Kate Berrini (Junior)
Last Year: Berrini only started one match in 2006, but 2007 was her breakout year. She had five goals and one assist. More importantly, she was the consistent presence in the middle for the revamped Lady Anteaters.
What to Expect: She is a workhorse. She started 19 of 20 matches last year and played the most grueling positions at midfield. She has the potential to rake in the assists, and even put a few into the back of the net.
New U’s Take: We had Berrini in this section before she had three goals in Friday’s game. We swear. She has the big play ability, as evidenced by her 30-yard free kick goal. We expect big things.
Coach’s Quote: “[She] has played a number of positions for us this year. She has played along the whole spine of the team, from center back to center mid to center forward. She has the potential to be a standout player in any of the positions in the Big West Conference.”
Tanya Taylor (Soph.)
Last Year: The headliner of the standout freshman class from last season. She recorded five goals and one assist with a game-winning goal against much hated UC Santa Barbara.
What to Expect: In eight games, Taylor has one goal and two assists. She has sparked the offense in the current three-game win streak. She is the athletic presence up top for the Anteaters and the results should catch up with her talent soon.
New U’s Take: She is the number one option up top. Her dynamic skills are too good to be shut down. She should be creating a plethora of opportunities up top both with her speed and passing ability.
Coach’s Quote: “[She] is an incredibly dangerous player. She is the cutting edge of the team and being so unpredictable makes her very difficult to defend. She has matured as a player this year, giving so much to the team in the way she creates chances for others and herself.”
Matt Murphy (Senior)
Last Year: After winning Big West Midfielder of the Year his sophomore year, Murphy had a down year his junior year. Although he lead the Anteaters with nine goals, he was often forced to carry the load for the struggling squad.
What to Expect: In seven games this season, Murphy looks to be back to 2006 form. He has already recorded four goals and two assists, which is already half-way to his 2006 stats when he scored 10 goals and dished out five assists. Keep in mind that he won the Big West Midfielder award that year.
Mr. Clutch: With two game-winning goals already, Murphy is second all time in game winning goals for UCI with nine in his career. The ice in his veins will be key when UCI takes on tough conferences foes like UCSB.
New U’s Take: With a solid supporting cast surrounding him this season, Murphy will finish his career at UCI strongly. He is already fourth all-time at UCI with 65 career points.
Spencer Thompson (Soph.)
Last Year: Thompson came to UCI last year as one of the best soccer recruits in UCI soccer history. He shattered the nets and record books in Arizona in high school. In his first year at UCI he scored four goals and had one assist. He started 15 or 16 games in his debut season.
What to Expect: There is no doubt that Thompson has goal scoring ability. And he is showing it now. He leads the team with four goals and three assists. An off-season injury did not affect him at all, and he is rolling on all cylinders. Expect goals – alot of them.
The Threat: He leads the team with four goals, and even has three assists. Opponents are on their heels when he touches the ball.
New U’s Take: Two of his goals this season were game winners, and his passing is giving opponents more than they want to worry about. He has 32 shots on goal with 15 on target. He is getting open, and putting pressure on opposing defenses, a very good sign.