Houston Soccer Set to Kick Off 2002 Season

    One of only three upperclassmen on this year's squad, junior Nicole Aubuchon looks to be a leader for the Cougars in 2002.
    One of only three upperclassmen on this year's squad, junior Nicole Aubuchon looks to be a leader for the Cougars in 2002.
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    Aug. 28, 2002

    The University of Houston Women's Soccer team, which boasts a Top 50 incoming recruiting class, kicks off their fifth season of competition on Sunday, September 1, against cross-town rival Rice at 7:00 p.m. at Robertson Stadium.

    The match marks the second between the two schools and the first ever on Houston's campus. The Cougars defeated the Owls, 2-1, in the first-ever match-up on Sept. 4 of last season at Rice. The Owls are coached by familiar face Chris Huston, who began the Cougars program as head coach during Houston's inaugural soccer campaign in 1998.

    The 2002 recruiting class for Houston, comprised of eight signees including seven freshmen and one transfer, was ranked in the Regional Top 25 and National Top 50 by Soccer Buzz Magazine. The magazine ranked this year's Cougar class No. 7 out of 65 teams in the Central Region and No. 42 in the nation, which is the highest ranking of any Cougars soccer recruiting class.

    Even with the departure of ten seniors, the Cougars have the same goals in mind in 2002 - a Conference USA championship and a trip to the NCAA tournament . This year's team will be led by upperclassmen Ashley Fortenberry, Emily Allwardt and Nicole Aubuchon, who are expected to bring experience, chemistry and knowledge of the system to the youthful team.

    Highlighting Houston's 2002 tough schedule is match-ups against North Texas, Rice, UNLV and nationally-ranked SMU before even tougher competition in conference play, which begins on Sept. 20 against Louisville at Robertson Stadium.

    Last season, the Cougars posted a 8-9-1 overall record, including 6-4-0 in Conference USA play, and advanced to the C-USA Tournament for the fourth consecutive year. Graduated senior goalkeeper Robin Cate was named to the All-C-USA Team after leading the league in saves-per-game, and returning mid-fielder Nikki Hawkins was named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team.



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