Women's Soccer Hosts Oregon Schools
Oct. 20, 1998
THIS WEEK - The USC women's soccer team (8-6-1 overall, 2-2 in the Pacific-10 Conference), led by coach Jim Millinder and coming off huge victories over Stanford and California, continues its run through Pac-10 play against the Oregon schools. The Women of Troy host Oregon State (5-7-1, 0-3) on Friday at 3 p.m. and Oregon (4-6-2, 1-2) on Sunday at 1 p.m. Both matches are at the Coliseum. USC is still alive in the Pac-10 race and is only one game behind the leaders.
NEWS & NOTES - USC is unranked this week after appearing as high as No. 19 in the preseason polls (Soccer Buzz) ... USC has beaten four ranked teams this season (Baylor, BYU, UC Irvine and Stanford) ... Christina Kushnir was named this week's Pac-10 Player of the Week ... Kim Clark was named one of five "national players to watch" earlier this month by the Missouri Athletic Club, which also released its list of 15 National Player of the Year candidates ... 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 - Oregon State (5-7-1, 0-3) is one of two winless Pac-10 teams and has been outscored, 10-1, in conference play. Senior forward Lindy Brown leads the Beavers with 16 points (six goals and four assists). USC is 3-2 against Oregon State and has won the last three. Last season, Katie Ticehurst scored a goal in sudden-death overtime to lift USC to a 4-3 victory in Corvallis ... Oregon (4-6-2, 1-2 - plays at UCLA on Friday) is led by freshman Chalise Baysa's 14 points (seven goals). USC is 2-0 all-time against Oregon, and both scores were 5-1 (1996 at the Coliseum and 1997 in Eugene).
LAST WEEK - USC put together two of its finest efforts of the season and defeated No. 15 Stanford, 2-1, on Friday (Oct. 16), and then California, 2-0, on Sunday (Oct. 18) in the Coliseum. Against the Cardinal, Andrea Warner's third goal of the season erased a 1-0 deficit in the 33rd minute and Megan Orach's first goal of the season broke a 1-1 tie in the 74th minute. Against California, Christina Kushnir scored two goals off of corner kicks as USC tied a school record with its sixth shutout of the season. It was the second straight year that USC has swept the Bay Area schools.
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 19 points (first on USC and tied for fourth in the Pac-10) on seven goals (first on USC and tied for fifth in the Pac-10) and five assists (tied for first on USC and tied for fourth in the Pac-10) in 1998. She had two goals against Towson, a goal and an assist against both Pepperdine and Washington and two assists against California. She has taken over the top spot on the school's career points and assists lists (78 and 26, respectively). 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 15 points (second on USC and tied for ninth in the Pac-10) on five goals and five assists (tied for first on USC and tied for fourth 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.
MEGHAN REPPE - The heart and soul of USC's defense, senior Meghan Reppe (Orange/Villa Park HS) is one of the quickest players in the nation and a relentless defender. Her contributions don't usually show up in the stats (Reppe has one assist in 1998) but she is typically lined up against the opponent's top threat. Meghan was a 1997 All-West Region second teamer and has been even better in 1998.
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 has been hampered by injuries and missed three games with a sprained ankle.
OFFENSIVE NOTES - One of the main reasons for USC's inconsistency 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 seven points, including three goals (two game-winners). 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 ninth in the Pac-10). De Vitis has a goal and two assists. Sophomore Megan Orach (Huntington Beach/Marina HS) has split time at forward and defender. She has a goal (the game-winner against Stanford) and an assist. Senior midfielder Karen Norgaard (Encinitas/University City HS), freshman forward Christy Callier (San Diego/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 action as well.
DEFENSIVE NOTES - USC is giving up an average of 1.2 goals a game, the same average as last season. The Women of Troy have six shutouts this season (tying the school record set in 1994, 1996 and 1997). In addition to Reppe, another standout is junior sweeper Christina Kushnir (San Diego/Bishop's HS). Kushnir has three goals and an assist, good for seven points. She had two goals against California and an assist against Stanford, leading to Pac-10 Player of the Week honors. Rounding out the starting lineup are sophomore defensive midfielder Katie Ticehurst (Los Alamitos/Mater Dei HS) and freshman defender 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.
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 23-9-1. She is 7-5-1 in 1998 with a 1.091 goals-against average (second in the Pac-10) and 59 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 39-14-2 (.727) with USC and a five-year overall mark of 47-41-6 (.532). 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 had two outstanding efforts against Stanford and California. We got the two results that we needed and now we just have to keep our momentum going. We're back in the Pac-10 race and those two wins will help toward the NCAA Tournament. We must have the same kind of effort against Oregon and Oregon State because they'll both be coming in here looking to knock us off."