But, Newland has held team meetings this week specifically to
create unity and teamwork. The players have responded with some of
their best practices of the season.
Now the Anteaters look to Friday as a pivotal game for their
"I don't think this will break our season," said senior Jeff
Powers, a national team member. "But I think if we win, it will
definitely show that we are capable of winning the national title. It
will give us that extra edge."
UCI has lost to Stanford twice this season, 10-6 at the USC
Tournament Sept. 15, and 9-6 in the third-place game at the NorCal
Tournament Oct. 7, when Powers was assessed a game exclusion in the
* After UCI's loss to Stanford in September, Newland said, "I
enjoy coaching against people I don't like, that makes it easier, so
it's hard to play against (Vargas). I compete real hard. I don't
really like to lose. John is exactly the same way. He's competitive
in everything he does."
* Another story line in the Cardinal-Anteaters matchup? Jeff
Powers vs. Tony Azevedo. Powers and Azevedo are the best players in
the MPSF, and among the elite in the nation.
Powers, a 6-foot-6, 220-pound two-meter man, is the unquestioned
leader of the Anteaters. He is one of only two seniors on the team.
The other senior being goalie standout Doug Finfrock.
Azevedo, a 6-1, 185-pound sophomore who also played on the
national team, possesses crafty skills that allow him to get open and
when he's covered he's still able to display his outstanding shooting
"Tony is a great player," Powers said. "But, it's not going to be
just me who wins the game. It's going to take a team effort to shut
him down. If it's going to be anything, it's going to be Tony vs. the
whole UCI team, and I hope it is, because that will give us the
chance to come out on top."
Powers might match up with Azevedo in certain situations during
the game, but UCI junior Garrett Gentry will mostly defend the
Throughout the season, Gentry, a Corona del Mar High product, has
taken on the assignment of covering the opponent's most valuable
player. In addition, Powers said UCI's 6-9, 220-pound sophomore
Dreason Barry takes the pressure off him, and vice versa.