Women of Troy coming off two solid wins.
September 23, 1998
The USC women's soccer team (4-3), led by coach Jim Millinder and coming off two wins against Top 25 teams in the last week, meets Fresno State on Friday (Sept. 25) at the Coliseum at 3 p.m., then travels to Loyola Marymount for a 1 p.m. match on Sunday (Sept. 27). In a five-day span, USC beat then-No. 18 Baylor and No. 7 BYU, both by the score of 1-0 (and also lost to then-No. 12 Nebraska, 2-0, in that time).
NEWS & NOTES
USC is unranked this week after appearing as high as No. 19 in the preseason polls (Soccer Buzz) ... All three of USC's losses are to teams currently ranked in the Top 25 ... Soccer America chose the Nov. 1 USC-UCLA contest at the Coliseum as one of its top five games to watch this season ... Soccer Buzz chose Kim Clark as its preseason Pac-10 Player of the Year ... USC's 31 wins over the 1996 and 1997 seasons were more than any other Pac-10 team ... USC is coming off its best-ever season with a 16-3-1 record in 1997, and went 7-2 in the Pac-10 for second place.
Fresno State (2-4-1) has played a tough early-season schedule and is coming off a 3-1 loss to Santa Clara. The Bulldogs are led by freshman midfielder Andrea Morelock's four points. USC and Fresno State are 1-1 all-time ... Loyola Marymount (4-0-2 plays Cal State Northridge on Friday) is undefeated and is led by senior forward Tammy Alderman's seven points. USC is 3-2-1 all-time against the Lions and has won the last three. USC Coach Jim Millinder was the Loyola Marymount coach from 1994-95.
USC posted two of the biggest wins in school history in the last week, beating No. 7 BYU and then-No. 18 Baylor, 1-0. The Women of Troy also lost to then-No. 12 Nebraska, 2-0. Andrea Warner scored the game's only goal against BYU on Tuesday (Sept. 22) at the Coliseum in the eighth minute. Goalkeeper Karin Puccinelli came up big with four saves, including a stop of a penalty shot in the second half. The Baylor and Nebraska matches were part of the Fila Challenge. In the win against Baylor on Friday (Sept. 18) at UCLA's Spaulding Field, Isabelle Harvey scored in the 37th minute and Puccinelli had another shutout with three saves. In the second day of the Fila Challenge, the venue shifted to the Coliseum on Sunday (Sept. 20) and the Women of Troy were shut out by the Cornhuskers despite an 11-10 advantage in shots.
NATIONAL TEAM NEWS
Assuming she keeps playing with the Canadian National Team, Isabelle Harvey will take part in the 1999 Women's World Cup, to be hosted next summer by the United States. Harvey, a native of Quebec, was part of the Canadian team that won the CONCACAF qualifying tournament in early September ... Susie Mora also still has a chance to play in the World Cup with Mexico (she was born in Santa Ana, Calif.; her parents were born in Mexico). The Mexicans finished second at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament and next face Argentina in a two-game series with a World Cup bid on the line ... Meghan Reppe was called up to the U.S. National B team in August but has not yet played in a game.
One of the top players in the nation, senior midfielder/forward Kim Clark (Cupertino/Monta Vista HS) is one of the focal points of USC's attack once again. A quick and creative player, she has a team-high eight points (three goals and two assists) in 1998. She had two goals against Towson and a goal and an assist against Pepperdine. Her school-record 12-game scoring streak ended in the opener against San Diego State. She earned All-American third team status in 1997 and led the West Region with 17 assists. Kim also plays basketball for the Women of Troy (along with her twin sister, Kristin).
Sophomore midfielder/forward Isabelle Harvey (Quebec, Canada) is back at full strength after a serious knee injury. A player with outstanding technical skills, she has six points. She has two game-winning goals. She had two goals against Towson. After leading the Pac-10 in scoring as a 1996 freshman, Isabelle redshirted the 1997 season with a torn ACL. Now, she is again one of the region's (if not one of the country's) top players. She is also a member of the Canadian National Team.
Senior forward Courtney Barham (Olivenhain/San Dieguito HS), USC's career goals (31) and points (73) leader, is an excellent scorer who has four points (one goal and two assists) in 1998. She had a goal and an assist against Pepperdine. She is the Pac-10's top returning goal scorer with 14 in 1997. Barham, one of Troy's quickest players, made the All-West Region third team and All-Pac-10 first team last season.
Barham and Clark have been starting up front lately, but another player who will see a great deal of time there is sophomore Megan Orach (Huntington Beach/Marina HS), who has one assist in 1998. She scored eight goals in 1997 as a freshman. Other possibilities at forward include Harvey and several freshmen. Junior Kaylee Whitfield (Santa Ana/El Modena HS) will miss the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee against San Diego State. She was attempting to make an amazing comeback after having ACL surgery on her right knee last March.
USC could employ several different combinations at midfield, depending on who is playing at forward, as Clark and Harvey could be at either position. Clark, senior Carol Hatcher (Kapolei, HI/Kalani HS) and sophomore Andrea Warner (Dana Point/Dana Hills HS) will rotate at attacking midfielder. Hatcher has two assists. Warner, who started at sweeper last season, has five points. She has two game-winning goals and had a goal and an assist against Pepperdine. Senior Erica De Vitis (Coto de Caza/Santa Margarita HS) will start at one of the wings. She has two assists. Harvey starts on the other flank, though when she moves up front, two others that will see time are freshman Brittany Savelkoul (Seal Beach/Los Alamitos HS) and sophomore Ami Aylor (Lake Forest/Santa Margarita HS). Aylor has one assist. Defensive midfielder is being handled by sophomore Katie Ticehurst (Los Alamitos/Mater Dei HS), who has one assist.
The defense is anchored by senior Meghan Reppe (Orange/Villa Park HS), perhaps one of the quickest players in the nation and a 1997 All-West Region second teamer. She's joined in the starting lineup by junior Christina Kushnir (San Diego/Bishop's HS) and freshman Erin Reed (Alamo/San Ramon Valley HS). Sophomore Susie Mora (Mission Viejo/Santa Margarita), a member of the Mexican National Team, is a key player off the bench. Freshman Kim Abbamonto (Mission Viejo/Capistrano Valley), the 1997 Orange County High School Player of the Year, is still sidelined by an injury.
Senior Karin Puccinelli (Cupertino/St. Francis HS) is the starter for now, but she is being pushed by talented freshman Shaelyn Fernandes (San Jose/Presentation HS). Puccinelli was a co-starter the last two years and she has a career record of 20-7-0. She is 4-3 in 1998 with a 1.077 goals-against average and 26 saves. Fernandes played one half against Towson and had two saves with no goals allowed. She had a prep record of 78-4-5 and led her club team, the Central Valley Mercury, to the last three national championships.
HEAD COACH JIM MILLINDER
Now in his third season as USC's head coach, Jim Millinder has turned Troy into a budding national power. He has a three-year record of 35-11-1 (.755) with USC and a five-year overall mark of 43-38-5 (.529). A former U.S. National Team member who played in the 1982 World Cup, Millinder was named the 1997 West Region Coach of the Year and the 1996 Pac-10 Coach of the Year.
COACH MILLINDER SAYS
"The wins against Baylor and BYU were outstanding because those are the kinds of wins that we'll need to get into the NCAA Tournament. Going into this weekend's games, we just need to keep improving our effort and finish more of our chances. Fresno State and Loyola Marymount will be hungry so we need to be ready to play."