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UA Sports Roundup

By Christopher Wuensch
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday September 12, 2003

Men's golf opens season in Albuquerque

UA men's golf will tee-off its season this weekend at the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate golf competition in Albuquerque, N.M.

The 49-year old tourney is the second oldest collegiate golf competition in the nation. Among the 20 teams scheduled to participate in the two-day, 36 hole set this year are Arizona State, Stanford, Texas A&M, North Carolina State and Hawaii.

The Wildcats will be looking to make the NCAA men's golf championships for the 18th consecutive season.

Leading UAs charge is Chris Nallen. Golfweek Magazine has recently ranked the senior fourth on a list of the "top 50 Collegiate Golfers to watch" this season.

The Wildcat lineup will feature three newcomers in Friday and Saturday's rounds. Henry Liaw, Josh Esler and Nathan Tyler will be making their collegiate debut when Arizona tees off in Albuquerque.

Arizona is ranked as high as No. 11 (Precept/GCAA Coaches Poll) and as low as 16th (Golfworld Coaches Poll).

Men's soccer plays host to Wildcat Classic

The Arizona men's club soccer team may have a new coach and a new set of players this season, but the goal remains the same as it has always been: to win a national title.

The Wildcats open their season this weekend when they host the annual Wildcat Classic. The three-game set to be held at Rincon Vista Field, located at E. 15th Street and S. Plummer Avenue, will pit the Wildcats against rival South Western Conference competition. UTEP, Embry Riddle, and Thunderbird College will all be traveling to Tucson to take part in the Classic.

The new-look Wildcats are led by head coach Ron Fox, who makes his return to the Arizona sidelines after a three-year absence, replacing the departed Dave Hunter. Fox is just the third coach in the program's 30-year history.

Arizona midfielder Mychal Sierra said replacing the popular Hunter will be difficult, but Fox, who has worked with the team in past seasons, is well respected among Wildcat players.

The Wildcats return just seven players from last year's squad that fell short of a national title, losing to eventual champions Weber State in the quarterfinals. Back from last season's group is defensemen Randy Danker, Kvar Black, Eddie Betterton and Pollo Rodrigo. Returning to provide experience and offense are midfielders Mike "Bub" Steele, Ivan Lerme and Sierra.

Leadership will be the key to Arizona's success this season. Its lineup features 21 new faces, including junior college transfers from Pima Community College and players freshly out of high school.

"I think we're better than last year," Sierra said. "The goal is to get back to Tuscaloosa and win a national title."

This season's National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association championships will be held in Tuscaloosa, Ala. for the second time in three years. The journey begins with three games this weekend.

Arizona gets its season rolling tomorrow at 8 a.m. against Embry Riddle. The Wildcats will then take on the Miners of UTEP at 4 p.m.

The Classic concludes on Sunday with a 10 a.m. matchup against Thunderbird.

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