Aug. 22, 2006
BULLDOGS OPEN SEASON AT PULLMAN: The 25th-ranked Gonzaga University women's soccer team opens the 2006 campaign Friday when it takes on Oregon State University as part of the Washington State University tournament at Pullman, Wash. Game time is noon. The match marks the sixth consecutive season that the Zags will have opened the season on the road. Gonzaga will meet host Washington State, Sunday at 2 p.m.
BURSTING INTO THE NATIONAL RANKINGS: The Gonzaga University women's soccer team is ranked 25th in the preseason poll released by Soccer Buzz. The top-25 ranking marks the first time in program history the Bulldogs have been ranked in the preseason. In addition to the national ranking, the Zags are tabbed eighth in the West Region by the magazine.
HISTORIC 2005 SEASON: Gonzaga University earned a preseason ranking after coming off a historic season in 2005. Last season the Zags advanced to their inaugural NCAA Tournament as well as setting single-season program records for wins with 12, most consecutive wins with seven, most shutouts with 11 and their highest finish ever in the WCC with a 3-1-3 record for a third place showing.
POSTSEASON HONORS ROLL IN FOR ZAGS: Following the 2005 campaign, multiple postseason honors rolled in for members of the Gonzaga University women's soccer team. Capping off the postseason accolades was then-senior goalkeeper Ashley Haugen being named a Soccer Buzz All-America honorable mention selection. A program-best six players earned All-West Coast Conference Honors with Haugen garnering a first-team selection. Beth Drollinger, Christine Soma and Lori Conrad, all returnees to the 2006 squad, earned second-team honors. Conrad was also named to the All-WCC Freshman Team, while Stacey Sarro and Lauren Zuckerman earned honorable mention accolades. Both Sarro and Zuckerman will return to the pitch this season for the Zags. In addition to the conference honors, Haugen, Drollinger and Conrad earned All-West Region accolades by Soccer Buzz. Haugen was named to the first-team All-West Region, while Drollinger and Conrad were give third-team and freshman team accolades, respectively. Capping off the postseason accolades was Haugen being named a Soccer Buzz All-America honorable mention selection.
SCOUTING THE BEAVERS: Oregon State University is ready to kick off the 2006 season following an '05 campaign in which the Beavers posted a 10-8-1 overall record and finished eighth in the Pacific-10 Conference. OSU will be lead by junior Jodie Taylor, a two-time All-Pac-10 first team honoree, who was named to the Soccer Buzz All-West Region second team as well as the NSCAA All-West Region third team last season. Taylor ranks fourth in program history in careers goals (25) and points (58). She is also a member of the English U-21 team and the Boston Renegades of the W-League. During the match last season between the Zags and Beavers, Gonzaga posted its first program win against Oregon State, with a 2-0 victory in Corvallis.
SCOUTING THE COUGARS: Washington State University is coming off the heels of an 11-win season, posting an 11-7-2 overall record and 4-4-1 record in the Pacific-10 Conference, finishing in a three-way tie for fifth. The Cougs are led by sophomore forward Megan Hyte and junior defender Shaye Harrel. Hyte leads WSU returnees with five goals and two assists for 12 points during her rookie season. Harrel, an All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection, anchored the Cougar backline last season that held opponents to a .097 shot percentage. Gonzaga University is looking for the program's first win over Washington State. The last time the two teams met on the pitch was during the 2002 season, with the Cougs defeating the Zags 8-0 in Pullman.
ZAGS PICKED THIRD IN WCC: The Gonzaga University women's soccer team has been selected to finish third in the 2006 West Coast Conference pre-season women's soccer poll as voted by the conference's head coaches. The third place selection for the Bulldogs marks the highest the team has ever been tabbed to finish. Topping the conference poll is defending national champion University of Portland. Santa Clara University, which earned three first place votes, earned the second place pick. The Broncos are followed in the poll by GU, with Pepperdine University and University of San Diego rounding out the top five. Loyola Marymount University, Saint Mary's College and the University San Francisco rounded out the sixth, seventh and eighth spots, respectively.
HOME SWEET HOME: During the past two seasons, Gonzaga has posted a record of 13-1-1 when playing on their home pitch, Martin Field. The Zags last suffered a loss at home on Oct. 10, 2004, when they fell to then-No. 4 University of Portland, 0-1.
THE STILES FILE: The first female head women's soccer coach in the history of the West Coast Conference, Shannon Stiles enters her eightth season at Gonzaga University with the program coming off its third consecutive winning season. The Bulldogs set single single-season program records for wins with 12, most consecutive wins with seven, most shutouts with 11, as well as its highest finish in the WCC with a 3-1-3 record last season. In 2003, Stiles was named the WCC Coach of the Year after guiding the Bulldogs to their first winning season in program history.