Sept. 23, 1997
USC Women's Soccer Hosts Loyola Marymount at Coliseum
THIS WEEK - The USC women's soccer team (6-1-1), led by 1996 Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year Jim Millinder, is off to the best start in the program's five-year history. After playing five of the first six on the road, the Women of Troy are in the midst of a five-game homestand. They host Loyola Marymount on Friday (Sept. 26) at 3 p.m. at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. A game originally scheduled for Sunday (Sept. 28) against the North Korean National Team has been cancelled.
NEWS & NOTES - Sophomore forward Isabelle Harvey, the Pac-10's top scorer and an All-American honorable mention a year ago, may make her return this week from knee surgery ... The Women of Troy are ranked No. 6 in the West Region by the NSCAA and Soccer Buzz. USC also appears in a national Top 25 for the first time this year, albeit in the "Others Receiving Votes" section of the Soccer Buzz poll ... Women of Troy players have won three of the four Pac-10 Player of the Week honors thus far ... USC is coming off its best-ever season with a 15-5 record in 1996, and went 4-3 in the Pac-10 for a tie for fourth place.
OPPONENT - USC Coach Jim Millinder will face off against his old school, Loyola Marymount (4-1), for the first time this week. He had an 8-27-4 record while coaching there in 1994 and 1995. The Women of Troy are 2-2-1 all-time against the Lions and have won the last two. The last meeting was in 1995, a 1-0 USC win at Loyola. The Lions are led by freshman midfielder's Amanda Shellenberger's five points.
LAST WEEK - USC had mixed results, blasting Cal State Fullerton, 6-0, on Friday (Sept. 19), but then tying San Jose State, 0-0, on Sunday (Sept. 21). Both games were at the Coliseum. The Women of Troy got their six goals on just 16 shots against the Titans, then took 30 shots against the Spartans but couldn,t find the back of the net. Freshman forward Megan Orach tied a USC single-game record with eight points (three goals, two assists) against Cal State Fullerton, and did it all in the first half. Sophomore forward Kaylee Whitfield scored two goals and sophomore midfielder Kim Clark had three assists (also tying a school single-game record). Senior goalkeepers Laura Badagliacco and Sheri Simala shared the shutout against Fullerton, then Badagliacco was impressive with 10 saves in the tie against San Jose State.
ISABELLE HARVEY - The 1996 Pac-10 scoring champ and an All-American honorable mention, sophomore forward Isabelle Harvey could make her return this week after being sidelined by knee surgery. Amazingly, she set school single-season records with goals (20), assists (11), points (51), game-winning goals (nine) and multiple-goal games (six) last year while playing on a torn left knee ligament. She aggravated the injury this spring, had surgery in mid-April and now will be back playing after a little more than five months.
KIM CLARK - Sophomore midfielder Kim Clark, expected to be one of USC's stars this season, is off to a great start with five goals (second on USC, tied for third in the Pac-10 and tied for eighth in the West Region) and six assists (first on USC, tied for first in the Pac-10 and tied for third in the West Region) for a total of 16 points (first on USC, second in the Pac-10 and fourth in the West Region). She was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on Sept. 2 after getting a total of seven points at Iowa State and Nebraska. She tied the school single-game record with three assists against Cal State Fullerton. Clark leads USC with 39 shots, and if near-misses were an official statistic, she would lead the team in that as well. After eight games, Clark has already surpassed her 1996 season total of 15 points. Clark had an impressive summer and played for the West Region team at the U.S. Sports Festival. A two-sport athlete, she also plays for the USC women,s basketball team (along with twin sister Kristin).
KAYLEE WHITFIELD - A sophomore forward with a nose for the goal, Kaylee Whitfield (Santa Ana, El Modena HS) has found the back of the net seven times this season (first on USC, tied for first in the Pac-10 and tied for first in the West Region) on just 19 shots. She has a total of 14 points (second on USC, third in the Pac-10 and tied for sixth in the West Region). She tied a school record with consecutive multiple-goal games, getting two each against San Diego State and Cal State Fullerton. A year ago, she was a sparkplug as a reserve, totalling three goals and four assists. When Kaylee was 9 years old, she was hit by lightning and her heart stopped for about a minute.
CAROL HATCHER - The hero at Fresno State, junior midfielder Carol Hatcher earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors on Sept. 15 after scoring two goals in the final nine minutes to lift USC from what looked to be a 1-0 loss to a stunning 2-1 victory. Hatcher has four assists (third in the Pac-10 and tied for eighth in the West Region) and has 10 points (tied for sixth in the Pac-10). She recently tied a school record by scoring points in five straight games. Hatcher was named to the All-Pac-10 second team in 1996 after scoring 19 points.
COURTNEY BARHAM - Junior midfielder Courtney Barham has been a strong contributor thus far, with three goals and three assists (tied for fourth in the Pac-10) for a total of nine points (tied for ninth in the Pac-10). She had two goals against UC Santa Barbara. One of USC's top offensive threats, the speedy Barham scored 17 points as a 1996 sophomore (earning All-Pac-10 second team honors) and 19 points as a 1995 freshman.
MEGHAN REPPE - Her contribution doesn't usually show up in the stats, but junior Meghan Reppe (Orange, Villa Park HS) has earned a reputation as a top-caliber defender. She is regularly asked to guard the opponent,s top attacker and, more often than not, shuts its scorer down. This is her third year as a starter and she has a career total of one goal and three assists.
FRESHMEN - Four true freshmen have been making an impact. Forward Megan Orach (Huntington Beach, Marina HS) scored the game-winning goal in her first game against Iowa State, then tied the school single-game record with eight points (three goals and two assists) against Cal State Fullerton - all in the first half. She's fifth in the Pac-10 with 11 points. Her performance against Cal State Fullerton earned her Pac-10 Player of the Week honors on Monday (Sept. 22). At one point against the Cyclones, Katie Ticehurst (Los Alamitos, Mater Dei HS), Andrea Warner (Dana Point, Dana Hills HS) and Susie Mora (Mission Viejo, Santa Margarita HS) made up an all-true freshman line of defenders. Orach, Ticehurst and Warner have started all eight games.
GOALKEEPERS - Senior Laura Badagliacco and junior Karin Puccinelli were co-starters at goalkeeper a year ago and have been sharing the job once again. Badagliacco has started the last five games, playing in six overall, and has a goals-against average of 0.58 (first in the Pac-10 and third in the West Region) and 30 saves (fourth in the Pac-10). Puccinelli started the first three games and made 13 saves. Senior Sheri Simala (Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley HS) saw her first action since 1994 against Cal State Fullerton and made two saves.
MORE NOTES - When Megan Orach tied USC's single-game record of eight points, she tied the mark set by current undergraduate assistant coach Amy Peterson in 1993. Interestingly, both were freshmen when they set the record, both are from Huntington Beach and both attended Marina High School ... USC has never lost a season opener, winning all five ... USC has never lost at the Coliseum, going 7-0-1 ... The Women of Troy are first in the Pac-10 in points with 66, and are fifth in the West Region in goals per game with 2.88 ... Freshman midfielder Ami Aylor (Lake Forest, Santa Margarita HS) has a flip throw-in which is as dangerous as a corner kick in the final third of the field. To the delight of the crowd, she,s done it in both home games in which she,s appeared ... USC's season-opening trip to Iowa State and then-No. 6 Nebraska was the program's first east of the Rockies.
COACH MILLINDER SAYS - I think there will be a lot of anticipation and emotion with regards to the Loyola Marymount game. It will probably be a meaningful game for my former players. For our players, we have to take care of business. Like we saw in the San Jose State game, anything can happen on any given day. We have to work on finishing our chances in the final third of the field.0/00
THEY SAID IT - Nebraska Coach John Walker: USC is a team that will be in the tournament at the end of the year. They just missed it last year, and certainly are quite a bit better than they were last year. They are well-organized, well-coached and they fought hard.