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Zags Host Idaho State and UCSB

Sept. 25, 2007

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Game 8
Idaho State at Gonzaga
Martin Field
Spokane, Wash.
Friday, Sept. 28, 3 p.m.

Series Record:
GU 4-1-0
Last Meeting:
GU 2, @ISU 0 in 2005

Game 9
UCSB at Gonzaga
Martin Field
Spokane, Wash.
Sunday, Sept. 30, Noon

Series Record:
GU 1-0
Last Meeting:
GU 1, @UCSB 0

THIS WEEK: Gonzaga University continues its home stand this week as it hosts Idaho State University and UC Santa Barbara. Idaho State will travel to Martin Field on Friday, September 28, at 3 p.m. before the Bulldogs host UCSB Sunday, September 30, at Noon.

NEXT WEEK: Next week, Gonzaga University will play a mid-week match before traveling to the state of Oregon for the final two non-conference matches of the season. Tuesday, October 2, the Zags will host Boise State University at Martin Field at 3 p.m. The Bulldogs will then face two Pacific-10 Conference foes as it matches-up against Oregon State University Friday, October 5, at 7 p.m. at Corvallis before traveling to Eugene to face the University of Oregon on Sunday, October 7, at 1 p.m.

LAST WEEK: Gonzaga University hosted Utah State University in its lone match of the week. The Zags defeated the Aggies 2-1 Friday, September 21, at Martin Field. The Bulldogs jumped out to 1-0 lead at 41:36 when Ashley Riley scored her third goal in as many matches when she headed the ball in after connecting with a pass from Sarah Hall. A goal by Jamie Blanche during the 85th minute gave the Zags a 2-0 advantage, but the Bulldogs were unable to secure the shutout thanks to a Utah State goal at 84:49.

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.

RILEY LOOKS TO CONTINUE SCORING STREAK: Freshman Ashley Riley, of the Gonzaga University women's soccer team, will look to continue her three-match scoring streak this week when the Bulldogs host Idaho State University and UC Santa Barbara. Riley started her scoring run Friday, September 14, when the native of Taos, New Mexico scored her first collegiate goal against Vanderbilt University during the 67th minute. Sunday, September 16, the rookie posted the game-winner at 82:06 as the Zags defeated the University of Alabama-Birmingham 2-1 to earn the Vanderbilt University crown. Last week, against Utah State University, Riley put Gonzaga on the board with a goal at the 41:36 mark to give the Zags an early 1-0 lead and her third goal in as many matches. For her effots against Vanderbilt and UAB, Riley was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

ZAGS NOTCH FIRST TOURNAMENT CROWN IN PROGRAM HISTORY: Gonzaga University earned its first tournament crown in women's soccer history last weekend after sweeping the Vanderbilt University Tournament with a 2-0 record. The event marked the 12th time the Bulldogs have participated in a tournament. The Zags have now posted a 5-16-1 record in tournament play.

SCOUTING THE BENGALS: Idaho State University travels to Spokane with a 4-3-1 recording, including posting a 0-2-0 record when playing as the visitors. Two of the Bengals' three losses have come in overtime. Idaho State is fresh off a 2-0 weekend in which they defeated San Jose State University 2-1 and the Air Force Academy 1-0 in Pocatello. Jana Boehler leads the Bengals with eight points - three goals and two assists. Right on Boehler's heels is Natalie Graham with two goals and three assists for seven total points. The meeting between Idaho State and Gonzaga University will be the sixth in history, as the Bulldogs hold a 4-1-0 all time edge. In the last meeting between the two teams, in 2005, Gonzaga prevailed 2-0 at Idaho State.

SCOUTING THE GAUCHOS: UC Santa Barbara enters the weekend with a 3-3-2 overall record and will play a game in Pullman at Washington State University Friday before traveling to Spokane for Sunday's match. The Gauchos are traveling to the Inland Empire after a 2-0 weekend in which UCSB defeated Cal State Bakersfield 3-0 at Bakersfield and winning a 2-1 double overtime decision against San Diego State University at home. The Gauchos are led by Romy Barber, who has recorded three goals for six total points. Kailyn Kugler has posted five points for UCSB, as she has scored two goals and earned an assist. Gonzaga University won the only meeting against USCB, with a 1-0 decision last year at Santa Barbara.

FRESHMAN NAMED TO SOCCER BUZZ NATIONAL ELITE TEAM OF THE WEEK: Ashley Riley, a midfielder on the Gonzaga University women's soccer team, was  named to the Soccer Buzz National Elite Team of the Week for the week of September 17. Riley was one of 11 awarded the honor by the publication after the Bulldogs' posted a 2-0-0 record en route to winning the Vanderbilt University Tournament in Nashville, Tenn. Riley posted two goals at the event to earn the national accoalde. She was the only freshman to be named to the team that week, as well as one of three representatives from West Coast Conference schools.

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 seven games of this season, Blanche has posted fourteen shots to elevate her to fifth in the career ranks with 98, five shots short Walker Loseno (2000-04), who is ranked fourth. Her five shots against Utah State University on September 21, elevated her past Sarah Hawkins (2001-04), who was ranked fifth with 95 career 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 (83). Joining McCormick on the shots list is Jamie Blanche, who ranks fifth (98). Cristin Leverson currently is tied for ninth on the goals scored list with eight, while Soma ranks tied for second in assists with nine. Goalkeeper Jessie Thalman has posted three shutouts this season to bring her career shutout count to nine, placing her in second place on the career ranks. During her rookie campaign last season, Thalman posted six shutouts listing second in the record book.

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 was 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.

TWO NEW ADDITIONS TO COACHING STAFF: Gonzaga University head coach Shannon Stiles has two new assistant coaches on the sidelnes this season. Joining the Zags  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.

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.

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 65-88-7 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 faced both Vanderbilt and UAB as part of the Commodores' tournament in Nashville on Sept. 14 and 16.