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Wildcat Sports


Former soccer player earns tryout with Mexican national team



The Mexican national team invited former Arizona soccer forward Jazmin Ponce for a tryout.

Ponce finished her senior season of 2013 with 92 shot attempts, five assists, five game-winning goals and 10 goals, was named first-team All-Pac-12.

“It’s an amazing honor,” Ponce said in a press release. “Seeing the smiles on my family and friend’s faces makes me want to try even harder to make them proud.”

If Ponce makes the team, she will join El Tri for a tournament in China.

“We are very excited for Jazmin,” head coach Tony Amato said in a press release. “Playing at the international level is a great honor and I am happy she has this opportunity. I am confident she has the ability to make an impact at that level and I look forward to seeing her success with them. I know she will positively represent Arizona soccer and the Pac-12 Conference.”

— Follow James Kelley @jameskelley520


Softball not ranked in preseason NFCA poll



Six teams in the Pac-12 were ranked in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association preseason top-25 poll, but Arizona softball was not one of them.

Washington is ranked No. 3, ASU No. 7, Oregon No. 8, UCLA No. 16, Stanford No. 22 and Cal No. 24. Arizona was in the receiving votes category though, along with Oregon State.

There are nine Pac-12 schools that field softball teams.

Last season Arizona won 33 games, its lowest since it went 27-13-1 in head coach Mike Candrea’s first year, 1986.

The Wildcats also fell out of the ESPN/USA Today Softball Collegiate Top 25 rankings for the first time in program history last season.

Follow James Kelley @jameskelley520


Ten new football players enroll



On Wednesday, the UA announced that 10 new football players enrolled.

In addition to six junior college transfers that signed National Letters of Intent in December, a transfer from California and three players who graduated high school early, started classes Wednesday.

Former Cal offensive lineman, Freddie Tagaloa, who is 6-foot-8 and 330 pounds, is from Richmond, Calif. and transferred to Arizona. The junior played in 23 out of a possible 24 games as a Golden Bear, and made seven starts.

He will have to sit out the 2014 season, but won an appeal to transfer within the Pac-12 and play in 2015. Tagaloa was a team captain in 2013 for the Golden Bears (1-11).

Headlining the freshmen is T.J. Johnson, who is rated as a three-star receiver by Rivals and Scout, is 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds is from, Cape Coral, Fla. was PrepStar All-Southeast Region and a Lemming Top Player RB/TB selection.

Scout, is 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds comes to Arizona from Upper Marlboro, Md. Haden was a high school teammate of five-star recruit Jalen Tabor, who picked the UA over Alabama on national TV only to decommit a few days later and pick Florida.
Jonathan Haden, a three-star running back according to Rivals and

Also joining the Wildcats is kicker/punter Michael Unzicker from Palmetto, Fla.

In December, the UA announced the addition of six junior college transfers: defensive lineman Jerod Cody, cornerback Patrick Glover, offensive lineman Kaige Lawrence, quarterback Jerrard Randall, linebacker Antonio Smothers and defensive lineman Jeff Worthy.

Follow James Kelley @jameskelley520


Wildcat Sports is hiring



The Daily Wildcat sports desk is hiring reporters for the spring semester. Send a résumé and clips to spring sports editor James Kelley at sports@wildcat.arizona.edu. Previous journalism experience is required.


Arizona volleyball's Kingdon named to All-Region Team



On Tuesday Arizona indoor volleyball outside hitter Madi Kingdon was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association Pacific South All-Region Team.

Kingdon had 508 kills this season, the sixth best in school history. She is sixth on the UA’s all-time kills list.

She was first in the Pac-12 in points, third in kills and fourth in service aces.

Kingdon was the first Wildcat to be named to the All-Region team since Kim Glass and Jen Abernathy were selected in 2005.

Freshman setter Penina Snuka was honorable mention. She had the most double-doubles in the Pac-12 and the most of any freshman in the country.


Hockey coach Hogan's U.S. Men's National University Team's games to be televised



Wildcat hockey may be off the ice until January, but fans can still watch head coach Sean Hogan serve as an assistant for the U.S. Men’s National University Team during the Winter World University Games. Starting today, the contests will be broadcasted by CBS Sports Network on tape delay from Trentino, Italy.

To watch the game live, fans must tune in to LiveSport.tv, the International University Sports Federation’s website for online streaming.

The U.S. team that is made up of elite college hockey players from the ACHA is set to commence its round-robin play against Sweden today at 12:30 p.m. Arizona time. However due to the tape delay, the game will be broadcasted tonight at 7:00 p.m on CBS Sports.

Regardless if the U.S. qualifies to advance, CBS Sports will still broadcast some of the playoff round games, depending on where the U.S. finishes. Those details are to come later.

CBS Sports Network Broadcast Schedule Arizona Time:

Dec. 10, 7:00 p.m.: U.S. vs. Sweden

Dec. 13, 3:30 p.m.: U.S. vs. Latvia

Dec. 15, 1:30 p.m.: U.S. vs. Italy

Dec. 18, TBD: Quarterfinals

Dec. 20, TBD: Semifinals

Dec. 21, TBD: Championship

LiveSport.tv U.S. Broadcast Schedule Arizona Time:

Dec. 10, 12:30 p.m.: Vs. Sweden

Dec. 15, 8:30 a.m.: Vs. Italy


Volleyball senior Nicholson earns defensive award



For the first time ever, an Arizona student-athlete has been awarded with a Defensive Player of the Week award.

Senior libero Candace Nicholson recorded a career-high 36 digs during her last match against ASU in McKale Center, and was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.

Nicholson was one dig shy from the school’s all-time record for a single match and is tied for the most in the conference this season.

Nicholson helped the team to its 20th victory of the season. Arizona had not won 20 matches since 2010.

The UA recorded 103 digs as a team against ASU, the seventh most in history for a single match.

Nicholson is also part of the Arizona record books, having the most single-season and career digs ever after breaking Terry Lauchner’s 1,297 digs record, accumulating 1,620 digs so far.

Her 490 single-season digs have passed Tiffany Owens’ record of 414 in 2010.

Her 4.45 digs per set average will also be part of the school record for a single-season.

Nicholson and the team will be part of the NCAA tournament this year for the 25th time since 1981.

They will travel to San Diego to face New Mexico State (22-10) on Friday.


Pac-12 honors cross country's Li, Beattie



On Tuesday, the Pac-12 named James Li the Women’s cross country Head Coach of the Year and sophomore Kayla Beattie as the Women’s Newcomer of the Year.

Li led the Wildcats to second-place at the NCAA championships, the only meet the UA didn’t win all year. The runners-up finish ties for the school record best result at nationals and the Wildcats also won the NCAA west regional for the first time since 1998.

Beattie, a transfer from Iowa, won her first race as a Wildcat, the George Kyte Classic, finished ninth at regionals and 90th at nationals after falling.


Carey named Doak Walker Award finalist



On Monday, the PwC SMU Athletic Forum selected junior running back Ka’Deem Carey as one of its three finalists for the Doak Walker Award.

Bishop Sankey of Washington and Andre Williams of Boston College are the other two finalists.

Saturday Carey ran for 206 yards and four touchdowns on a school record 48 carries and set the career-rushing yard and touchdown records.

Carey needs only 87 yards to get to 4,000 for his career. The Tucson native has rushed for 100 yards in 14 consecutive games.


Wildcats earn handful of weekly awards



Following Arizona football’s upset of No. 5 Oregon, the Wildcats racked up a bunch of weekly awards.

Athlon Sports named Ka’Deem Carey Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, Scooby Wright Pac-12 Freshman of the Week and defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel as Pac-12 Coordinator of the Week.

Last Saturday Carey ran for 206 yards and four touchdowns on a school record 48 carries and set the career-rushing yard and touchdown records.

Wright intercepted the first pass of his career on Saturday when Shaquille Richardson, flying out of bounds, tipped the ball to Wright in a SportsCenter top play. Wright had six tackles.

Casteel’s defense held Oregon’s potent offense, which averages 50.9 points a game — to 16 points.

Carey was also named the national Running back of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards.

Senior quarterback B.J. Denker was named CFPA honorable mention quarterback. He was 19-for-22 passing for 178 yards and two touchdowns and ran the ball for 14 times for 102 yards.

Sophomore punter Drew Riggleman was also CFPA honorable mention after averaging 44.7 for his three punts last week.


Wildcats cross country gets academic nods



Pac-12 All-Academic Honorees were announced on Wednesday and Arizona’s cross country team had several mentions.

It can be difficult to balance school with an extracurricular and these athletes have a fulltime job on their hands with their sport. Arizona had three runners with first-team honors, two with second-team honors and three runners with honorable mention honors. All-Academic team members have earned at least a 3.0 grade point average.

On the No. 2 women’s team, receiving first-team honors is junior Stephanie Bulder with a 3.95 GPA and senior Erin Menefee with a 3.97 GPA. Earning second-team honors is senior Elvin Kibet with a 3.79 GPA. Honorable mentions honorees are juniors Clea Formaz and Kate Penny.

For the men’s team, the only first-team honors recipient is junior Sam Macaluso, earning a 3.47 GPA. Receiving second-team honors is junior Lawi Lalang with a 3.36 GPA and honorable mention is junior Kenji Bierig.


Arizona softball signs two recruits from California



On Wednesday, the UA announced that two Californians signed with Arizona softball.

Patricia Parks and Ashleigh Hughes will join the Wildcats next season.

Parks is a pitcher, first baseman and outfielder from Chino, Calif.

“Trish is an outstanding athlete that will be able to contribute to the Wildcats both in the circle and offensively,” said UA head coach Mike Candrea. “She’s quiet, takes care of business, a hard worker and very coachable. She throws 62-64 with a lively arm. She attends Chino Hills H.S. and presently has a 3.6 GPA.”

Parks said she has wanted to attend the UA for as long as she can remember.

“Watching Arizona in the College World Series year after year has provided me motivation to be the best player I can be,” Parks said. “To play for coach Candrea and the rest of the coaching staff is like a dream come true for me. I have visited the campus multiple times and each time that I visit, I am reassured that this is the school for me.”

Hughes is an outfielder and infielder from Antelope, Calif.

“Ashleigh is an outstanding athlete and tremendous addition to the Arizona Wildcats,” Candrea said. “Ashleigh is a left handed hitter that has tremendous speed and power. She is presently playing for the So Cal Choppers coached by Gary and Dean Fausett. She attends Antelope High School and presently has a 3.1 GPA.”

Hughes said she chose Arizona because of the people.

“It felt like a place I could call home,” Hughes said. “I am most excited to be a part of the incredible tradition of the university and the softball team at Arizona.”


Soccer Wildcats earn Pac-12 honors



One Arizona soccer player was named All-Pac-12 and another was named Player of the Week on Tuesday.

Senior Jazmin Ponce was named to the All-Pac-12 first team, her second all-conference selection.

Ponce led the conference in shots, with 4.60 per game and was third in points with 25 and goals with 10.

The Pac-12 also announced that Arizona soccer goalkeeper Gabby Kaufman won her second Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week award this season.

The junior had eight saves and earned a shut out last week in Arizona’s 2-0 win over ASU to close out the season. Kaufman had six shutouts this year; the others were against Florida Atlantic, UC Riverside, No. 24 Ohio State, Oregon State and Colorado.


Former Wildcat Foles ties NFL record



The Arizona football team had a successful weekend in the Bay Area, clinching bowl eligibility, but it paled in comparison to former Wildcat Nick Foles’ performance.

The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback tied an NFL record with seven touchdown passes in Oakland against the Raiders. Foles threw for 406 yards, completing 22 of 28 passes in the Eagles’ 49-20.

“A couple people came up to me and said that I tied the record with seven touchdowns,” Foles said in an Associated Press story. “It’s a great honor. Hats off to our guys for doing a great job.”

The second-year signal caller played at the UA from 2009 to 2011.


Denker named Pac-12 offensive player of the week



On Monday the Pac-12 announced that Arizona senior quarterback B.J. Denker was selected as the conference’s offensive player of the week.

The Wildcats have won four Pac-12 player of the week awards this year.

Denker had 457 yards of total offense, the sixth-most in school history, in Arizona’s 44-20 win at Colorado. He had 265 yards through the air on 21-of-32 passing and rushed for a career high 192 yards on 15 carries.

Denker’s rushing total was the fourth-highest this season for an FBS quarterback.

Arizona’s offense gained 670 yards on Saturday, the third most in school history and the most the UA has ever had in a Pac-10/12 road game.


Pac-12 names Carey offensive player of the week



On Monday the Pac-12 announced that junior running back Ka’Deem Carey was selected as the conference’s offensive player of the week.

Carey had a school record 40 carries in the Wildcats’ 35-24 win over Utah, rushing for 236 yards. Those 236 yards were the second most in his college career and the third most in school history.

Against the Utes, Carey also became the sixth player in school history to reach the 3,000-career yard milestone. Carey topped the 200-yard mark for the third time of his career, two have come against Utah and has rushed for 100-plus yards 15 times and nine in a row.

This is Arizona’s third Pac-12 player of the week award of the season.

Carey has 805 yards on 134 carries, first in the FBS, with 161 per game.

—Follow James Kelley @JamesKelley520


Kingdon, Snuka win Pac-12 player of the week honors



For the second time this season, Arizona indoor volleyball junior outside hitter Madi Kingdon and freshman setter Penina Snuka received Pac-12 Conference weekly honors.

Kingdon was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week while Snuka was named Freshman of the Week. They received the same awards in late September.

While getting the winning point against No. 1 USC, Kingdon led the offense for Arizona with a .333 hitting percentage and 33 kills in two matches. Kingdon also had 15 digs and three service aces. She was the winner of the award while nine other players were nominated.

Snuka had her best weekend of the season and stands with the most double-double matches in the conference, recording 10 for the year so far. She had 73 assists during last weekend, including 43 against UCLA, which tied the Pac-12 record for the most assists in a three-set competition. Snuka also recorded 20 digs and three service aces.

—Follow Rose Aly Valenzuela @RoseAlyVal


Arizona to recognize Tedy Bruschi at Utah game



Arizona is set to award 13-year NFL veteran and former Arizona football two-time All-American Tedy Bruschi with a number of recognitions during halftime at Saturday’s home football game against Utah.

The University of Arizona Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame will honor Bruschi with an NFF hall of Fame On-Campus Salute.

Bruschi represented Arizona’s famous Desert Swarm defense and in 1992 he led the nation in scoring defense. He was drafted to the New England Patriots in 2006 and spent his whole NFL career with the team and won three Super Bowl rings.

Bruschi’s jersey will also be retired. His wife Heidi is an Arizona volleyball letterwoman. The two have three sons together.

The 1993 Fiesta Bowl MVP is the fourth Arizona player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, with Chuck Cecil (1984-87) being the last.


Head baseball coach Lopez to return to full coaching duties in January



Arizona baseball head coach Andy Lopez had open heart surgery on Oct. 7 at Tucson Medical Center and will be ready for the start of the regular season.

The UA announced on Wednesday that since then, he has been recovering well and that he will make a full return to coaching in January for preseason practices.

Lopez will take the rest of fall practice season off to rest. Assistant coaches Shaun Cole and Matt Siegel have stepped in for Lopez for the practices that began Oct. 7 and continue until Nov. 15.

Lopez is entering his 13th season at the UA. He coached the Wildcats to the 2012 National Championships and two College World Series appearances.

Athletics Director Greg Byrne said in a press release that he is proud of the progress Lopez has made since surgery.

“He is one of the best baseball coaches in the country and we are glad that he will be our coach for many years to come,” Byrne said.

The season begins Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 against Kent State at Hi Corbett Field.

— Follow Megan Coghlan @MeganCoghlan


Women's tennis travels to San Diego



Arizona women’s tennis will compete in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Southwest Regional Tournament this weekend.

The Wildcats open play on Thursday and the tournament will continue through Sunday, hosted by San Diego State and San Diego. The first two days of the tourney will be Barnes Tennis Center in Point Loma in San Diego and then Saturday at SDSU campus at the Aztec Tennis Center.

Seniors Kim Stubbe, Lacey Smyth and Akilah James and freshman Lauren Marker will compete for Arizona.

More than 8,000 student-athletes from NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA, and junior colleges compete at the 84 USTA/ITA Regional Championships held across the country.