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Bulldogs To Face Vandals, No. 21 49ers

Sept. 19, 2006

SPOKANE, Wash. -

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THIS WEEK:
Friday, Sept. 22

Gonzaga University at University of Idaho, 3 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 24
No. 21 Long Beach State University at Gonzaga, 1p.m.

LAST WEEK:
Oregon, 1 Gonzaga, 0
Gonzaga, 2 Utah Valley State, 1

NEXT WEEK:
Friday, Sept. 29
Gonzaga at University of California - Santa Barbara, 7. p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 1
Gonzaga at No. 3 UCLA, Noon

BULLDOGS PLAY ONE ON THE ROAD, ONE AT HOME: The Gonzaga University women's soccer team will play one match on the road and one match at home this week. The Zags will travel to Moscow, Idaho Friday to face the University of Idaho at 3 p.m. before returning home to face nationally-ranked Long Beach State University on Sunday at 1 p.m.

LAST WEEK ON THE PITCH: Last weekend Gonzaga University went 1-1, moving to a 4-3-1 overall record. The Zags dropped their third straight in the final minutes of Friday's match against the University of Oregon, 1-0. Sunday, the Bulldogs rebounded with a 2-1 win over Utah Valley State College

HOME SWEET HOME: During the past two seasons, Gonzaga Universirty has posted a record of 16-2-1 when playing on their home pitch, Martin Field. Prior to Friday's loss to the University of Oregon, the Zags last suffered a loss at home on Oct. 10, 2004, when they fell to then-No. 4 University of Portland, 1-0.

AGAINST RANKED FOE: The Gonzaga University women's soccer team is looking to improve on its all time record against ranked opponents this weekend when it hosts No. 21 Long Beach State University on Sunday. The Zags' are 4-36-1 all-time when playing a ranked opponent. The last time GU won a match against a ranked foe was Oct. 14, 2005 when the Bulldogs blanked then-No. 10 Pepperdine University, 1-0. In its last match against a ranked opponent, GU fell 1-0 to then-No. 24 University of Southern California in the opening round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament.

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.

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 third in the national polls.

SCOUTING THE VANDALS: The 2006 season has been a rough one for the University of Idaho, who is still in search of its first win. The Vandals have fallen victim to eight shutouts, with the season's lone goals being scored in a 7-2 loss to California State University - Northridge. Ashley Irish and Sari Morrison have both posted goals for U of I, with Britta Rustad assisting on each of the two goals. Friday's meeting between Gonzaga University and Idaho will mark the seventh time the two programs have met on the pitch, with GU holding the 3-2-1 all-time advantage. In their meeting last season, Gonzaga posted a 3-2 victory at Martin Field. The last time the Bulldogs faced Idaho in Moscow, Idaho was in 2004, when the Zags posted a 2-1 overtime victory.

SCOUTING THE 49ers: Long Beach State University is off to a program-best start with a 7-1-0 overall record and are ranked 21st in the country. The only loss the 49ers have suffered this season came on Sept. 3 when they fell 1-0 to then-No. 5 UCLA. Long Beach State is coming off of a weekend in which they posted wins over Texas State University (6-1) and the University of Tennessee-Martin (1-0). Between the two matches, the 49ers broke school records for goals in a game (six) and shots in a game (34 vs. UTM). Goalkeeper Liz Ramos leads the 49ers with eight starts, seven wins, five shutouts, while allowing only one goal for a 0.14 goals-against average. Leading Long Beach State offensively is Kim Silos with three goals and four assists for 10 points. Sunday's meeting will be the first time the two programs have met on the pitch.

COMMON OPPONENTS: Both the University of Idaho and Long Beach State University have shared opponents this season with Gonzaga University. GU and Idaho each have played matches against Washington State University, as well as Utah Valley State College. The Bulldogs prevailed over UVSC 2-1 on Sept. 17 and drew to a 0-0 in double-overtime with the Cougars on Aug. 27. Idaho fell to opponents, falling to the Wolverines 2-0 on Sept. 15 and 2-0 to WSU on Sept. 17. Long Beach State and the Zags have both faced off against the University of Oregon. The Zags fell to the Ducks 1-0 on Sept. 15, while the 49ers were victorious, 1-0 in their season opener on Aug. 25.

OFFENSIVE THREAT: The six Gonzaga University juniors, Nanda McCormick, Cristin Leverson, Sarah Hall, Christine Soma, Jamie Blanche and Lauren Zuckerman, have been quite the offensive threat for GU opponents. The 2006 junior class has combined for over two thirds of the team's total goals and points, as well as all of the Zags' total assists. In total, the juniors boast seven goals, eight assists and twenty points. Leading the pack is McCormick with a team-leading six points (2 goals, 2 assists). As a team, GU has posted 11 goals, eight assists for 30 points.

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 27. 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.

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. 5 University of Portland at Martin Field. Gonzaga will face No. 4 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.