Women's soccer opens 2002 season with two-game road series

THIS WEEK:
SJSU at Loyola Marymount
– Saturday, Aug. 31, 1:00 p.m.
SJSU at UC Riverside – Monday, Sept. 2, 1:00 p.m.

UPCOMING GAMES:
SJSU vs. San Francisco – Friday, Sept. 6, 7:30 p.m. at Spartan Stadium

SAN JOSE STATE:
The 2002 San Jose State University women’s soccer team is looking to get back on the winning track. Despite the loss of first team All-WAC selection Kristina Jacob, the team has lost just one other starter from the squad and is hoping to improve on last year’s 5-12-1 record.

"I am looking forward this upcoming season," noted third-year head coach Tamie Grimes. "We will be without two starters from last year, but the team had a very strong spring. I know we are going to have a very successful season."

Last season, a young and inexperienced Spartan team lost four games in overtime and were 3-6 in one goal contests. Grimes feels the experience the squad gained last year will be a big factor in reversing the team’s fortune in 2002.

"We really had players who didn’t have much (NCAA) Division I experience on the field last year," notes Grimes. "So when it came to crunch time, they didn’t know how to win those games. Now that the tables are turned they know what it takes, and hopefully 75 percent of those one-goal games and overtime games are won this fall."

THIS WEEK’S OPPONENTS:
Loyola Marymount
The Loyola Marymount University women’s soccer is coming off a 7-10 record and a sixth place 3-4 finish in a tough West Coast Conference that had five of the eight conference teams earning invitations to the College Cup in 2001. The Lions may look to the home-field advantage as a major factor this season. The team opens with three home games and will host 15 total matches at home this year with just six road games.

UC Riverside
The UC Riverside Highlanders begin the team’s second year of competition opening at home with games against San Diego State on Friday and San Jose State on Monday. The team finished last season with a 5-12 overall record and a1-8 mark in the Big West. The Highlanders return two of the top three scorers from last year and the starting goalkeep. The team will face three Western Athletic Conference teams in San Jose State, Hawai’I and Nevada, in non-conference action.

HEAD-TO-HEAD
SJSU VS. LOLOLA MARYMOUNT
This will be the first meeting between the schools.

SJSU VS. UC RIVERSIDE
This will be the first meeting between the schools.

WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE:
After winning the Western Athletic Conference tournament in 2000, the Spartans missed the cut in 2001 finishing seventh overall and one game from tying Fresno State for the final tournament seed. This season, the defending WAC champion SMU is favored to win it all again this year. In a pre-season poll of the league’s coaches, the Mustangs are picked to finish ahead of Hawai'i and Rice in a second place tie, while San Jose State is picked to finish seventh. The Mustangs have dominated league play and have not lost a conference match since falling to the Spartans on Oct. 17, 1999.