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Vargas returns to UCI seas

October 24, 2002

Coaches Association poll. UCI will take on USC, which shares the

third-ranked spot with California, Sunday at noon.

"It was a pretty frustrating game," Newland said of the loss at

Pepperdine. "We shot 26 times and put it in only three times. We

turned the ball over way too many times. Every time you shoot and

miss, it's just like a turnover because they can sometimes

counterattack. And, you get in a funk. It's ugly."

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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

season.

"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

first quarter.

* 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

ability.

"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

Cardinal star.

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.

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