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Women's Soccer Returns Home to Take on San Jose State on Wednesday

Sept. 19, 2006

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Saint Mary's will play just one game this week, that against the San Jose State Spartans on Wednesday, September 20. The game between SMC and San Jose State will kickoff at 4 p.m. and will be played at Saint Mary's Stadium. Saint Mary's is 1-5-2 overall and is coming off a week that saw the Gaels post an 0-0-2 record in the Harvard Invitational. The Gaels played Northeastern to a 1-1 draw on Friday then followed that performance with a 0-0 tie with Harvard. San Jose State is currently 2-4-1 following a 1-1 record last week. The Spartans were defeated at home by Sacramento State (2-1) on Sept. 13, then defeated Notre Dame De Namur 3-1 on Sunday.

Tara Larson made her first starts of the season in the Harvard Invitational last weekend. The true freshman played all 220 minutes in the tournament and allowed just one goal while making 12 saves. Larson had a 0.41 goals against average in the tournament and posted SMC's first shutout of the season in the 0-0 draw with Harvard on Sunday.

The San Jose State Spartans enter Wednesday's game with a 2-4-1 overall record. The Spartans have struggled on the road this season and have an 0-3-1 record in four road matches. San Jose State is currently 0-1-1 against the West Coast Conference, with a tie against Loyola Marymount (1-1) to open the season and a loss to San Francisco (3-1). After opening the season with an 0-3-1 record, SJSU posted a 2-1 record in its last three games. SJSU has scored a total of 10 goals, but has give up 16 goals to its opponents. The Spartans are being outshot 46-33 this year.

Leading the Spartans' offense this season is sophomore forward Jessica Scott. Scott has seven points with three goals and one assist and has taken a team-high 22 shots. Sophomore midfield Jennifer Guadagnolo has two goals and is the only other player with roster with multiple goals this season. Junior midfielder Nicole Irwin leads the team with three assists. Kelsea Scott has played in four matches and logged more than 363 minutes in goal. Scott has allowed seven goals, has 21 saves and has a 1.73 goals against average.

When Saint Mary's and San Jose State take the field against each other on Wednesday, it will mark the eighth match between the two schools. Saint Mary's won the first six meetings of the series, before SJSU defeated the Gaels 3-2 in double overtime last season. The series began in 1999 and the two schools have played in each of the last eight years. In the series, Saint Mary's has outscored the Spartans by an 18-4 mark. SMC has posted five shutouts in the series.

This season, Saint Mary's is scheduled to play three teams that are ranked in the nation's top-25. SMC suffered a 2-1 loss to No. 15 CS Fullerton on Sept. 1 and the Gaels have two more ranked opponents on the schedule. Santa Clara and Portland from the West Coast Conference are also in the top-25. Santa Clara is ranked No. 5 and Portland is ranked No. 7.

Sophomore midfield Danielle Spann netted her third goal of the season in SMC's 1-1 draw with Northeastern on Friday. Spann's team-leading third goal came off a cross from Joelle Gizzi late in the first half. Spann scored her first two goals of the season in the first game of the year. She missed two games this season due to injury.

Tara Larson, McKenna Belzer and Stefani Rocco were named to the Harvard Invitational All-Tournament Team when the Gaels posted two ties on the trip to Boston. Larson recorded 12 saves and allowed one goal in the tournament. Belzer had the most scoring opportunities for the Gaels, taking seven shots, with six on goal, in the two games. Rocco played solid for the Gaels in the midfield as she recorded four shots.

First-year head coach Kelly Lindsey did not have to wait long to get the first win of her career. The Gaels opened season with a 3-1 victory over Long Island on August 25. Since the win in game one, Saint Mary's has posted an 0-5-2 record in the last seven games. Lindsey will look for win number two at home on Wednesday against San Jose State.

Last week the Gaels traveled to Boston, MA to participate in the Harvard Invitational. SMC played against Northeastern and Harvard in the two-game tournament. Saint Mary's opened the tournament with a 1-1 draw against Northeastern, which entered the game with a 4-1 record. The Gaels lone goal was scored by Danielle Spann, which came off a cross from the Joelle Gizzi. The goal for Spann was the third of the season for the sophomore and came in the 43rd minute. Gizzi's assist marked the second of the season for the senior defender. Saint Mary's had a chance to pull out the win when Amy Massey headed a cross from Gizzi on a corner kick. Massey's header was on frame, but a Huskies defensive field player cleared the attempt off the line. Sunday's match against Harvard, Saint Mary's played the Crimson to a 0-0 draw, giving SMC its first shutout of the season. Tara Larson had a good weekend in goal for the Gaels as she recorded 12 saves in 220 minutes while allowing just one goal over that time.

Next Week
Next week, Saint Mary's will travel to Albuquerque, NM to compete in the New Mexico Tournament on September 29 and October 1. Saint Mary's will open the event against the Lobos on Friday with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. The second game of the tournament will have the Gaels facing Northern Arizona at noon on Sunday.