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Zags Travel To Vanderbilt Tournament

Sept. 12, 2007

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Game 5
Gonzaga at Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt Tournament
Nashville, Tenn.
Friday, September 14, 5:30 p.m.

Game 6
Gonzaga vs. Alabama-Birmingham

Vanderbilt Tournament
Nashville, Tenn.
Sunday, September 16, 9:00 a.m.


THIS WEEK: Gonzaga University will participate in its only tournament of the season this 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.

NEXT WEEK: After the Vanderbilt University Tournament, Gonzaga University returns to Martin Field to host two non-conference match-ups. Friday, Sept. 21st, at 3 p.m. the Bulldogs will host Utah State University at Martin Field. Sunday, the 23rd, UC Santa Barbara will travel to Spokane to face the Zags at 1 p.m.

LAST WEEK: Gonzaga University continued non-conference play last week, facing two regional rivals. Friday, the Bulldogs fell 2-1 in double-overtime to Washington State University. Jamie Blanche scored her first goal of the season for the Zags in the loss. Gonzaga then traveled the short trip to Cheney, Wash. Sunday, beating Eastern Washington University 2-0. Nanda McCormick and Lauren Zuckerman each scored goals during the match, while Kelcey Goddard earned two assists.

GONZAGA IN TOURNAMENT PLAY: When the Gonzaga University women's soccer team participates in the Vanderbilt University Tournament this weekend, it will mark the Bulldogs' 12th time participating in a tournament. In the program's history the Zags have posted a 3-16-1 record in tournament play. Last season, Gonzaga participated in the Cougar Classic hosted by Washington State University and the Four Points' Cats Classic hosted by the University of Arizona. The Bulldogs combined to go 1-2-1 in tournament play last season.

ZUCKERMAN LAUNCHES CAREER FIRST: Senior Lauren Zuckerman of the Gonzaga University women's soccer team scored her first career goal Sunday during the Zags' 2-0 victory over Eastern Washington University. Zuckerman recorded ther goal at the 18:21 mark of the match as the senior connected on a pass from Kelcey Goddard. This season marks the first year Zuckerman has played at the forward position, as the past three years she has been a mainstay on the Bulldog backline.

THALMAN PICKS UP WHERE SHE LEFT OFF: Sophomore goalkeeper Jessie Thalman continued her pursuit of school records Sunday, posting her eighth career shutout, as well as the second of the season as the Zags downed Eastern Washington University 2-0. Thalman currentls ranks second on the career shutout list. As a freshman, Thalman recorded six shutouts, to place her second on the single season list.

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.

SCOUTING THE COMMODORES:  Vanderbilt University, a 2006 NCAA Tournament squad, enters its own tournament with a 2-1-1 record. Last weekend, the Commodores dropped a 2-1 decision to the University of Alabama - Birmingham, also a participant in the VU Tournament, before defeating Tennessee Tech University 6-0. Sarah Dennis leads Vanderbilt's offense with four goals scored. Megan Forester has also posted multiple goals with two as well as two assists for six points. The Commodores have only allowed two goals this season, both coming in the loss to UAB. The goalkeeping staff of Rachel Bachtel and Devan Council has posted 18 saves and a 0.48 goals against average. Friday's match-up between Gonzaga University and Vanderbilt will be the first meeting on the pitch between the two programs.

SCOUTING THE BLAZERS:  The University of Alabama-Birmingham enters the Vanderbilt University Tournament with a 3-0-1 record. The Blazers, who participated in the NCAA Tournament a year ago, are led by Justine Hartigan. Hartigan leads UAB with a team-high two goals on six shots, both were game-winners. Sally Palmer, Danya Barsalona and Nadine Liverpool have also recorded goals for UAB. The Blazers' defense has proven to be tough to permeate this season, as it has allowed only one goal in four contests. Goalkeeper Kate Blankenship is boasting a 0.24 goals against average and three shutouts. Sunday's meeting between UAB and Gonzaga University will mark the first in program history.

SHOWING UP IN NUMBERS: Nearly 1,020 fans showed up to Martin Field on September 7 to watch the Gonzaga University women's soccer team face off against regional rival Washington State University. The record crowd as the largest at a Bulldog home match since the Zags battled then-No. 5 Santa Clara University to a 0-0 double overtime tie on October 23, 2005 in front of 1,164 Bulldog fans.

UPPER CLASSMEN LEAD THE WAY: The Gonzaga University women's soccer team features six seniors this season, as well as four juniors. To date, all of Gonzaga's goals have been scored or assisted by a member of the upperclassmen. Seniors Christine Soma, Jamie Blanche, Lauren Zuckerman and Nanda McCormick have all posted goals for the Zags. Senior Sarah Hall and junior Kelcey Goddard have each tallied assists. In total, the six Zags have accounted for all 11 of Gonzaga's total points.

BLANCHE SHOOTS HER WAY UP THE RANKS: Senior Jamie Blanche entered the 2007 campaign ranked seventh on the Gonzaga University women's soccer career shots list with 84 shots. During the first four games of this season, Blanche has posted eight shots to elevate her to sixth in the career ranks with 92, three shots short of Sarah Hawkins (2001-04), who is ranked fifth.

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 against the University of Montana on Sept. 2, Christine Soma entered the top ten in goals scored, placing her in a three-way tie for ninth with eight goals. Nanda McCormick currently ranks third in career goals (17), fourth in total points (39) and eighth in shots (81). Joining McCormick on the shots list is Jamie Blanche, who ranks sixth (93). Cristin Leverson currently is tied for ninth on the goals scored list with eight, while Soma ranks tied for sixth in assists with eight.

GAME WINNING GOAL PROPELS SOMA: Senior Christine Soma's goal during the 56th minute of the September 2nd 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.

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, four of which have seen significant Catherine Cullen and Ashley Riley each have started all four games for GU this year, while Sheridan Jones started against the University of Idaho and served as a subsitution against the University of Montana and Washington State University. Elle Sweeney saw time as a reserve at Montana and against WSU.

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 62-88-7 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.