ASU Soccer travels to Oregon, Oregon State this weekend
The Arizona State University women's soccer team travels to Oregon for its first road trip of the Pac-10 season to face the Oregon Ducks Friday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. in Eugene, Ore., and the Oregon State Beavers on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 1:30 p.m. in Corvallis, Ore.
All home and some away Arizona State matches will have live statistical updates available on the official web site home of the Sun Devils, thesundevils.com. Fans can go to the soccer team page, click on the schedule link and then click on the Gametracker link for the match they wish to view.
The Sun Devils, who opened their Pac-10 season with shutouts over Washington and No. 25 Washington State, are 2-0 to start conference play for the first time since 2003. Friday night both freshman Jessie Richardson and sophomore Rachel Newell netted their first collegiate goals in ASU's 3-0 victory over Washington; senior Courtney Crane also scored in the match. The Sun Devils kept their defense up as they held No. 25 Washington State scoreless on Sunday. Freshman Alexandra Elston was able to score her first career goal and the game-winner for ASU in overtime.
Through the first 13 matches of the 2007 season, the Sun Devils have only allowed seven goals, which is second among Pac-10 teams. Additionally, ASU has recorded seven shutouts on the year, tying the team total from a year ago. They now need three more shutouts to tie the school single season record of 10 shutouts that was set in 2000. The defense has also contributed on the offensive end scoring three goals and adding six assists.
Sophomore GK Briana Silvestri earned her first career start as a Sun Devil in the season opener versus Idaho State. So far, she has collected 33 saves and recorded five shutouts on the season. The five shutouts ranks her second in the conference in number of shutouts. Further, her goals against average (.55) is good for second place in the Pac-10 as well. She holds and overall save percentage of .825 which is also second among Pac-10 goalkeepers in 2007.
Front Line Finishing
Of the 20 goals scored by the Sun Devils in 2007, 12 have been by the forwards. Leading the way are senior Courtney Crane and freshman Karin Volpe with four goals apiece, which ties them both for 10th in the conference. Volpe also leads the team in points (10) and game-winning goals (2), while Crane leads the team in shot on goal percentage at .706.
A Helping Hand
Fourteen of ASU's 20 goals scored in 2007 have been assisted. Junior Kylla Sjoman is leading the way with five, matching her team-high from 2006. She is tied for second in the Pac-10 in assists (5) and tied for first in conference games (2).
That's a first
Six different Sun Devils have scored their first career goals so far in the 2007 season. In the first weekend of action both junior Carla Scanniello and freshman Karin Volpe scored their first career goals. On Sept. 30, junior Kylla Sjoman scored the first goal of her Sun Devil career in a 4-0 win over Creighton. This past weekend, freshmen Alexandra Elston and Jessie Richardson, along with sophomore Rachel Newell, all scored for the first time in their Sun Devil careers.
Crane Climbs Charts
Adding her fourth goal of the season in the conference opener against Washington, senior Courtney Crane is in eighth place on ASU's all-time career goals scored list with 15 goals. She is also in ninth place on ASU's all-time career points category; she currently has 37.
Making Their Debut
Through the first 13 matches of the 2007 season, 23 of the 26 players on the roster have seen action on the pitch. Sophomore goalkeeper Katie Cochran saw the first action of her Sun Devil career against San Diego State. Additionally, six of the 23 players have been true freshmen: Alexandra Elston, Erica Long and Karin Volpe have all recorded their first collegiate starts. Freshmen Akaylah Fisher, Jessie Richardson and Jill Shoquist have also seen time on the pitch this season.
Seven of the 10 teams in the Pac-10 conference currently have winning records. Stanford (10-1-1) is ranked No. 1 nationally by Soccer Buzz; others ranked include No. 2 UCLA (9-1-2), No. 3 USC (10-1-1) and No. 20 California (8-3-0); at 8-5-0 the Sun Devils are No. 13 in the West Region Poll.
As always, the Sun Devils will once again play a solid schedule of opponents, including a Final Four participant from one year ago in UCLA. Arizona State also has matches slated against six foes ranked in the Soccer Buzz Preseason Top 25, including No. 2 UCLA, No. 6 Stanford, No. 9 Texas, No. 14 USC, No. 15 Santa Clara and No. 19 Oregon.
Welcoming Coach Boyd
Boyd was named head coach of the Arizona State University women's soccer program on March 30, 2007. The third head coach in the 11-year history of the Sun Devil program, Boyd brings a successful track record and years of collegiate coaching experience to Tempe following a 10-year stint as the head coach of Pac-10 rival California where he collected a 124-63-20 record and eight appearances in the NCAA tournament.
One Last Time
Five of the 26 Sun Devils on the roster for the 2007 season are entering their senior campaigns, led by forward Courtney Crane. Also on the offense for the Sun Devils are seniors Lara Kezer, Lauren Niblett and Alissa Oldenkamp, all of which will be competing in their final seasons for ASU. The defense will be led by senior Kyleyn Felts.
Green as Grass
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Sun Devils will have nine true freshmen and 10 sophomores in 2007. Leading the way will be sophomores Liz Harkin and Carly Kallas, as well as, true freshmen Alexandra Elston and Karin Volpe.
In recent years, the members of the Arizona State University soccer program have been the walking definition of a 'student-athlete' as the Sun Devils have held the top team grade-point average (GPA) of any varsity team on campus. Following the 2006 season, six Sun Devils earned academic honors. Senior Kim Bingham was joined by Kyleyn Felts in earning Pac-10 First Team All-Academic honors. Alissa Oldenkamp was named to the second team, while Lara Kezer, Lauren Niblett and Kylla Sjoman were honorable mention selections. Bingham and Felts were also named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VII First Team.
Looking At: Oregon
The Sun Devils and Ducks will be meeting for the 12th time in the head-to-head series in 2007. ASU is 6-3-2 against Oregon all-time. Last season, Oregon visited Tempe and escaped with a 1-0 win.
Looking At: Oregon State
Sunday's match with Oregon State will be the 11th meeting between the schools. The Sun Devils hold a 7-3-0 record over the Beavers; however, OSU has gotten the best of ASU for the past three season. In fact, the last time ASU defeated OSU dates back to the 2003 season.
The Sun Devils return to Tempe to host the Bay Area schools beginning with the California Golden Bears on Friday, Oct. 26. The match will be televised live by FSN Arizona at 7 p.m. ASU concludes the weekend with the Stanford Cardinal on Sunday. 28 at 1 p.m.