Oct. 4, 1997
20th-Ranked Trojans Open Pac-10 Season at Stanford
THIS WEEK - The No. 20 USC women's soccer team (9-1-1), led by 1996 Pacific 10 Conference Coach of the Year Jim Millinder, is on pace to have the best season in the program's five-year history and has maintained its first-ever national ranking for the second week. After an extremely successful non-conference season, the Women of Troy begin Pac-10 play this weekend at Stanford on Friday (Oct. 10) at 4 p.m. and then at California on Sunday (Oct. 12) at 1 p.m.
NEWS & NOTES - The Women of Troy are ranked at No. 20 in the Soccer Buzz poll, up from No. 25 a week ago. They're also in the NSCAA poll for the first time, tied for No. 23. In the West Region rankings, USC is No. 4 in both the NSCAA and Soccer Buzz polls (USC's highest regional ranking ever) ... USC has shutouts in four of its last five games ... Women of Troy players have won three of the six Pac-10 Player of the Week honors thus far ... Sophomore forward Isabelle Harvey will sit out the rest of the season and petition for a medical redshirt year ... 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.
OPPONENTS - USC faces two Pac-10 opponents this week that it has never beaten ... Stanford (4-5) is led by senior forward Emily Burt's 13 points and junior midfielder Tracye Lawyer's nine points. The Cardinal defeated Colorado College, 6-0, on Oct. 5 to end a four-game losing streak. Stanford is ranked No. 9 in the West Region by Soccer Buzz. The Women of Troy are 0-3 all-time against the Cardinal, including a 1-0 loss last year at East L.A. College ... California (5-4-1 - hosts UCLA on Friday, Oct. 10) is led by sophomore midfielder Kim Brown's eight points and senior forward Courtney Carroll's seven points. The Golden Bears, ranked No. 6 in the West Region by the NSCAA, have won their last two, the most recent being a 2-1 overtime victory over Cal Poly SLO on Oct. 3. USC is 0-2 all-time against Cal, with a 1-0 loss last year at Howard Jones Field.
LAST WEEK - USC had one of its most impressive non-conference wins of the season in a physical 1-0 victory over UC Irvine on Sunday (Oct. 5) at the Coliseum. The Anteaters were ranked No. 6 in the West Region. USC got an early goal from Courtney Barham off an assist from Kim Clark, then held on with an outstanding defensive effort. Earlier in the week, USC defeated Cal State Northridge, 4-0, on Oct. 1 at the Coliseum. Isabelle Harvey scored a goal and had an assist, while Clark, Andrea Warner and Kaylee Whitfield had the other goals.
KIM CLARK - Sophomore midfielder Kim Clark has had a breakout season and is one of the West Region's top players. She has scored six goals (second on USC and tied for fourth in the Pac-10) and has nine assists (first on USC, first in the Pac-10, tied for second in the West Region and tied for 12th nationally) for a total of 21 points (first on USC, second in the Pac-10 and tied for third 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 and had two against Loyola Marymount. Clark leads USC with 50 shots, and if near-misses were an official statistic, she would lead the team in that as well. Clark surpassed her 1996 season total of 15 points after just seven games. Clark had an impressive summer and played for the West Region team at the U.S. Soccer 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 eight times this season (first on USC, second in the Pac-10 and tied for third in the West Region) on just 23 shots. She has a total of 16 points (second on USC and fourth in the Pac-10). 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 three goals and five assists (second on USC and fourth in the Pac-10) for a total of 11 points. 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. She was honored during the UNLV football game (Oct. 4) in the Academic Salute.
COURTNEY BARHAM - Junior midfielder/forward Courtney Barham has been a strong contributor thus far, with five goals (tied for seventh in the Pac-10) and three assists for a total of 13 points (tied for seventh 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. Her performance against Cal State Fullerton earned her Pac-10 Player of the Week honors on Sept. 22. Her totals are five goals (tied for seventh in the Pac-10) and four assists (tied for fifth in the Pac-10) for a total of 14 points (sixth in the Pac-10). At one point against Iowa State, 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. Warner has one goal and four assists this season (tied for fifth in the Pac-10). Orach, Ticehurst and Warner have started all 11 games. Mora made her first start against Loyola Marymount and has started the last three.
GOALKEEPERS - Senior Laura Badagliacco and junior Karin Puccinelli were co-starters at goalkeeper a year ago and each has been impressive once again. Badagliacco has started seven of the last eight games and has a goals-against average of 0.56 (first in the Pac-10, third in the West Region and 14th nationally) and 37 saves (sixth in the Pac-10). Puccinelli has started four games, making 15 saves with a 0.85 goals-against average. Senior Sheri Simala (Fountain Valley, Fountain Valley HS) saw her first action since 1994 against Cal State Fullerton and made two saves.
ISABELLE HARVEY - The 1996 Pac-10 scoring champ and an honorable mention All-American, sophomore forward Isabelle Harvey made her return on Sept. 26 against Loyola Marymount after being sidelined by knee surgery. In only her second game back, she scored a goal and had an assist against Cal State Northridge. However, she decided after the game to sit out the rest of the season and petition for a medical hardship year because she didn't feel her knee was strong enough to continue. Amazingly, the Quebec, Canada, native set school single-season records with goals (20), assists (11), points (51), game-winning goals (nine) and multiple-goal games (six) as a 1996 freshman while playing on a torn left knee ligament. She aggravated the injury this spring, had surgery in mid-April and tried to return after a little more than five months.
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 10-0-1 ... The Women of Troy are first in the Pac-10 in points with 93, and are fifth in the West Region in goals per game at 2.91 ... Head coach Jim Millinder became USC's all-time winningest head coach with his 22nd victory, which came against Loyola Marymount (his previous team) on Sept. 26. Former coach Karen Stanley had 21 wins in three seasons ... 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 two of the four 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 - "We have never beaten California and Stanford in the history of the program, so we have another set of goals to accomplish this weekend. These are critical matches in the overall scheme, because we need these games to get to the NCAA Tournament. Stanford has a lot of technical players with skill. Cal is more of a blue-collar team that also is skilled. Each team presents a set of problems to us, but we also present a set of problems to them."
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."