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Bulldogs To Face Regional Rivals

Sept. 4, 2007

SPOKANE, Wash. -

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Game 3
Washington State at Gonzaga
Martin Field
Spokane, Wash.
Friday, September 7, 2:00 p.m.

Game 4
Gonzaga at Eastern Washington
EWU Sports & Recreation Center
Cheney, Wash.

Sunday, September 9, 1:00 p.m.

THIS WEEK: Gonzaga University will continue non-conference play this weekend, facing two regional rivals. Friday, 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. Sunday, to play Eastern Washington University at 1 p.m.

NEXT WEEK: Gonzaga University will participate in its only tournament of the season next weekend, when it travels to Nashville, Tenn. to play in the Vanderbilt University Tournament. As part of the event, the Zags will face two teams that advanced to the NCAA postseason a year ago. Friday, GU will play host Vanderbilt in the nightcap of the opening day of the tournament. Kick off is slated for 5:30 p.m, PT. The Bulldogs will wrap up the tournament Sunday, against the University of Alabama-Birmingham at 9 a.m., PT.

LAST WEEK: The Gonzaga University women's soccer team opened the 2007 campaign last weekend as it hosted the University of Idaho Friday and traveled to the University of Montana Sunday. The Zags were unable to open the season in winning fashion against the Vandals, dropping a 2-0 decision at Martin Field. Sunday, the Bulldogs rebounded to defeat the Grizzlies 1-0 in Missoula. The score remained knotted 0-0 until the 56th minute when Christine Soma connected with a pass from Sarah Hall for the lone goal of the match.

GAME WINNING GOAL PROPELS SOMA: Senior Christine Soma's goal during the 56th minute of Sunday's game against the University of Montana, not only lifted Gonzaga University over the Grizzlies, but it also propelled Soma into the record books. The goal was the eighth of her career, placing her in a three-way tie for ninth place in the career record ranks.

THALMAN PICKS UP WHERE SHE LEFT OFF: Sophomore goalkeeper Jessie Thalman picked up where she left off this weekend, posting her seventh career shutout. As a freshman, Thalman recorded six shutouts, to place her second on the single season list. Gonzaga University's 1-0 victory over the University of Montana Sunday marked the seventh of her young career.

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 will also feature live stats. Links to live stats can be found on the women's soccer schedule page on the Bulldogs' website.

STREAK BUSTED: With a 2-0 loss to the University of Idaho Friday to open the season, Gonzaga University broke a four-year streak of winning its first match of the season. The last time the Zags dropped the opening match was on August 31, 2002 when they fell 2-1 to the Air Force Academy. Prior to Friday, the last time the Bulldogs had been shutout in a season opener was when the University of Oregon defeated Gonzaga 1-0 in 2001.

SCOUTING THE COUGARS: The Washington State University Cougars travel to Spokane on Friday with an 1-0-0 record. The Cougars,  who are receiving votes in the national polls, defeated the University of Montana 2-1 in their only action to date this season. During its lone preseason exhibition contest, WSU downed the University of Idaho 4-0. Washington State finished the 2006 campaign with a 9-7-4 overall record, including going 4-3-2 in league play to finish tied for fourth in the Pacific-10 Conference. Highlighting the Cougars returning players this season are midfielders Anna Miller and Carly Dobratz. Miller led WSU in 2006 with three goals and nine assists for 15 total points, while Dobratz scored three goals and posted five assists for 11 total points. In their meeting last season, Gonzaga University and Washington State battled to a scoreless tie in double overtime as part of the Cougar Classic in Pullman, Wash. Friday, the Zags will be looking for their first victory over WSU, as the Cougars hold a 12-0-1 all-time advantage.

SCOUTING THE EAGLES:   Eastern Washington University enters the weekend with a 1-1-0 record after splitting a pair of games at the Northern Arizona University Mountain Classic in Flagstaff, Ariz. The Eagles opened the season by defeating Lamar University 5-0 in the tournament opener. Sunday, EWU dropped a 3-2 decision to Temple University in double overtime. All seven goals over the weekend were scored by different members of the Eagles' roster. Leading the pack is Cyeeta Mott, who posted a goal Sunday and two assists during Friday's rout. Lillian Bourret also posted a strong weekend, earning a goal and an assist against Lamar. Eastern Washington is looking to improve during 2007, as last season the Eagles posted a 5-13-1 record, with a 1-6-0 mark in Big Sky Conference action. Last season, Gonzaga University welcomed EWU to Martin Field, where the Zags prevailed 3-0. Gonzaga holds the all-time series advantage 8-3-1, including four-straight victories over the Eagles.  

SIX SENIORS 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 is All-West Coast Conference second team honoree midfielder Lauren Zuckerman. Midfielder Christine Soma and defender 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.

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, 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 continues, numerous members of the Gonzaga University squad are looking to move up in the Bulldogs' women's soccer career record book. With her goal in Sunday's victory, Christine Soma entered the top ten in goals scored, placing her self in a three-way tie for ninth with eight goals. Nanda McCormick currently ranks third in career goals (16), fourth in total points (37) and eighth in shots (79). Joining McCormick on the shots list is Jamie Blanche, who ranks seventh (87). Cristin Leverson currently is tied for ninth on the goals scored list with eight, while 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.

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. Cullen and Riley each have started both games for GU this year, while Jones started against the University of Idaho and served as a subsitution against the University of Montana. Sweeney saw time as a reserve at Montana.

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 61-87-7 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.