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Zags Return Home For A Pair of Matches

Sept. 12, 2006

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THIS WEEK:
FRIDAY - Sept. 15

University of Oregon at Gonzaga, 3 p.m., Martin Field
SUNDAY - Sept. 17
Utah Valley State College at Gonzaga, 1 p.m., Martin Field

LAST WEEK:
Four Points Cats' Classic (Tucson, Ariz.)
Arizona 1, Gonzaga 0
Pacific 1, Gonzaga 0

NEXT WEEK:
Friday, Sept. 22 - Gonzaga at Idaho, 3. p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 24 - Long Beach State at Gonzaga, 1 p.m., Martin Field

BULLDOGS RETURN HOME AFTER TOUGH TRIP: The Gonzaga University women's soccer team returns home to Martin Field this weekend following a tough road trip to the Four Points Sheraton Cats' Classic in Tucson, Ariz. The weekend will kick off with the Zags hosting the University of Oregon Friday at 3 p.m. Sunday the Bulldogs will host Utah Valley State College at 1 p.m.

LAST WEEK ON THE PITCH: Last weekend Gonzaga University fell to 3-2-1 following two losses at the Four Points Sheraton Cats' Classic in Tucson, Ariz. Friday GU fell to host University of Arizona 1-0. Nanda McCormick and Christine Soma led the Bulldogs with three shots each. The Bulldogs looked to rebound Sunday but fell short again, dropping a 1-0 match to University of the Pacific.

HOME SWEET HOME: During the past two seasons, Gonzaga has posted a record of 15-1-1 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, 1-0.

FRESHMEN GET OFF TO STRONG START: At the quarter point of the season, freshmen Taylor Hall and Jessie Thalman both are ranked in multiple Gonzaga stat categories, as well ranked in the top 10 for many West Coast Conference categories. Hall is second on the team with four points, tied for first with two goals, tied for third with nine shots and tied for second with a .222 shot percentage. She is also ranked in the WCC top 10 in goals. Goalkeeper Thalman has started all six games for the Zags and ranks third in the WCC with 20 saves, seventh in saves per game with a 3.33 average, tied for second with two shutouts and ranks fourth with 0.33 shutouts per game. She posted a season high eight saves against the University of Pacific, one save short of the conference season-high nine saves set by University of San Francisco's Kelly Pohle.

LIVE ON THE INTERNET: All Gonzaga University home matches will be available via Gametracker on the internet at http://www.gozags.com. Check the Gonzaga web site for all Gametracker links.

SCOUTING THE DUCKS: The University of Oregon travels to Gonzaga University on a two-match win streak. Last weekend the Ducks competed in the Oregon State University Tournament, posting wins over University of New Hampshire and Iona College. The win victories snapped a six-match losing streak for UO. The Ducks defeated New Hampshire 1-0 on Friday. Sunday, Barbara Blocked led Oregon with a goal and two assists as Oregon overcame a two-goal deficit, scoring three goals in the final 21 minutes. Leading the Ducks in the 2006 campaign is Allison Newton. Newton has started all five games on the backline for Oregon, posting two goals for four points. The Ducks lead the all-time series with Gonzaga 3-1-2. The last meeting between Oregon and GU was in 2005 when the two teams battled to a 1-1 tie at Eugene, Ore.

FAMILIAR FACE: University of Oregon head coach Tara Erickson is familiar with Gonzaga University soccer. Prior to 2005, Erickson was the head coach at Portland State University from 2001-04. During her tenure with the Vikings, Erickson was 0-2-1 against the Zags. She has coached one game against GU as Oregon's head coach, a 1-1 tie in 2005. All-time against the Bulldogs, Erickson has amassed a 0-2-2 record.

SCOUTING THE WOLVERINES: Utah Valley State College comes to Martin Field with a 2-3-1 record and is coming off of a weather-shortened game that finished in a 1-1 tie to Dixie State College. The Wolverines are led by senior midfielder Chelsea Stone and senior defender Rebecca Peterson. Both Stone and Peterson lead UVSC with two goals, one assist for five points each. Peterson was named the United Soccer Conference Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 6 after scoring two goals and dishing out an assist in a 6-0 win over New Jersey Institute of Technology on Sept. 1. Gonzaga University won the only meeting between the two schools on the pitch, with a 3-2 victory at Orem, Utah in 2004.

MOVIN' ON UP: Junior Nanda McCormick continues to move up in the Gonzaga University women's soccer record books. McCormick, who had a breakout season in 2005, has continued her record-breaking performance this season. With her performance so far in 2006, McCormick gained sole possession of seventh place for career goals with 11 and seventh place for total career points with 26. The forward also holds numerous spots on the single-season record books thanks to her performance during the 2005 campaign. She ranks tied for fifth in single season goals (9), tied for fourth in total points (21) and ranks eighth in shots with 40.

CAREER FIRSTS HIGHLIGHT HOME OPENER: Freshman Taylor Hall posted her first career goal Sept. 1 in the 4-0 win over Birmingham Southern College...and then posted her second three minutes later. Her first goal of the afternoon came at 55:49 when she sailed the ball over the finger tips of Panther goalie Brittany Green. Hall then scored her second goal at 58:19 off of an assist by Christine Soma. Also posting her first career goal in the match was sophomore Sarah Hall. Hall posted the match-winning goal in the 21st minute when she connected with a pass from Cristin Leverson from five yards out.

THE STILES FILE: The first female head women's soccer coach in the history of the West Coast Conference, Shannon Stiles enters her eighth 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.

SCHEDULE NOTE: The Oct. 1 match versus UCLA will be played on UCLA's campus in Los Angeles. Some 2006 Gonzaga University women's soccer shedules may incorrectly indicate the location of the match. The match will be held at Drake Stadium at noon on Oct. 1. The match will mark the first meeting between the two progams. The Bruins are currently ranked as high as third in the national polls.

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.

TOUGH SCHEDULE AHEAD:Gonzaga University will face threeschools that are ranked in this week's national top 10, including facing two top-10 teams in back-to-back matches. On Oct 1 the Bulldogs will travel to Los Angeles to meet No. 3 UCLA, the 2005 NCAA runner-up. Seven days later the Zags will host defending national champion and No. 6 University of Portland at Martin Field. Gonzaga will face No. 3 Santa Clara University on the road on Oct. 22. All three schools that are currently ranked in the top-10 have been atop the rankings at some point this season. Portland topped the rankings in some of the preseason polls, as did UCLA. Santa Clara topped the Soccer Buzz national poll following the first week of the season.