Sept. 25, 2007
IN A NUTSHELL: The 22nd-ranked University of San Diego women's soccer team (5-1-2) will put their four-match unbeaten streak on the line this week against another pair of Big West Conference opponents. On Friday, the Toreros will welcome Cal State Northridge to Torero Stadium for a 7 p.m. non-conference showdown. Then USD will travel to Stockton, Calif. for a 1 p.m. non-conference contest with the University of the Pacific Tigers at Stagg Memorial Stadium.
LAST TIME OUT: The Toreros ran their unbeaten streak to four as they posted back-to-back wins against UC Irvine and UC Riverside this past week. On Friday, the Toreros got a quick goal from junior forward Amy Epsten in the second minute of the match to give USD a 1-0 lead. After Irvine tied the match and forced overtime, Jen Mello came through for USD as she scored the game-winning goal in the 91st minute of the match. On Sunday, San Diego again got out to a quick 1-0 lead thanks to Epsten's second goal of the week in the sixth minute of action. Riverside tied things up in the 27th minute, then in the 57th minute, Mello scored her second difference-maker of the week to give USD a 2-1 lead. Freshman Ashleigh Shoughro then put the match out of reach with her second goal of the season in the 82nd minute of action to put the game at its final of 3-1.
THE POLLS: The Toreros moved up three spots in the latest Soccer America top-25 poll to No. 22 after posting a 2-0-0 record this past week. USD is also listed as "Other Receiving Votes" in the latest Soccerbuzz top-30 poll, the NSCAA top-25 poll and in the Soccer Times top-25 poll. In Soccerbuzz's West Region poll, the Toreros check in at No. 9 and in the NSCAA West Region Poll, USD is ranked No. 5. Neither Cal State Northridge or Pacific are ranked in any of the polls.
SCOUTING THE MATADORS: Cal State Northridge enters the week with an overall record of 2-4-1 after picking up an overtime win over Hawaii this past week. Northridge and USD have met on four prior occasions with the Toreros claiming all four matches. Salma Tarik leads the team's offense with a team-high two goals and has one assist for a team-leading five points. Kellie Drenner anchors down the defense in goal as she is posting a 2.30 goals-against-average and owns a 0-1-0 record. Cal State Northridge is under the direction of second-year head coach Keith West. During his tenure at Northridge, West has posted an overall record of 12-13-1.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS: Pacific enters the week with an overall record of 5-2-1 after winning matches over Cal State Bakersfield and Valparaiso this past week. The Tigers and Toreros have met on four previous occasions with the Toreros holding a 3-1-0 edge. The offensive leader for the Tigers is Bunny Dickson, who has a team-leading four goals and has one assist for a team-best nine points. On the defensive side of things, senior goalkeeper Jaime Souza anchors things down with her 0.49 goals-against-average. The Tigers are under the direction of 13th-year head coach Keith Coleman. During his time in Stockton, Coleman has posted an overall record of 126-105-25.
MELLO NAMED WCC CO-PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior forward Jen Mello of the University of San Diego women's soccer team was named the West Coast Conference Co-Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday afternoon. Mello, who transferred to USD from cross-town rival San Diego State University, helped lead the Toreros to a 2-0 record this past week. Mello scored her first two goals in a Torero uniform, both of them were game-winners. Mello was able to net the difference maker in USD's 2-1 overtime win over UC Irvine this past Friday. Then on Sunday, Mello's goal in the 57th minute was again the difference maker in a 3-1 win over UC Riverside. Mello is now one of three toreros to tally two goals.
TOREROS AGAINST THE BIG WEST: So far this season, the Toreros have posted a perfect 2-0-0 record against opponents from the Big West Conference. USD will get to put that unblemished record on the line this week as they host Cal State Northridge on Friday, then travel to Stockton on Sunday for a 1 p.m. match against Pacific. USD will have one more match later this season against a member of the Big West in Cal State Fullerton, at Titan Stadium on Nov. 4
GOING STREAKING: San Diego is in the midst of a four-match unbeaten streak. The Toreros have only lost one match of the season, and that was back on Sept. 9, since then USD has posted wins over Cal Poly, UC Riverside, UC Irvine and tied No. 6 UCLA. The Toreros will look to extend that streak this week with a pair of matches.
WHO'S HOT FOR THE TOREROS: Along with the WCC Player of the Week Jen Mello, Amy Epsten has been red hot for the Toreros as of late. Epsten also tallied two goals this past week to give her a team-leading three on the season. Epsten is now tied with Leigh Ann Robinson for the team-lead in points with seven, as Epsten has one assist and Robinson has two goals and three assists to her credit.
DE-FENSE (CLAP, CLAP): The Toreros' defense clamped down against a pair of opponents this past weekend, holding a pair of powerful offenses in check en route to a pair of victories. San Diego held UC Irvine to just five shots in handing the Anteaters their second loss of the year. Two days later, the Toreros held UC Riverside to just six shots to snap the Highlanders three-game winning streak.
THE GREENWOOD FILE: Since taking over the San Diego women's soccer program in 2003, Ada Greenwood has upheld the rich soccer tradition that San Diego is known for and continues to build a successful and nationally recognized program. Just the third coach in USD's storied 15 year history, Greenwood has compiled an overall record of 39-36-7 in his four seasons at the helm. As San Diego's top assistant from 1998-2002, Greenwood helped USD to a 66-30-5 record and four NCAA College Cup appearances. In his second year as a head coach in 2004, he guided USD to a 12-8-2 overall record, a 5-1-1 mark in the difficult West Coast Conference, and a second round appearance in the NCAA College Cup, maintaining USD's streak of six consecutive postseason appearances. For his efforts, Greenwood was honored as both the 2004 West Coast Conference Coach of the Year and the 2004 San Diego Union Tribune Coach of the Year.
TOREROS TABBED FOURTH IN WCC PRESEASON POLL: The University of San Diego women's soccer team was selected to finish fourth in the 2007 West Coast Conference race according to a vote of the league's coaches. Coming off of an NCAA Tournament quarterfinal appearance in 2006, the University of Portland was selected as the preseason favorite to take home the 2007 West Coast Conference regular season title, as voted on by the conference's head coaches. The Pilots, who return nine starters from last year's squad, received six first place votes to tally 48 overall points. Santa Clara University was selected second with 44 total points, and received two first place votes. The Broncos are followed in the poll by Pepperdine University (33) and the University of San Diego (30). Selected fifth was Loyola Marymount University, which tallied 27 points, followed by Gonzaga University with 22 points. The University of San Francisco (12) and Saint Mary's College (8) round out this year's preseason poll in seventh and eighth place, respectively.