Women of Troy Host No. 15 Stanford, California|
October 13, 1998
THIS WEEK - The USC women's soccer team (6-6-1 overall, 0-2 in the Pacific-10 Conference), led by coach Jim Millinder, hosts two key Pac-10 matches this weekend to start a five-game homestand. The Women of Troy are trying to get back into the Pac-10 race after losing their first two conference matches. USC hosts No. 15 Stanford (7-3-2, 1-1) on Friday (Oct. 16) at 3 p.m. and California (7-5, 2-0) on Sunday (Oct. 18) at 1 p.m. Last season, USC defeated both schools for the first time.
TELEVISION - The USC-California game will be televised locally by FOX Sports West 2 on a tape-delayed basis. It will be shown on Friday, Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. Jim Watson and Glenn Davis will call the action.
NEWS & NOTES - USC is unranked this week after appearing as high as No. 19 in the preseason polls (Soccer Buzz) ... Kim Clark was named one of five "national players to watch" last week by the Missouri Athletic Club, which also released its list of 15 National Player of the Year candidates ... The Women of Troy are in danger of losing three games in a row for the first time since the beginning of the 1995 season ... 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 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 - Stanford (7-3-2, 1-1) is ranked No. 15 by Soccer Times, No. 19 by Soccer Buzz and No. 25 by the NSCAA. The Cardinal, coming off an 8-1 win over Arizona, is led by senior midfielder Tracye Lawyer's eight goals. USC beat Stanford, 3-2, last season in Palo Alto and is 1-3 against the Cardinal all-time ... California (7-5, 2-0 plays at UCLA on Friday) is led by sophomore midfielder Natalie Stuhlmueller's 12 points. The Women of Troy are 1-2 all-time against the Bears after beating them, 2-1, last season in Berkeley.
LAST WEEK - USC stumbled through its first weekend of Pac-10 play, losing at Washington State, 2-0, on Oct. 9 and at Washington, 3-2, on Oct. 11. The Women of Troy were outshot by the Cougars, 14-6, and were shut out for the fifth time this season. The Huskies jumped out to a 3-0 lead before USC rallied. Kim Clark scored in the 73rd minute and Christina Kushnir headed in a Clark corner kick in the 86th minute, but the Women of Troy were unable to score an equalizer. USC tied a school record with 14 corner kicks against the Huskies.
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.
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 17 points (first on USC and fourth in the Pac-10) on seven goals (first on USC and tied for fifth in the Pac-10) and three assists in 1998. She had two goals against Towson and a goal and an assist against both Pepperdine and Washington. She has taken over the top spot on the school's career points list (76; she also leads in assists with 24). 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 14 points (second on USC and tied for sixth in the Pac-10) on five goals (tied for ninth in the Pac-10) and four assists (tied for first on USC and tied for fifth in the Pac-10). She has three game-winning goals. Isabelle had two goals against Towson, two assists against Fresno State and a goal and an assist against both Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine. She made the Soccer America Team of the Week for scoring the game-winner against then-No. 18 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) 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. Courtney missed three games with a sprained ankle but returned against Washington.
OFFENSIVE NOTES - One of the main reasons for USC's stuggles has been its inability to put the ball in the back of the net. USC is only averaging 1.5 goals a game, down from an average of 3.1 last season. USC has been shut out five times (the school record is nine in 1993). Injuries, and at times a lack of production, have forced several changes in the lineup. In addition to Barham, Clark and Harvey, other key offensive 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. She made the Soccer America Team of the Week after scoring the game-winner against then-No. 7 BYU. Hatcher has four assists (tied for first on USC and tied for fifth in the Pac-10). De Vitis has a goal and two assists. Senior midfielder Karen Norgaard (Encinitas/University City HS), freshman midfielder Brittany Savelkoul (Seal Beach/Los Alamitos HS) and sophomore midfielder Ami Aylor (Lake Forest/Santa Margarita HS) have seen a solid amount of time as well.
DEFENSIVE NOTES - USC is giving up an average of 1.3 goals a game, a bit more than the 1.2 average of last season. The Women of Troy have five shutouts this season (they had a school-record-tying six in 1997). 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, with the other taking a more 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, but talented freshman Shaelyn Fernandes (San Jose/Presentation HS) is beginning to see more time in goal as well. Puccinelli was a co-starter the last two years and she has a career record of 21-9-1. She is 5-5-1 in 1998 with a 1.200 goals-against average (fifth in the Pac-10) and 50 saves (fifth in the Pac-10). Fernandes has played in three games and has a 1.600 goals-against average and 13 saves. 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 37-14-2 (.717) with USC and a five-year overall mark of 45-41-6 (.522). 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.
INJURIES - USC's sideline has looked like a M.A.S.H. unit at times this season. 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 and was lost for the season. Four players left the Loyola Marymount game with injuries, though only Courtney Barham missed more time. She was sidelined for three games with a sprained ankle before returning against Washington.
COACH MILLINDER SAYS - "We can't give up because we had a couple of bad results in Washington. If we win these two matches, we're right back in the middle of things. It's up to our players to go out and fight and work hard for 90 minutes because we can win these games. We just need to take advantage of the opportunties that we get and do a better job finishing our chances."