November 4, 1997
PULLMAN, Wash. -- The Washington State women's soccer squad battles the top two teams in the Pacific-10 Conference this week in Los Angeles during its final two matches of the 1997 season.
The Cougars (7-9-0 / 2-5-0 Pac-10) look to shake their current four-game losing streak Friday, Nov. 7 against second place USC (14-3-1 / 5-2-0 Pac-10) in a 2 p.m. match played at El Camino College instead of the Los Angeles Coliseum. Then Sunday, Nov. 9, WSU squares off with conference leader UCLA (15-2-0, 7-0-0 Pac-10), ranked 17th by Soccer America.
"We're soul searching for some answers," said WSU head coach Lisa Gozley. "We're not responding to the call of the competition. We fell short of our goals (this season), but we have an opportunity this weekend to do something for ourselves. We have to play for our pride and put a positive spin on things."
The task is not easy as the Cougars, who have been held scoreless their last four outings, face two of the premier scoring teams in the West. The Trojans (3.06 goals per match) and Bruins (2.71 gpm) are ranked fourth and seventh respectively in team scoring in the region.
The Cougars have lost both meetings with USC, including last year's 3-1 loss at San Luis Obispo, Calif. Kim Clark, the Trojans' leading scorer, ranks tenth nationally in assists with 15. "USC is still a young team, but they have plenty of speed and dangerous players up top," said Gozley. The Trojans suffered their only home defeat last week to Arizona State by a 3-2 margin.
UCLA has also won the last two matches with the Cougars, both by shutout. WSU won the first meeting in 1993, a 4-2 overtime decision in Los Angeles. In 1994, the two teams played to a 0-0 tie (first ever for WSU) while at a tournament in Albuquerque, N.M. "UCLA is loaded with talent," said Gozley. "We have to go in there and have one of our best games."
"And they have one of the most prolific goal scorers in the country in Traci Arkenberg," Gozley added. "I've watched that kid flat out beat us for two years. Not on anything we did wrong, but on her ability." With 19 goals (seven game winners) and eight assists, Arkenberg tops the Pac-10 in scoring. Her 46 points place her 15th nationally.
Three Dot Notes - During the 1995 season the Cougars were held scoreless in five straight matches (still the longest streak in WSU history)...the fifth match of that streak was a 1-0 overtime loss at No. 17 UCLA...the following match, a 2-1 loss at USC, was the final defeat in a school-record six-game losing streak...this fall the Cougars have attempted 33 corner kicks, a record low (56 in 1995)...opponents have taken 94 corner kicks.