Bobbie Benegas had two goals and four assists this season.
Aug. 25, 2003
SALT LAKE CITY -
Utah opens the regular season with two home games. The Utes host Colgate on Friday at 4:00 p.m. and Michigan on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. at Ute Field.
The Raiders return five starters and 14 letterwinners from last year's team that went 7-9-2 and placed third in the Patriot League (4-2-1) ... They open their season against the Utes ... Head Coach Kathy Brown is 143-74-12 heading into her 13th season at Colgate ... Kate Barrett (F, 6-5, Sr.) scored 11 goals and had eight assists last season ... Kelly Kuss (F, 5-9, So.) had eight goals and three assists in 2002 ... Utah and Colgate meet for the first time on Friday.
The Wolverines are ranked No. 17 in the NSCAA/adidas preseason ranking ... They open their season at BYU on Friday at 4:00 p.m. before facing Utah ... Michigan returns five starters and 16 letterwinners from last year's team that went 16-7-1, advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals and placed second in the Big Ten (7-2-1) ... Head Coach Debbie Rademacher is 118-66-13 heading into her 10th season at UM ... Therese Heaton (F, 5-7, So.) had 10 goals and four assists last season ... Suzie Grech (GK, 5-11, Sr.) gave up 20 goals and had 10 shutouts in 24 games last season ... Utah is 0-1 in the series with Michigan, losing 3-2 on Sept. 12, 1999 in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Ute Season Outlook
Utah returns six starters and 14 letterwinners from last year's team that went 13-4-3 overall and 4-1-1 in the Mountain West Conference to place second. The Utes advanced to their first-ever NCAA Tournament last season, making it to the second round.
Second-year head coach Rich Manning has two all-Mountain West performers back from last season. Senior forward Missy Dennis led the team in goals (9) and points (21) and was tied for third on the team in assists (3) in 2002. Dennis earned second team all-Mountain West Conference honors. Senior defender Jen Williams received second team all-Mountain West Conference honors last season as a defender. She started 16 of the 19 games she played.
From The Training Room
Defender Katie Battazzo, a 2002 first team all-MWC selection as a freshman, is out for this season with a knee injury suffered in the final game of the regular season against BYU last year.
Quoting Rich Manning
On opening weekend: "We have a challenging schedule this year and, right away, we get started with two terrific games. The players are ready for some game action. We have our new car and we're ready to get some mud on the tires and see where we are."
On Colgate: "Colgate is one of the better teams in the Patriot League. They have had some excellent results over the past couple of years. It should be a good opening challenge for us."
On Michigan: "Michigan has, along with Penn State, been one of the two powers in the Big Ten over the last several years. They were an NCAA quarterfinalist last season and should be strong again this year. They have excellent athletes and play a high intensity brand of soccer."
Utah Picked To Win MWC
For the first time ever, Utah was selected as the favorite to capture the Mountain West Conference women's soccer title in a vote by the league's coaches. The Utes collected a total of 34 points (four first-place votes) to capture the top position in the poll. BYU, which collected three first-place votes (33 total points), was picked to finish second in the ballot, followed by New Mexico (26), UNLV (19) and San Diego State (18). Air Force (9) and Wyoming (8) rounded out the voting as they were picked to finish sixth and seventh, respectively.
* Utah will be up against four NSCAA/adidas preseason nationally ranked opponents and four 2002 NCAA Tournament teams this fall. The Utes will face Texas A&M (No. 6) and conference rival BYU (No. 24) on the road. Michigan (No. 17) comes to Ute Field on Aug. 31 and Florida (No. 21) visits Salt Lake City on Sept. 28.
Michigan and Texas A&M were NCAA quarterfinalists last fall. Idaho State and BYU, two teams Utah plays on the road, also made the NCAA Tournament. Florida, which comes to Ute Field on Sept. 28, was the 1998 NCAA champion and 2001 semifinalist.
* Utah's 2003 recruiting class was ranked 37th in the country and ninth in the region by Soccer Buzz magazine. The ranking is the highest of any recruiting class in the Mountain West Conference and the best in the history of the Utah program.
* Utah opened the 2002 season without a defeat through its first seven games (5-0-2), which was the best start in the program's eight-year history. The Utes also ran their record to 11-1-3 before suffering their second loss of the season.
* The Utes' tenacious defense finished the 2002 season ranked 29th in the NCAA in goals-against average (0.84).The Utes recorded six shutouts and scored three goals or more in eight games last season.
Utah heads to the Lone Star state to play at Texas A&M on Friday, Sept. 5 at 7:30 p.m. (CDT) and at Baylor on Sunday, Sept. 7 at 7:00 p.m. (CDT).