Nov. 5, 1997
No. 25 USC Closes Regular Season With Washington Schools
THIS WEEK -- The No. 25 USC women's soccer team (14-3-1 overall, 5-2 in the Pacific-10 Conference, tied for second place), still in the hunt for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, plays its final two games of the regular season this weekend. The Women of Troy host Washington State on Friday (Nov. 7) at 2 p.m. at El Camino College (please note the time and location change), then meet Washington on Sunday (Nov. 9) at 1 p.m. at the Coliseum. 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 sixth straight week.
TELEVISION -- The Washington game will be aired nationally by FOX Sports Net on a tape-delay basis. Locally, it will appear on FOX Sports West on Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. with Jim Watson and Glenn Davis calling the action.
NEWS & NOTES -- The Women of Troy are tied for No. 25 in both the Soccer Buzz and Soccer News rankings. Also, USC is No. 11 in the Oct. 26 Sagarin computer ratings. In the West Region rankings, USC is No. 5 in the Soccer Buzz poll and No. 6 in the NSCAA poll ... Sophomore midfielder Kim Clark has set or tied five school records this year ... Junior midfielder/forward Courtney Barham has set the school career record for goals and now has 27 ... 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 -- Washington State (7-9, 2-5 in the Pac-10 for a seventh-place tie) is led by freshman forward Deka DeWitt's 15 points (six goals, three assists). The Cougars have lost five in a row after opening Pac-10 play with a sweep of the Oregon schools. USC has beaten Washington State in each of their two previous meetings, including a 3-1 win last year ... Washington (7-10, 5-2, for a second-place tie) is led by sophomore forward Jana Wilson,s 21 points (nine goals and three assists), good for a tie for seventh place in the Pac-10. Washington opened the season with five straight losses, but four were to Top 10 teams. The Women of Troy and the Huskies are 1-1 all-time, with Washington winning 3-2 in Seattle last season.
LAST WEEK -- The Women of Troy suffered their first-ever loss at the Coliseum and moved onto the NCAA Tournament bubble with a 3-2 loss to Arizona State on Friday (Oct. 31). Courtney Barham and Kim Clark scored goals, but USC couldn,t overcome three defensive miscues. USC snapped its first two-game losing streak since early 1996 by blasting Arizona, 6-3, at the Coliseum on Sunday (Nov. 2). Barham scored two goals and had an assist while Clark and Carol Hatcher each had a goal and an assist. It was the first time all season that the Wildcats had allowed more than two goals in a game.
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. The All-American candidate has scored 12 goals (first on USC, third in the Pac-10 and tied for sixth in the West Region) and has 15 assists (first on USC, first in the Pac-10, first in the West Region and tied for 10th nationally) for a total of 39 points (first on USC, second in the Pac-10 and second in the West Region). Clark has set four school records this season: assists in a single season (14), assists in a career (18), consecutive games with an assist (six) and consecutive games with a point (10). The last streak is current. 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 73 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. She 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 11 goals (second on USC, fourth in the Pac-10 and tied for ninth in the West Region) and four assists for a total of 26 points (second on USC and fourth in the Pac-10). She is also tied for sixth in the West Region with four game-winning goals. Barham has set the school career record for goals and now has 27. She had two goals and an assist against Arizona and 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.
CAROL HATCHER -- One of USC,s top offensive threats, junior midfielder Carol Hatcher (Kapolei, Hi., Kalani HS) has six goals and eight assists (second on USC and tied for second in the Pac-10) for a total of 20 points. She earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors on Sept. 15 after scoring two goals in the final nine minutes against Fresno State to lift USC from what looked to be a 1-0 loss to a stunning 2-1 victory. Hatcher had a goal and an assist in USC,s first-ever win against California and did the same against Arizona. 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.
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 seventh in the Pac-10) on 41 shots. She has two assists and a total of 18 points. 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.
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. She has one point this season, an assist against Arizona. This is Reppe,s third year as a starter and she has a career total of one goal and four 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 11 games and has a goals-against average of 1.16 (fourth in the Pac-10 and seventh in the West Region) and 57 saves (sixth in the Pac-10). Heading into Pac-10 play, she ranked among the national leaders in goals-against average. Puccinelli has started seven games, making 27 saves with a 1.54 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 ninth in the Pac-10) and seven assists (tied for fourth in the Pac-10) for a total of 21 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 two goals and four assists this season. Ticehurst,s first career goal was the game-winner in overtime at Oregon State. Ticehurst and Warner have started all 18 games, Orach has started 17 and Mora has started eight.
ISABELLE HARVEY -- USC has been successful this season despite not having the 1996 Pac-10 scoring champ and an honorable mention All-American in sophomore forward Isabelle Harvey. She 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 -- USC's win over Arizona was the 50th victory in the program's history ... The Women of Troy set school records with a seven-match winning streak and 13-match unbeaten streak ... The Women of Troy are first in the Pac-10 in points with 159, third in the Pac-10 in team goalkeeping with a 1.28 goals-against average and fourth in the West Region in goals per game at 3.06 ... USC lost at the Coliseum for the first time against Arizona State and is now 11-1-1 all-time there ... 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 ... 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 three of the five 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 to play one game at a time. We can't look past either of the Washington schools and think about the NCAA Tournament, because without two wins, we can't get into the tournament. We have to focus on each match and play very good defense. We can,t give up three goals again and expect to win. Both of these are tournament-type matches.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."