Aug. 28, 2007
SPOKANE, Wash. -
Idaho at Gonzaga
Friday, August 31, 3:00 p.m.
Gonzaga at Montana
South Campus Stadium
Sunday, September 2, 1:00 p.m.
THIS WEEK: The Gonzaga University women's soccer teamopens the 2007 campaign this weekend as it hosts the University of Idaho and travels to the University of Montana. The season will kick off Friday when the Zags and Vandals face off at Martin Field at 3 p.m. Sunday, the Bulldogs will travel to Missoula to play the Grizzlies at 1 p.m. PST.
NEXT WEEK: Gonzaga University will continue non-conference play next weekend, facing two regional rivals. Friday, Sept. 7, the Bulldogs will welcome Washington State University to the confines of Martin Field. Kick off is scheduled for 2 p.m. The match will be the first game of a double-header with the GU men's soccer team, who will play the University of Washington at 4 p.m. The Zags will then take the short trip to Cheney, Wash. on Sunday, Sept. 9 to play Eastern Washington University at 1 p.m.
LAST SEASON : The Gonzaga University women's soccer program continued its success last season, as the Zags posted a 10-9-1 record, including going 3-4-0 in West Coast Conference play. The Zags posted their fourth consecutive year in which the Bulldogs posted a winning season, as well as 10 or more wins in a season.
LIVE ON THE INTERNET: All Gonzaga University home games will be available via Gametracker on the internet at http://www.gozags.com. Check the Gonzaga web site for all Gametracker links. Select away matches, including Sunday's match at the University of Montana, will also feature live stats. Links to live stats can be found on the women's soccer schedule page on the Bulldogs' website.
SIX SENIORS TO LEAD THE BRIGADE: This season's squad features a multitude of talent as Gonzaga University returns six seniors who saw action in every match last season. Leading the brigade of seniors will be All-West Coast Conference second team honoree midfielder Lauren Zuckerman. Midfielder Christine Soma and forward Nanda McCormick, both All-WCC honorable mention selections, also return for the Zags. Rounding out the talented group of seniors are defender Cristin Leverson, forward Jamie Blanche and midfielder Sarah Hall.
BULLDOGS RETURN FIVE ALL-CONFERNCE HONOREES: In 2006, Gonzaga University earned five All-West Coast Conference selections, the second highest in program history. All five selections - Lauren Zuckerman, Nanda McCormick, Christine Soma, Taylor Hall and Jessie Thalman - return to the roster this season as the Zags look to extend their four-year string of winning seasons. Zuckerman was named All-WCC second team, while Soma and McCormick earned honorable mention accolades. Hall and Thalman each earned a spot on the conference's All-Freshman squad. In 2005, the Bulldogs landed six all-conference selections, setting a program record.
SCOUTING THE VANDALS: The University of Idaho opens the 2007 campaign Friday when it travels to Spokane to face Gonzaga University at Martin Field. The Vandals are looking to rebound from a tough 2006 season, in which U of I recorded a 0-17-2 record. Leading the charge this season for Idaho are junior forwards Ashley Irish and Nicole McAllister. Both Irish and McAllister led all Vandal veterans with one goal a piece in 2006. In two exhibition matches this fall, Idaho posted a 1-1 record. The Vandals downed Central Washington University, 2-1, before falling to Washington State University 4-0 in a final preseason tune-up. When Idaho travels to Spokane, it will be looking to improve its all-time series record against the Zags, as the Bulldogs hold the 5-2-1 advantage, including a 3-0 victory over the Vandals last season in Moscow, Idaho.
SCOUTING THE GRIZZLIES: The University of Montana kicks off the 2007 season this weekend after a strong 2006 campaign in which the Grizzlies posted a 10-8-2 record, including finishing tied for second in the Big Sky Conference with a 4-2-1 record. Montana was the 16th most improved team in NCAA Division I last season, after rebounding from a 3-13-1 record in 2005. Montana returns 13 letterwinners from the 2006 squad, including sophomore goalkeeper Grace Harris, the 2006 Big Sky top newcomer honoree. During her freshman campaign, Harris posted a 0.91 goals-against-average, allowing 18 goals while recording 77 saves. The Grizzlies hold the all-time series advantage over Gonzaga University 12-4-1, though, last season, the Zags defeated Montana 3-1 in Spokane.
THALMAN NAMED TO ALL-WEST REGION FRESHMEN TEAM: Sophomore goalkeeper Jessie Thalman was named to the Soccer Buzz All-West Region Freshmen Team last season after an impressive rookie campaign. In her first year as a Bulldog, Thalman started all 20 matches, posted six shutouts and combined for two others, while holding opponents to 21 goals and making 70 saves. Her six shutouts tied her for second on the all-time single season list and places her second in the career ranks, while her 21 goals allowed is the third lowest amount in program history.
OFFENSIVE THREAT: The six Gonzaga University seniors - Nanda McCormick, Cristin Leverson, Sarah Hall, Christine Soma, Jamie Blanche and Lauren Zuckerman - were quite the offensive threat for GU opponents last season. As juniors, the pack combined for over half of the team's total goals, all but five of the total assists, over half of the Zags' total points and over half of the GU's total shots. In total, the seniors boasted 14 goals, nine assists, 37 points and 130 shots. Leading the pack was McCormick with a team-high seven goals and two assists for 16 points. As a team, GU posted 23 goals, 14 assists for 60 points and 225 shots.
MOVIN' ON UP: As the 2007 season opens, numerous members of the Gonzaga University squad are looking to move up in the Bulldogs' women's soccer career record book. Nanda McCormick currently ranks third in career goals (16), fourth in total points (37) and eighth in shots (76). Joining McCormick on the shots list is Jamie Blanche, who ranks seventh (84). Cristin Leverson currently is tied for ninth on the goals scored list with eight, while Christine Soma ranks tied for sixth in assists with eight.
TWO NEW ADDITIONS TO COACHING STAFF: Gonzaga University head coach Shannon Stiles has announced two new assistant coaches for the 2007 campaign. Joining the Zags this season are assistant coach John Cossaboon and volunteer assistant coach Tiera Como. Cossaboon joins the Bulldogs from Southern Methodist University where he served as head coach for the last four years. During his tenure, he led the Mustangs to four conference titles. In addition to SMU, Cossaboon has been the head coach at UC Santa Barbara and the University of San Diego, where he led the Toreros to four consecutive NCAA appearances from 1999-2002. Como joins the Stiles' staff after capping an outstanding career as goalkeeper at Eastern Washington University where she was twice named All-Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year.
DUO HONORED FOR ACADEMIC ACHEIVEMENTS: Current Gonzaga University senior Nanda McCormick and former Zag Beth Drollinger were both named to the ESPN The Magazine College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) District VIII All-Academic women's soccer team at the conclusion of the 2006 season. McCormick, a second-team selection, was honored after posting a 3.30 GPA in business administration, while Drollinger, a 2007 graduate and third-team selection, posted a 3.60 GPA in civil engineering.
ZAGS ADD EIGHT FOR 2007 CAMPAIGN: Gonzaga University welcomes a solid incoming class to the Bulldog family this season, as the Zags have added eight newcomers to the 2007 roster. Catherine Cullen, Ashley Riley, Sheridan Jones, Lauren Ames and Elle Sweeney will all add to Gonzaga's depth. Cullen and Sweeney are expected to make an instant impact in the defense, while Riley and Jones will add to the attack. Ames will add depth to the Bulldog's already strong goalkeeping position. Also new to the Zags are reserve goalkeeper redshirt sophomore Kayla Jerde, and a pair of freshman, midfielders Gwenna Carrie and Katie Spangenberg.
ZAGS PICKED TO FINISH SIXTH IN WCC:
The Gonzaga University women's soccer team has been picked to finish sixth in the West Coast Conference for the 2007 season according to a preseason vote of the league's head coaches. The University of Portland, who advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2006 NCAA Tournament, was selected as the preseason favorite to take home the conference's regular season title. Santa Clara, who garnered a No. 1 seed to heading into the NCAA's last season, was picked to finish second, followed by Pepperdine University and the University of San Diego picked third and fourth, respectively. Selected fifth was Loyola Marymount University followed by the Zags at sixth. University of San Francsico was picked to finished seventh with Saint Mary's College rounding out the poll in eighth.
THE STILES FILE: The first female head women's soccer coach in the history of the West Coast Conference, Shannon Stiles enters her ninth season at Gonzaga University with the program coming off its fourth consecutive winning season. Last season, the Zags posted its fourth straight 10 or more win season with a 10-9-1 overall record. In 2005, 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. In 2003, Stiles was named the WCC Coach of the Year after guiding the Bulldogs to their first winning season in program history. For her career, Stiles has amassed a 60-86-7 overall record.
BULLDOGS FACE TOUGH 2007 SLATE:
This season Gonzaga University is looking to return to the NCAA postseason for the second time in program history as it faces a tough 2007 schedule. The Bulldogs will play six matches against teams that advanced to the NCAA tournament last season, including three in West Coast Conference action. Of the six teams that competed in the postseason - Vanderbilt University, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Idaho State University, University of Portland, Santa Clara University and Loyola Marymount University - the Zags will host two of the teams at Martin Field. The Bulldogs will play Idaho State on Sept. 28 and open their home WCC schedule with Santa Clara on Oct. 25. Gonzaga will face both Vanderbilt and UAB as part of the Commodores' tournament in Nashville on Sept. 14 and 16.