This week: The San Jose State University women's soccer team travels to the state of Oregon this week to begin its 2000 season. The Spartans are in Eugene, Ore. on Friday for a 3:00 p.m. match against the University of Oregon, then takes on Portland State University Sunday in Portland, Ore. beginning at 1:00 p.m.
Interim Head Coach Tamie Grimes: Tamie Grimes is in her first year as interim head coach of the Spartans. Grimes was an assistant coach at SJSU last year and a graduate assistant in 1998.
Spartans in the WAC: San Jose State is one of seven teams in the Western Athletic Conference, which has expanded by one team this season with the addition of the University of Nevada. The top six teams in the final conference standings will advance to the conference playoffs, which will be held at Fresno State Nov. 2, 3, 5. The winner of the conference playoffs receives an automatic berth to the NCAA playoffs.
San Jose State will again host the NCAA Division 1 Women's College Cup, Dec. 1 and 3 at Spartan Stadium.
Season outlook: Since joining the Western Athletic Conference in women's soccer in 1996, San Jose State University has advanced to the WAC playoffs each year. Grimes, who was named the Interim Head Coach of the Spartans this summer, plans to continue that string.
"Ambitiously, I would like to say we'll finish at the top of the WAC," said Grimes. "But realistically I'd say we'll finish in the middle of the pack.
"The goal is to make the playoffs," Grimes said, noting that the WAC playoffs expand to six teams this season with the addition of Nevada to the conference.
The Spartans return 13 letterwinners, including seven starters, from last year's team that finished 12-7-1 overall and 3-2-1 in the WAC. But the losses include Amee Brown, a two-time first team All-WAC selection who owns all of the single season and career goalkeeping records, Momi Aiu, also twice named first-team All-WAC, and Kelli Mahoney, a co-Defensive Player of the Year for the Spartans last season.
"The major holes to fill are one back and goalkeeping," said Grimes.
Trisha Forni, who played in two games before redshirting last season, and Portland State transfer Eryn Meyer are the goalkeepers. Meyer recorded 64 saves in 12 starts for the Vikings last fall.
Jackie Ostdiek, a co-Defensive Player of the Year for the Spartans last fall, Jessica Hernandez, a co-Freshman of the Year last season, Kristyn Mescher and Ryanne Banks return in the backfield. Redshirts Alana Rainville, Cynthia Harrah and Mariko Yoshihara add to the mix.
Grimes says the midfield will be strong with the return of Jennifer Mescher, Brandy Apodaca, Erica Oatman, Kristina Jacob and Rosie Madera. Junior college transfer Alicia Milan and freshman Heather Dickinson provide depth.
Mescher led the team in scoring with 21 points (7 goals and 7 assists) and was a second-team All-WAC choice, a co-Offensive Player of the Year and a Freshman of the Year last season. Madera, who had 2 goals and 6 assists, was also a second team All-WAC pick.
At forward, the Spartans return Julie Brum, Jolene Keel and Karli Silveira. Silveira scored 9 goals and had 1 assist in the first nine games before suffering a season-ending injury. She was named a co-Offensive Player of the Year. Brum finished third in points with 15 and led the team with 9 assists. Redshirt Kelly Pryor and four first-year freshmen - Emily New, Christina Morrison, Ebony Stone and Jeane Sunseri - are also listed at the position.