her tied for second in the league while she stands third in goals against average (0.58), save percentage (.854) and saves (35). Her goals against average also stands is the 25th-best in the entire nation through Oct. 1.

According to the latest Pac-10 statistics, the Sun Devil defense still remains in the upper half of the rankings, sitting third in both fewest goals allowed (six) and goals against average (0.57). The team ranks tied for fifth in two other major categories, including saves (37) and shut outs (five). Offensively, Arizona State ranks seventh in the three major categories, including goals scored (12), assists (13) and points (37).

In the individual Pac-10 statistics, three Sun Devils find themselves among the Top 10 in the league. Courtney Crane is the lone player to appear in two categories as she stands tied for seventh in the Pac-10 with nine points while also tying for sixth with four goals scored. Brittney Doty also is tied for sixth in goals scored with four while Kylla Sjoman is tied for fifth with three assists.

Courtney Crane has found her scoring touch this season, netting four goals in 2006 to bring her career total to 10, the ninth-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. Crane recently added her fourth goal of the year as she netted the game-winner (the first of her career) in a 1-0 defeat of UNLV.

Through 10 matches this season, Brittney Doty has scored four goals, including a two-goal performance earlier in the year. In two of her first three matches she has scored, one of her goals has gone down as the game-winning strike. Not only is she tied for the fifth-most winners in the league 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.

Individually, the Sun Devils have seen nine 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. Christine Nieva and Courtney Crane recently added their names to the list during the road match at UC Santa Barbara that ended in a 2-2 tie while Lara Kezer picked up her first assist of the year on Crane's winner against UNLV.

Heading into the start of the Pac-10 season, the Sun Devils stand in a tie for seventh in the conference standings based upon winning percentage. After this weekend, the rankings will change greatly as the standings will be based upon points earned for victories (three) and ties (one).

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.

It is back to the road for the Sun Devils next weekend as the team heads to the Bay Area for a pair of Pac-10 matches. The trip opens with a 7:30 p.m. match in Palo Alto, Calif., Friday against Stanford before ASU closes in Berkeley, Calif., on Sunday in a noon contest with No. 11 California.

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