Sun Devil Soccer Opens 2007 Season vs. Idaho State on Friday in Las Vegas

Aug. 31, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. - The 12th varsity season of Arizona State University soccer is set to begin on Friday as the Sun Devils head to Las Vegas, Nev., to take on Idaho State (0-0-0) for a 5 p.m. match at Peter Johann Memorial Field. The Sun Devils are coming off an 8-8-3 overall campaign in 2006 and a seventh-place finish in the Pac-10 conference (3-5-1). The Sun Devils will round out the weekend in Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon (1:30 p.m.) with a match against the UNLV Rebels.


Kevin Boyd was named as head coach of the Arizona State University women's soccer program on March 30, 2007. The third head coach in the 11-year history of the Sun Devil program, Boyd brings a successful track record and years of collegiate coaching experience to Tempe following a 10-year stint as the head coach of Pac-10 rival California where he collected a 124-63-20 record and eight appearances in the NCAA tournament.


The Sun Devils enter their 12th varsity campaign with an all-time record of 110-87-17 after going 8-8-3 one year ago.PRE-PACThe coaches of the Pac-10 Conference conducted a vote prior to the season and the Sun Devils were selected to finish seventh in the league.


The Sun Devils head into their opening match of the season sporting a 7-3-1 overall record in their first match of the season after a 3-0 defeat of UC Irvine last season. The match against Idaho State Friday evening will mark the fifth season in a row that ASU has played its first match of the season on the road. The stretch began with a 4-0 win at Hawaii in 2003, followed by consecutive defeats in the next two seasons and finally capped off by the 3-0 shutout at UC Irvine in 2006, which gives the program a 6-2-0 overall record when it opens the season as the visitors.


As always, the Sun Devils will once again play a solid schedule of opponents, including a Final Four participant from one year ago in UCLA. Arizona State also has matches slated against six foes ranked in the preseason Soccer Buzz Top 25, including No. 2 UCLA, No. 6 Stanford, No. 9 Texas, No. 14 USC, No. 15 Santa Clara and No. 19 Oregon. Three of the six matches will be on the road, all of which are Pac-10 contests.


Five of the 26 Sun Devils on the roster for the 2007 season are entering their senior campaigns, led by forward Courtney Crane. Also on the offense for the Sun Devils are seniors Lara Kezer and Alissa Oldenkamp, both of whom will be competing in their final seasons for ASU. The defense will be led by two seniors, Kyleyn Felts and Lauren Niblett.


On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Sun Devils will have nine true freshmen and 10 sophomores in 2007. Leading the way will be sophomores Brittney Doty and Dante Perea, as well as, true freshmen Alexandra Elston and Erica Long.


Along with the nine incoming freshmen, the Sun Devils welcome new assistant coach Blair Quinn. Quinn, a former professional soccer player, also coached at the Kansas and Loyola Marymount prior to coming to ASU.


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.Following the 2006 season, six Sun Devils earned academic honors. Senior Kim Bingham was joined by Kyleyn Felts in earning Pac-10 First Team All-Academic honors. Alissa Oldenkamp was named to the second team, while Lara Kezer, Lauren Niblett and Kylla Sjoman were honorable mention selections. Bingham and Felts were also named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VII First Team.


The Sun Devils and Bengals will be meeting for the first time ever in 2007. Idaho State is coming off a 10-9-1 overall record in 2006 and a first-place finish in the Big Sky Conference at 5-2-0.


The Sun Devils and Rebels will be meeting for the sixth time in 2007. The teams met last season in Tempe, where the Sun Devils came out on top with a 1-0 win. UNLV finished 9-11-3 in 2006 and tied for 3rd place in the Mountain West Conference (3-4-0).


Arizona State will face foes from two different conferences this weekend, including its sixth match with a member of the Mountain West Conference (UNLV) and its first against the Big Sky Conference (Idaho State). Against the Mountain West, the Sun Devils hold an all-time mark of 12-11-1. ASU is also 6-5-0 against Big Sky opponents.


Following this weekend's matches, the Sun Devils open their home slate next Friday (Sept. 7) when they host No. 9 Texas. It will be the first ever meeting between the two schools.

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