Women's Soccer Wraps Up Non-Conference Play
September 29, 1998
LOS ANGELES - The USC women's soccer team (4-4-1), led by coach Jim Millinder, will try to bounce back from a disappointing weekend in its final two non-conference matches of the season. The Women of Troy play at Cal State Fullerton (4-6) on Thursday (Oct. 1) at 7 p.m. and at No. 21 UC Irvine (8-0-1) on Sunday (Oct. 4) at 3 p.m.
NEWS & NOTES - USC is unranked this week after appearing as high as No. 19 in the preseason polls (Soccer Buzz) ... 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.
OPPONENTS - Cal State Fullerton (4-6) is on a three-game losing streak. Senior forward Dolores Browning has a team-high eight goals this season and a school-record 56 in her career. USC is 3-1-3 all-time against Cal State Fullerton (four of the seven matches have gone into overtime) ... UC Irvine (8-0-1 hosts UCLA on Wednesday) is unbeaten and has won its last three matches. The Anteaters are ranked No. 21 by Soccer Buzz. Sophomore forward Stephanie Rigamat has 23 points and senior forward Nicole Bucciarelli has 20 points. USC is 2-1-1 all-time against UC Irvine and has won the last two, including a 1-0 classic at the Coliseum last season in which Courtney Barham scored the game's only goal in the 14th minute.
LAST WEEK - USC posted a huge win against No. 7 BYU, 1-0, on Tuesday (Sept. 22), but then had two disappointing results over the weekend. Andrea Warner scored the game-winner against the Cougars, the highest-ranked team USC has ever beaten. But the Women of Troy then tied Fresno State, 2-2, at the Coliseum on Friday (Sept. 25), then lost at Loyola Marymount, 2-0, on Sunday (Sept. 27). USC outshot its opponent in both games, but wasn't able to finish its chances. USC held a 25-12 shot advantage over the Bulldogs and a 12-7 advantage over the Lions.
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.
INJURIES - USC's sideline is beginning to look like a M.A.S.H. unit. Freshman defender Kim Abbamonto (Mission Viejo/Capistrano Valley HS), one of the top prep recruits in Southern California, has yet to see action due to a hip and lower back problem and she will likely redshirt. Junior forward Kaylee Whitfield (Santa Ana/El Modena HS), attempting to come back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee, tore the ACL in her left knee against San Diego State. Four players left the Loyola Marymount game with injuries: Courtney Barham (ankle), Kim Clark (back), Carol Hatcher (quadricep) and Meghan Reppe (hamstring). The status of those four has not yet been determined for this weekend.
KIM CLARK - 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 10 points (four 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).
ISABELLE HARVEY - 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 eight points (three goals and two assists). She has two game-winning goals. Isabelle had two goals against Towson and two assists against Fresno State. She made the Soccer America Team of the Week for scoring the game-winner against Baylor. 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.
COURTNEY BARHAM - Senior forward Courtney Barham (Olivenhain/San Dieguito HS), USC's career goals (32) and points (75) leader, is an excellent scorer who has six points (two goals 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.
OFFENSIVE NOTES - USC's problem lately has been its inability to finish its chances. Despite taking 128 shots, USC has only 11 goals. The Women of Troy are averaging just 1.2 goals a game, down from an average of 3.1 last season. USC has already been shut out four times. Injuries and a lack of production have seen many changes take place in the lineup. In addition to Barham, Clark and Harvey, other key players include sophomore midfielder Andrea Warner (Dana Point/Dana Hills HS), senior midfielder Carol Hatcher (Kapolei, HI/Kalani HS) and senior midfielder Erica De Vitis (Coto de Caza/Santa Margarita HS). Warner has five points, including two game-winning goals. Hatcher and De Vitis each have two assists. Freshman midfielder Brittany Savelkoul (Seal Beach/Los Alamitos HS) and sophomore midfielder Ami Aylor (Lake Forest/Santa Margarita HS) have seen a good amount of time as reserves.
DEFENSIVE NOTES - USC is giving up an average of 1.2 goals a game, the same number it gave up last season. 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 sweeper Christina Kushnir (San Diego/Bishop's HS) and sophomore defensive midfielder Katie Ticehurst (Los Alamitos/Mater Dei HS). Sophomore Megan Orach (Huntington Beach/Marina HS) and freshman Erin Reed (Alamo/San Ramon Valley HS) are candidates to start at the other defender spot (the other will play an offensive role). Sophomore Susie Mora (Mission Viejo/Santa Margarita), a member of the Mexican National Team, is a key player off the bench.
GOALKEEPERS - 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 20-8-1. She is 4-4-1 in 1998 with a 1.245 goals-against average and 35 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 35-12-2 (.735) with USC and a five-year overall mark of 43-39-6 (.523). 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 - "I hope we learned our lesson by watching the effort of our opponents last weekend. Everyone on the team has to play hard, and play together, for the entire 90 minutes. These won't be easy matches this week, and they're our last chance to get ready for Pac-10 play, so we need some good results."