Oct. 14, 1997
No. 15 USC Looks to Continue Pac-10 Success
THIS WEEK: The No. 15 USC women's soccer team (11-1-1 overall, 2-0 in the Pacific-10 Conference), coming off perhaps the biggest weekend in school history, heads north to meet the Oregon schools this weekend. After beating both Stanford and California for the first time ever, USC visits Oregon State on Friday (Oct. 17) at 3 p.m. and Oregon on Sunday (Oct. 19) at noon. Led by 1996 Pac-10 Coach of the Year Jim Millinder, the Women of Troy are on pace to have the best season in the program's five-year history and have maintained their first-ever national ranking for the third straight week.
NEWS & NOTES: The Women of Troy are ranked at No. 15 in the Soccer Buzz poll, up from No. 20 a week ago. They're also in the NSCAA poll at No. 18 and Soccer News (for the first time) at No. 20. In the West Region rankings, USC is No. 3 in both the NSCAA and Soccer Buzz polls (USC's highest regional ranking ever) ... Sophomore midfielder Kim Clark has tied the school single-season assist record with 11 ... Women of Troy players have won three of the seven 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: Oregon State (2-8-1, 0-2) has lost its last four matches after defeating Eastern Washington, 6-0, on Sept. 27. The Beavers are led by senior defender Lindsay Allori and freshman defender Libby Christensen's six points each. USC is 2-2 all-time against Oregon State and has won the last two, including a 5-1 win in Corvallis last season ... Oregon (3-9-1, 0-2) also has not fared well lately, with no wins and one tie in its last eight matches. Sophomore forward Sierra Marsh leads the Ducks with 12 points. USC met Oregon for the first time in 1996, with the Women of Troy winning 5-1 at the Coliseum.
LAST WEEK: USC earned its first-ever wins over Stanford and California to open Pac-10 play. Sophomore midfielder Kim Clark had two goals and an assist in a 3-2 win at Stanford on Friday (Oct. 10). Her second goal was the game-winner and came in the 61st minute. It was spectacular, as she blasted it in from 40 yards away with the goalkeeper out of position. Junior midfielder Carol Hatcher also scored a goal. In a 2-1 win at California on Sunday (Oct. 12), the Women of Troy battled a determined Golden Bear team that was a player short due to an early red card. Hatcher scored in the 10th minute, but Cal tied the game in the second half. USC had missed on three previous breakaways in the second half, but junior forward Courtney Barham connected on one in the 80th minute to give USC the win.
KIM CLARK: Sophomore midfielder Kim Clark (Cupertino, Monta Vista HS) has had a phenomenal season and is one of the West Region's top players. She has scored eight goals (tied for first on USC, tied for second in the Pac-10 and tied for sixth in the West Region) and has 11 assists (first on USC, first in the Pac-10, second in the West Region and tied for eighth nationally) for a total of 27 points (first on USC, second in the Pac-10 and tied for second in the West Region). Clark has tied the school single-season assist record, set last year by Isabelle Harvey. 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. She had two goals and an assist in USC's first-ever win against Stanford. Clark leads USC with 56 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 (tied for first on USC, tied for second in the Pac-10 and tied for sixth in the West Region) on just 28 shots. She has a total of 16 points (tied for second on USC and tied for fifth 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 (Kapolei, Hi., Kalani HS) 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 five goals (tied for ninth in the Pac-10) and six assists (second on USC and tied for third in the Pac-10) for a total of 16 points (tied for second on USC and tied for fifth in the Pac-10). She had a goal and an assist in USC's first-ever win against California. 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 (Olivenhain, San Dieguito HS) has been a strong contributor thus far, with six goals (tied for sixth in the Pac-10) and three assists for a total of 15 points (tied for seventh in the Pac-10). She is tied for fourth in the West Region with three game-winning goals. 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.
GOALKEEPERS: Senior Laura Badagliacco (Morgan Hill, Presentation HS) and junior Karin Puccinelli (Cupertino, St. Francis HS) were co-starters at goalkeeper a year ago and each has been impressive once again. Badagliacco has started nine of the last 10 games and has a goals-against average of 0.76 (first in the Pac-10 and third in the West Region) and 49 saves (fifth in the Pac-10). After 11 games, she ranked among the national leaders in goals-against average. 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.
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. She has five goals (tied for ninth in the Pac-10) and five assists (fifth in the Pac-10) for a total of 15 points (tied for seventh 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 sixth in the Pac-10). Orach, Ticehurst and Warner have started all 13 games. Mora made her first start against Loyola Marymount and has started the last five.
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 - since tied by Kim Clark this season), 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 107, first in the Pac-10 in team goalkeeping with a 0.77 goals-against average and fifth in the West Region in goals per game at 2.85 ... 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 can't accomplish our ultimate goal of making the NCAA Tournament unless we take care of one opponent at a time. We can't be distracted by the UCLA game the following weekend, which is shaping up as a big game. We have to focus on each and every game, because if we don't show up to play, bad things can happen. Last weekend's wins over California and Stanford were huge for the program. We were able to go on the road and beat two teams with tremendous reputations. Both were outstanding teams and probably two of the top three teams we've faced this year. It was a giant step for the program and a great team effort."
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."