By Amanda Branam
CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
UA senior forward Kamaya Damwijk gets sandwiched between two opposing players during the Wildcats' victory over Colorado College this season at Murphey Stadium. Damwijk and fellow seniors Lindsey Peeples, Candice Wilks and Vanesha Bailey will player their final home games for Arizona this weekend when the Wildcats take on USC and UCLA.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 29, 2004
The UA soccer team looks to rebound from their two-game losing streak tonight at 7 against Southern California in the 'Cats' final homestand of 2004.
"We just came out with a whole new mentality," senior forward Vanesha Bailey said about this week's practices, following a disappointing 1-0 loss to ASU on Friday. "We got the weekend off to clear our minds."
Before facing USC, the Wildcats will have a pre-game ceremony to honor their four seniors: Bailey, forward Candice Wilks, defender Lindsey Peeples, and forward Kamaya Damwijk.
"It's sad, but at the same time way exciting," Peeples said about playing at home for the last time. "This team has the capability of going so far, I don't feel like it's the last time I will play on my home field."
USC (9-6-1 overall, 3-3-0 Pacific 10 Conference) sits in fifth place in the Pac-10 standings, one place behind the Wildcats. After the 1-0 loss at ASU on Friday, the UA dropped from a first-place tie with UCLA to fourth place in the conference standings. However, UA, Washington, ASU, and USC are all tied with three conference wins.
Last season, the Wildcats defeated USC in Los Angeles for one of their two Pac-10 wins in 2003. Mallory Miller scored on a direct free kick to upset the No. 19-ranked women of Troy.
On Sunday at 1 p.m., the Wildcats will face UCLA (11-5-0, 4-2-0), the No. 5 team in the country and the current leader in the Pac-10. The Wildcats have never beaten the Bruins in 10 tries. In 2003, the UA lost 4-0 to UCLA at Drake Stadium in Los Angeles.
Facing the No. 5 team may not seem so daunting a task as it may have in previous seasons for the Wildcats, as they have already defeated a higher-ranked opponent this year. On Oct. 10, the Wildcats defeated Washington 3-1, a team that was ranked No. 4 in the country at the time. On Oct. 15, they beat their second top-10 team in as many games by defeating No. 10 Stanford 1-0 in Palo Alto.
"When we're on the same page on both sides of the ball, we're a tough team to deal with," Tobias said.
This weekend will be a crucial one for the UA in determining the conference standings. If UCLA were to beat the UA and ASU (7-7-1, 3-1-1), the Bruins would clinch their second consecutive Pac-10 title. If the UA sweeps their games this weekend, they would be at least tied for first place, depending on how second-place ASU and third-place Washington (12-3-1, 3-2-1) do this weekend.