Sept. 25, 2007
THIS WEEK IN GAEL SOCCER
Following wins over Sacramento State (2-0) and Valparaiso (1-0) last week, the Saint Mary's women's soccer team is off to a 4-2-2 start this season. Saint Mary's will return to action this week with two road games against nationally ranked opponents, both from the Pacific 10 Conference.
Saint Mary's will open the week against the No. 25 ranked California Golden Bears on Friday, September 28. Kick-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Edwards Stadium. Two days later, SMC will travel to Palo Alto to take on the No. 4 ranked Stanford Cardinal. The match against Stanford, which was ranked No. 1 in the country last week, will begin at 1 p.m. from Maloney Field.
Sophomore goalkeeper Tara Larson recorded back-to-back shutouts for the Gaels in wins over Sacramento State and Valpo last week. The shutouts were numbers two and three for the sophomore who has started just nine games in her career. Larson collected six saves in the two games, collecting three saves against both opponents. Larson has a 3-1-1 record this season and a .093 goals against average, allowing five goals in 482 minutes in net.
SCOUTING THE CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS
California enters this week with a 6-2 overall record following a 1-1 record last week. Cal suffered a 4-0 loss to No. 20 Missouri on Friday, then responded with a 1-0 win over Kansas on Sunday. The Golden Bears opened the season with four wins, before falling to CS Fullerton on Sept. 14. Cal has been ranked as high as No. 14 this season. California is outscoring its opponents 13-6 this season, while out shooting its opponents 127-56. Cal is allowing 0.73 goals per game, while scoring 1.58 goals per game.
Leading the Golden Bears are Stephanie Wieger and Katherine Daiss as both have six points on two goals and two assists. Caitlin Hannegan and Caroline Lea have two goals each, and five other players have netted at least one goal. Three players have seen action in goal for Cal, with Gina Pellegrini playing over 500 minutes. Pellegrini has a 0.71 goals against average, allowing four goals and posting 19 saves. She has three shutouts on the year.
SMC VERSUS CAL; THE SERIES
Friday's game will mark the 20th meeting all-time between SMC and Cal. Cal holds a 10-8-1 advantage in the series after winning the last two games between the two schools. The last win for SMC over Cal was a 3-2 decision during the 2001 season.
SCOUTING THE STANFORD CARDINAL
Stanford enters this week with a 7-1-0 overall record, and is coming off its first loss of the season. After winning their first seven games, the No. 1 ranked Cardinal suffered a 1-0 loss to Denver in the Colorado Classic. Stanford has posted three shutouts this season, has outscored its opponents 15-6 on the season, and has a team GAA of 0.74.
Kelley O'Hara is tied for the team lead with Lizzy George with eight points. O'Hara has three goals, which is tied for the team lead with Shari Summers and Morgan Redman. George has a team-high four assists. Erica Holland and Kira Maker have split time in goal, with Holland playing 460 of the team's 730 minutes. Holland has allowed four goals for a 0.78 GAA and Maker has given up two goals and has a 0.67 GAA.
SMC VERSUS STANFORD; THE SERIES
Sunday's game between SMC and Stanford will mark the 19th game between the two schools. Saint Mary's has a 2-14-2 record against the Cardinal. Stanford has won 13 of the last 14 games, with SMC and Stanford playing to a 0-0 draw in 2001.
SMC TAKES SEASON-HIGH 25 SHOTS
When SMC played Vermont at home on Sept. 7, Saint Mary's took a total of 25 shots. The 25 shots are the most this season, and the most since taking 25 shots against San Jose State last year. Since the 1999 season, the most shots taken in a game by the women's soccer team was 29 against Stephen F. Austin in 2004.
GAELS WIN 3 STRAIGHT, POST CONSECUTIVE SHUTOUTS
For the first time since the fourth game of the 2005 season, the Saint Mary's women's soccer team has won three straight games. After dropping the first game of the 2005 season to Cal, SMC won three straight to improve to 3-1. The Gaels posted back-to-back shutouts during that streak, which was also the last time SMC blanked two consecutive opponents. SMC defeated Sacramento State 2-0 and Valpo 1-0 last week.
WEINER LEADS TEAM AND WCC IN POINTS
Sophomore Allie Weiner started this season with a bang, and has been the West Coast Conference leader in points each week. In eight games, Weiner has scored a team-high four goals and dished out five assists for 13 points. She leads the WCC in points and is tied for second in goals and second in assists.
CILIENTO MAKES QUICK IMPACT
Freshman forward Alex Ciliento opened her Saint Mary's career with two goals in her first two games of the season. Since then, she has added game-winning goals in overtime wins over Valparaiso (1-0) and Vanderbilt (3-2). She is tied for second in the WCC in goals (4), is fifth in points (8), and third in shots (21).
FARRELL SCORES FIRST GOAL AT SMC
In the win over Sacramento State, sophomore reserve forward Tara Farrell scored her first collegiate goal. The goal came in the 37th minute and resulted in the game-winning goal for the Gaels. Farrell redirected a cross from Bree Villar with a header into the open net.
SAINT MARY'S TOPS 2006 WIN TOTAL
With its 1-0 overtime win over Valparaiso, Saint Mary's recorded win number four this season. The win eclipsed the win total from the 2006 season, when the Gaels managed just three total wins. Saint Mary's will look to add to its win total, as SMC still has 11 games remaining this season.
LARSON COLLECTS 11 SAVES IN FIRST WIN
En route to the first win of her career, sophomore goalkeeper Tara Larson made 11 saves against 30 shots from Vanderbilt. Although Larson allowed two goals, she made a season-high 11 saves before eventually winning in overtime. Larson had a career-best 16 saves against Northeastern during her freshman season. She now has a career 3-2-2 record.
GAELS KNOW OVERTIME
This season, Saint Mary's has played eight games and saw overtime in five of the eight matches. The Gaels have a 2-1-2 record in overtime games, with its overtime wins coming against Valparaiso and Vanderbilt. The school record for overtime games in a season is seven, which was set in 2005. SMC still has 11 games remaining on its schedule.
GAELS PICKED 8TH IN WCC COACHES POLL
The Saint Mary's women's soccer team was predicted to finish eighth in the WCC Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Gaels received eight total points. Portland garnered six first place votes to take the top spot and Santa Clara had two first place votes and was tabbed second.
LOOKING BACK AT LAST WEEK
Saint Mary's entered last week with a 2-2-2 record and posted back-to-back wins and two shutout performances to improve to 4-2-2 overall. Saint Mary's opened the weekend with dominating 2-0 win over Sacramento State for its third win of the season, matching the 2006 win total for the season. The Gaels got on the scoreboard in the first half when Tara Farrell headed in a pass from Bree Villar at the 36:07 mark. The goal by Farrell was the first of the career for the sophomore. Saint Mary's got an own goal at the 59:20 mark. The goal came of a Jessica Menzhuber free kick that was headed in the goal by a Hornet defender. Saint Mary's ended the weekend with a 1-0 overtime win over Valparaiso for its fourth win of the season. The game-winning goal came 5:35 into the first overtime session, when freshman forward Alex Ciliento scored her fourth goal of the season. It was Ciliento's second game-winner of the season. Goalkeeper Tara Larson notched her second and third shutout of her two-year career.
Following this weekend's games against a pair of ranked opponents, Saint Mary's will close out its non-conference schedule with road games against San Jose State and UC Davis. The Gaels will have just one game next week, that on the road, against the San Jose State Spartans on Friday, October 5. The game between SMC and SJSU will begin at 3 p.m. and will be played at Spartan Field. SMC will play at UC Davis on Friday, October 12.