Sept. 11, 2008
MALIBU, Calif. - The University of Tennessee women's soccer team makes its third trip to California in as many years this weekend, traveling to Malibu to face Pepperdine before taking on UC Santa Barbara on Sunday. The 23rd-ranked Lady Vols enter the weekend with a 2-3-1 record and a 2-1-1 mark when playing on the West Coast in the last two years. The Big Orange will meet the Waves at 3 p.m. PT on Friday before heading up the coast to Santa Barbara to face the Gauchos at 4 p.m. PT on Sunday.
UT is coming off a 1-1 weekend in the 2008 Lady Vol Classic last week. The Orange and White fell to then-No. 13 West Virginia, 1-0, on Aug. 5 before rebounding with a 1-0 win of its own over then-No. 15 Illinois. The loss to the Mountaineers snapped a 14-game unbeaten streak at home however Tennessee has only allowed one goal at Regal Stadium in the last eight matches. The Lady Vols tied with the Illini for second place in the tournament, with junior midfielder Mick Imgram, sophomore defender Julie Edwards and senior midfielder Alissa VonderHaar earning All-Tournament Team honors.
Tennessee enters the weekend in the Golden State having allowed just four goals in the first five games. The Orange and White has shut out both opponents it has beaten this season, and has allowed one goal or less in four matches. The Lady Vol offense will be looking to get on track after snapping a program-record 349:46 scoreless streak in the win over Illinois.
Friday, the Big Orange will meet Pepperdine for the first time in program history. The Waves enter the weekend with a 1-3-1 record and are coming off a 1-1 weekend in their own tournament. Pepperdine has made five NCAA Tournament appearances in program history, with its last coming in 2005.
The Lady Vols will head north on Sunday to take on UCSB. The Gauchos are off to their best start in the last 10 years with a 4-1-0 record through the first three weeks of the season. Santa Barbara boasts wins over Pepperdine and then-No. 24 San Diego. The Lady Vols and Gauchos have met once before, with Tennessee notching a 1-0 victory to open the 2003 season.
The Orange and White will open their California trip at Pepperdine in Malibu on Friday afternoon. Live stats for both games will be available at utladyvols.com.
Golden State of Mind
For the third consecutive season, the Lady Vols are making a trip to California to take on some of the West Coast's top teams. All-time Tennessee has compiled a 2-3-3 record when playing in the Golden State, however the Orange and White is 2-1-1 in the last two trips.
In 2006, UT traveled to the Bay Area, playing in Stanford's Nike Invitational. The Lady Vols topped the Cardinal, 1-0, before falling to No. 3 Santa Clara 1-0 in overtime. Last year, however, Tennessee achieved better results playing for the first time in Southern California at USC. The Big Orange came away from the trip with a 2-0 win over Nebraska and a scoreless tie with the No. 17 Women of Troy who went on to win the 2007 national championship.
UT Splits First Homestand
Tennessee posted a 1-1 weekend, to tie with No. 15 Illinois for second in the First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic. The Lady Vols fell to No. 13 West Virginia, 1-0, on Friday night. The loss snapped a 14-match unbeaten streak at Regal Stadium, while the goal was the first UT has allowed at home since Sept. 27, 2007.
The Orange and White turned things around on Sunday, downing the Illini, 1-0, thanks to a goal in the 69th minute from sophomore midfielder Julie Edwards. Tennessee out-shot Illinois 18-9 and were led by senior forward Kylee Rossi's 11 shots, five of which were on frame. Edwards, junior midfielder Mick Imgram and senior midfielder Alissa VonderHaar were named to the 2008 First Tennessee Classic All-Tournament Team for their efforts.
No. 13 West Virginia took home the tournament title and each of the three MVP awards (overall, offensive and defensive) after going 1-0-1 on the weekend, topping Tennessee and playing to a 1-1 draw with Washington State.
Home is Where the Wins Are
Regal Soccer Stadium is the place to be to witness a Lady Vol victory. Tennessee posted a perfect 9-0-0 record at home last season, while shutting out the final six opponents to enter the stadium in 2007. Despite dropping it's first home match of the season to then-No. 13 West Virginia, the Lady Vols bounced back with a 1-0 win over then-No. 15 Illinois. Although the defeat marked the end of a 22-month and 14-game unbeated streak at Regal Stadium, Tennessee has allowed just one goal at home in the last eight matches. The Orange and White is now 77-11-2 (.867) all-time at home under Head Coach Angela Kelly, posting wins seven of the last eight top-25 opponents it has faced at home.
The Waves enter Friday's match with a 1-3-1 overall record after earning their first victory of the season during last weekend's Nike Challenge in Malibu. Pepperdine topped Iowa, 1-0, in overtime before falling to Northwestern, 3-2, in overtime on Sept. 7. Three of the Waves' five matches this season have gone into extra time.
Despite the three losses, Pepperdine has only been outscored by two goals this season. Senior forward Amanda Rupp leads the Waves, posting three goals so far this season. Senior midfielder Emily Wynne has contributed Pepperdine's only game winner, along with a team-leading two assists so far.
In goal, senior Kay Stolte has made all five starts, while freshman Lacey Heck saw time against Northwestern last weekend after Stolte left the match due to injury. Stolte comes into Friday's match with a 1.39 goals against average and a 1-2-1 record, while Heck had a rough start to her collegiate career, allowing the game winner in overtime to the Wildcats.
Pepperdine Head Coach Tim Ward is in his 11th season at the helm for the Waves. During his time, he has taken Pepperdine to five NCAA Tournament appearances, including two Sweet 16 berths. Ward holds a 116-62-28 at Pepperdine and last took the Waves to the NCAA Tournament in 2005.
Tennessee has never faced the Waves, but will be looking for its first win in program history over a West Coast Conference team. The Lady Vols are 0-4-1 all-time against the WCC, including last season's loss to Portland in the NCAA Sweet 16.
The Goods on the Gauchos
UC Santa Barbara comes into the weekend with a No. 21 ranking from Soccer Buzz and a 4-1-0 record. The Gauchos are off to their best start in the past 10 years after topping Sacramento State, 2-0, last weekend. UCSB boasts a win over then-No. 24 San Diego on Aug. 29, as well as a close loss to No. 1 UCLA.
The Gauchos are led by sophomore duo Jacqui Simon, a UCLA transfer, and Kailyn Kugler. Both Simon and Kugler has notched six points on two goals and two assists. UCSB has gotten game winners from four different players in Simon, senior forward Michelle Russell, and freshmen Alyssa Benjamin and Katy Roby. Santa Barbara is much improved from last season, having scored nearly three times as many goals as it had last year at this point.
Defensively, the Gauchos have also proven well-equipped, allowing just four goals so far. Freshman keeper Ali Cutler and sophomore keeper Tammy Lenham have shared the bulk of minutes in goal, each earning two wins. Cutler has yet to allow a goal in 105 minutes of play, while Lenham has posted a 1.14 goals against average in 315 minutes.
The last time UT and UCSB met was in 2003 in Knoxville. The Lady Vols posted a 1-0, season-opening victory over the Gauchos in the teams' only previous meeting. The match also marked the only time UT has ever faced a team from the Big West Conference.
UCSB is coached by Paul Stumpf, who is in his 10th season guiding the Gauchos. He is 91-70-21 all-time in Santa Barbara. The Gauchos will take on a Washington State team that is coming off a 1-1 tie with then-No.13 West Virginia last weekend on Friday night in Santa Barbara.