September 15, 2011

Women’s Soccer Heads to Arizona to Face Wildcats & Sun Devils

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Stockton, Calif. - The Pacific women's soccer team looks to keep the momentum going into the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort Cats Classic this weekend at the University of Arizona. The Tigers, winners of three-straight, will face the host Wildcats on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and the Arizona State Sun Devils on Sunday at 11 a.m. at Mulcahy Stadium.

The Tigers are on a roll following wins at Sacramento State, and at home against UNLV and CSU Bakersfield, improving to 4-3 on the season with three consecutive shutouts.

"We're excited about the results that we've had," head coach Keith Coleman said. "The homestand was good for us, it gave us a chance to work on some of the things we were a little deficient in. We've been able to get some confidence. Now it's a matter of trying to take that on the road with us. We've played well on the road, but now it's time to get some results on the road."

The Tiger offense has scored nine goals in their last three matches, with eight different players finding the back of the net. Senior forward Kristina Wavomba tallied twice, with a pair of goals in the Tigers' 4-0 drubbing of CSU Bakersfield. Senior midfielder Angelica Figueroa has set up a three goals in the last three games, and is tied for the team lead in assists with sophomore defender Brittni Beeman.

Senior midfielder Alex Topp and junior midfielder Kayla Villalpando have each posted a goal and assist in the winning streak.  

The Tigers are out-shooting opponents 40-20 in the last three matches, and have out-shot five of seven opponents this season.

"We're really happy with our goal scoring this year. Once you get on a roll, you're on a roll," Coleman added before turning the focus to the defense. "We had three new defenders, we're plugging in freshman and we had new defensive [midfielders]. A lot of things were different [from last season. The beginning part of the season was trial by fire. We're starting to come together as a defense. Long is playing great in goal. As a team, we're really starting to come together."

Defensively, sophomore goalkeeper Tashia Long has gone the last 354:43 without surrendering a goal, with 14 consecutive saves.

Pacific opens the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort Cats Classic against host Arizona, when enters their home tournament at 0-6 on the season. The Wildcats have dropped three 1-0 matches, and are playing at home for the second time this season. Arizona has held opponents to 11 goals this season, but have been held to two goals on the season.

On Sunday, the Tigers face Arizona State, which enters the weekend at 3-3 overall with wins over Northern Arizona, South Carolina and Oklahoma and a loss to No. 4 Virginia.  The Sun Devils have scored 12 goals on the season, starting with a 7-0 win over North Arizona, as ASU has limited opponents to just five goals. Arizona State faces Texas Tech on Friday, while the Wildcats and Red Raiders square off on Sunday. The Tigers will not face Texas Tech in the tournament.

"We're going there to try and get two W's," Coleman added. "They're going to be very good. Whenever you're playing Pac-12 teams, they're good teams. But we feel we've done the things we need to do to be as prepared as possible. We're not going there to try and be second."

Following the tournament, Pacific wraps non-conference play against San Jose State at Stagg Memorial Stadium on Friday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m.