By Kim Morter

Arizona Summer Wildcat

Lisa Fraser has been selected as the head coach for the new University of Arizona women's soccer team, which will be competing on the Division I level this fall. She came to the UA from Washington State University after five years as the head coach of the Cougars' women's soccer team.

Wildcat: Talk a bit about your background. How did you decide to come to a school with a new program?

Fraser: I developed the women's soccer team at Washington State when I first arrived there. Arizona is a great place for me and my husband, and a brand-new program at a school like Arizona is a great place to recruit to.

Wildcat: How will it work out being the "new coach" of the "new program"?

Fraser: It will be good. This year we'll focus on building a good base, setting good standards, bringing in good athletes, and building on what the club team had already put into place. The (women's) club team won the national championship last year.

Wildcat: How do you feel about the UA's commitment to women's athletics? About soccer in specific?

Fraser: The UA's commitment seems really good. It just takes time to tell what will happen in the future, but I feel good about it now. Our facilities are good, the reputation of the school and athletics is good, and I'm happy with it so far. There are plans in the works to build a playing site for us, hopefully within the next year. It will be over by the track complex south of Broadway Boulevard, so that's a good example of the way UA feels. It makes it easier to work into this because the club program had been so successful here.

Wildcat: Soccer seems to be catching on as a women's sport all over; how does Arizona fit into that picture?

Fraser: Arizona is great for things like year-round practice. The school also has so much to offer athletes academically.

Wildcat: Now that the World Cup soccer tournament has come to the United States, and soccer's exposure and popularity have skyrocketed, what does that say about the sport?

Fraser: There is definitely a new awareness of the sport in the public. People that have never watched a soccer game probably have now, so it's more popular than ever. There is talk of a men's professional league developing in the United States, and it's increasing in popularity for all age groups kids through college students.

Wildcat: What does your inaugural season schedule look like? What other teams will you be competing against?

Fraser: Next year we'll be mostly independent. We'll begin full Pacific 10 Conference play hopefully in the fall of 1995. Some of the teams we'll play this season include Stanford, University of Montana, University of Nebraska, University of New Mexico, Loyola-Marymount, University of San Francisco, UCLA and the University of Michigan.

Wildcat: Are there other schools in the Pac-10 that have women's Division I teams?

Fraser: The only schools in the Pac-10 now without a women's team are Arizona State University and the University of Oregon. So in 1995, we'll have an eight-team conference.

Wildcat: How about your first game when is it?

Fraser: We've finished recruiting now and will have tryouts in August. Our first game is Sept. 3. Until our new field is in place, we're looking at competing at Pima Community College. Read Next Article