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Soccer off to best start ever

CLAIRE C. LAURENCE/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Junior midfielder Jennifer Klein posts a goal against Fairleigh Dickinson during Arizona's 7-0 win at the Arizona Invitational.
By Amanda Branam
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, September 7, 2004
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The Arizona soccer team won both of its games this weekend in the Arizona Invitational, pushing its record to 4-0, the best start in the program's history.

Sunday's 7-0 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson gave the team it's second consecutive tournament win, after opening up the season with two wins in the Cyclone Classic last weekend.

Senior forward Candice Wilks was awarded the Offensive MVP for the Arizona Invitational, while freshman defender Kaity Heath was named the Defensive MVP.

On Sunday, the Wildcats got goals from six different players and defeated Fairleigh Dickinson, 7-0. Senior forward Kamaya Damwijk opened up the scoring in the eighth minute, followed by Wilks' goal about five minutes later on an assist by junior midfielder/forward Mallory Miller. An unassisted goal in the 39th minute by freshman forward Sally Thurner rounded out the scoring in the first half for the Wildcats.

"We finished our chances today, and we finished them early," said second-year head coach Dan Tobias. "One of our goals was to create a multitude of high quality chances."

The Wildcats came out a little slow in the second half, and did not score another goal until the 72nd minute, when Miller got a pass from senior forward Vanesha Bailey and scored by slide tackling the ball past goalkeeper Kelli Traver. After that goal, the Wildcats never went longer than eight minutes without scoring a goal.

Junior midfielder Jennifer Klein scored her goal in the 76th minute on an assist by freshman midfielder Nicole Scheid, followed by Bailey scoring a goal of her own just two minutes later that was assisted by freshman midfielder/defender Shannon Kusmit. The last goal was another by Miller in the 86th minute, with junior midfielder/defender Courtney Moseley getting the assist.

For the day, Miller had two goals and one assist.

Miller primarily plays midfield, where playmaking is her role more so than scoring. This season she is still starting at midfield, but Tobias has moved her up to play forward in certain situations, which resulted in her two goals Sunday. Tobias said he likes moving Miller to forward sporadically because it gives the team a different look.

"She gives us a different dimension up there," Tobias said. "She is very crafty on the ball. It is a nice luxury to have."

In Friday night's home opener, scoring did not come easy for the Wildcats. Arizona dominated possession, and took 29 shots on goal - 17 in the first half - but only managed 1-0 victory over UC Irvine.

The only goal came on a corner kick by Heath, whose left-footed corner kick curved in untouched into the goal in the 33rd minute.

"Oh my God, it was so exciting," Heath said about scoring her first collegiate goal. "I didn't think it was going to go in."

Heath is a part of the Wildcat defense that has not surrendered a goal this season. What makes that even more impressive is the Wildcats' best defender, senior Lindsey Peeples, has played limited minutes this season due to a foot injury. Peeples started on Sunday for the first time this season, and played the full 90 minutes.

Next up for the Wildcats will be a tough road swing, where they will face No. 14 West Virginia on Friday and Duquesne on Sunday.

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