Oct. 22, 1997
USC Women's Soccer Visits Ucla With Major Pac-10 Title Implications on the Line
THIS WEEK - The USC women's soccer team (13-1-1 overall, 4-0 in the Pacific-10 Conference, tied for first place), winner of seven straight and unbeaten in its last 13, travels across town on Sunday (Oct. 26) to meet rival UCLA at 2 p.m. at Spaulding Field in Westwood. The match could end up deciding the Pac-10 champion and who receives the conference,s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. 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 fourth straight week.
NEWS & NOTES - The Women of Troy were ranked at No. 15 in last week's Soccer Buzz poll (the Oct. 20 poll has not yet been released). This week, they're in both the NSCAA and Soccer News polls at No. 18. In the West Region rankings, USC is No. 3 in the NSCAA poll ... Sophomore midfielder Kim Clark has set the school single-season assist record with 13 ... Junior midfielder/forward Courtney Barham has tied the school career record for goals with 24 ... With its next win, USC will earn the 50th victory in the program's history ... 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 - UCLA (12-2, 4-0, tied for first in the Pac-10) is ranked No. 15 by Soccer News and No. 20 by Soccer America. The Bruins are led by senior forward Traci Arkenberg, who ranks fifth nationally with 17 goals and seventh nationally with 41 points to go with seven assists. Sophomore goalkeeper Lindsay Culp is first in the Pac-10 with a 0.74 goals-against average. The Bruins defeated the Women of Troy in their first five meetings, but USC registered its first win against the Bruins last season, 3-2, at the Coliseum. USC trailed, 2-1, before Amy Peterson scored in the 74th minute and Isabelle Harvey scored in the 82nd minute.
LAST WEEK - USC had two very different games in Oregon last weekend, but the results were the same as the Women of Troy earned a Pac-10 sweep. On Friday (Oct. 17), USC defeated Oregon State, 4-3, in overtime in a downpour. Erica De Vitis, second goal gave USC a 3-2 lead with less than two minutes to play, but Oregon State tied the game just 28 seconds later to send it into overtime, where Katie Ticehurst ended it in just 35 seconds with her first career goal. Courtney Barham scored USC's other goal. It was a little easier on Sunday (Oct. 19), as USC defeated Oregon, 5-1. Kim Clark and Megan Orach each had two goals and Barham added one.
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 10 goals (first on USC, second in the Pac-10 and fifth in the West Region) and has 13 assists (first on USC, first in the Pac-10, first in the West Region and tied for eighth nationally) for a total of 33 points (first on USC, first in the Pac-10 and second in the West Region). Clark has broken the school single-season assist record that was set last year by Isabelle Harvey, and has set school records with assists in each of the last five games and points in each of the last seven games. 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 and did the same at Oregon State. Clark leads USC with 64 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 16 points after just nine 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).
COURTNEY BARHAM - Junior midfielder/forward Courtney Barham (Olivenhain, San Dieguito HS) has been a major contributor thus far, with eight goals (tied for second on USC and tied for fourth in the Pac-10) and three assists for a total of 19 points (tied for fifth in the Pac-10). Barham has tied the school career record for goals with 24. 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.
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 second on USC and tied for fourth in the Pac-10) on just 38 shots. She has two assists and a total of 18 points (ninth 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 and six assists (tied for fourth in the Pac-10) for a total of 16 points (tied for 10th in the Pac-10). She had a goal and an assist in USC's first-ever win against California. Hatcher was named to the All-Pac-10 second team in 1996 after scoring 19 points. An excellent student, she was honored during the UNLV football game (Oct. 4) in the Academic Salute.
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 forward 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 10 of the last 12 games and has a goals-against average of 0.98 (second in the Pac-10 and fifth in the West Region) and 54 saves (sixth in the Pac-10). After 11 games, she ranked among the national leaders in goals-against average. Puccinelli has started five games, making 17 saves with a 0.89 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 the Titans earned her Pac-10 Player of the Week honors on Sept. 22. She had two goals and an assist at Oregon. She has seven goals (tied for seventh in the Pac-10) and seven assists (second on USC and tied for second in the Pac-10) for a total of 21 points (second on USC and fourth 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 10th in the Pac-10). Ticehurst,s first career goal was the game-winner in overtime at Oregon State. Ticehurst and Warner have started all 13 games, Orach has started 12 and Mora has started six.
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 broken 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 - The Women of Troy are first in the Pac-10 in points with 133, second in the Pac-10 in team goalkeeping with a 0.91 goals-against average and fourth in the West Region in goals per game at 3.07 ... 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 at the Coliseum, going 10-0-1... USC has never lost a season opener, winning all five ... 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 - "Someone was telling me the other day that there has never been a women's college soccer match in Southern California of this magnitude. At the beginning of the season, our team set a goal of winning a Pac-10 championship, and this game might very well decide that. You dream about playing matches like this. UCLA is an outstanding team and we look forward to matching up with them. The key is trying to shut down Traci Arkenberg. UCLA has a phenomenal record when she scores a goal, so we'll have to do a good job on her."
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."