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GU Travels to Face UCSB and No. 5 UCLA

Sept. 26, 2006

SPOKANE, Wash. -

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THIS WEEK:
Friday, Sept. 29

Gonzaga University at UC Santa Barbara, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 1
Gonzaga at No. 5 UCLA, Noon

LAST WEEK:
Gonzaga 3, Idaho 0
Long Beach State 1, Gonzaga 0 (OT)

NEXT WEEK:
Sunday, Oct. 8 - No. 5 Portland at Gonzaga, Martin Field, 11 a.m.

SCHEDULE NOTE: The Oct. 1 match versus No. 5 UCLA will be played on UCLA's campus in Los Angeles. Some 2006 Gonzaga University women's soccer schedules 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 programs. The Bruins are currently ranked fifth in the national polls.

ZAGS TRAVEL FOR FINAL NON-CONFERENCE TUNE-UP: The Gonzaga University women's soccer team will hit the road in its final two non-conference games before West Coast Conference play begins. The Bulldogs will face off against UC Santa Barbara Friday evening at 7 p.m. in Santa Barbara. Sunday, GU will play No. 5 UCLA at Noon. The match against the Bruins will be the second game against a ranked opponent this season, and the second in the past three matches.

LAST WEEK ON THE PITCH: Last weekend Gonzaga University went 1-1, moving to a 5-4-1 overall record. The Bulldogs shut out the University of Idaho on Friday, 3-0. Scoring for GU was Lacey Castleberry, Christine Soma and Jessie Sorenson, who posted her first career goal. Sunday, GU hosted then-No. 21 Long Beach State at Martin Field, falling 1-0 in overtime.

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 plays No. 5 UCLA on Sunday. The Zags are 4-37-1 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 in overtime to then-No. 21 Long Beach State University on Sept. 24.

LIVE ON THE INTERNET: All Gonzaga University home matches will be available via Gametracker on the internet at http://www.gozags.com. This weekend, Sunday's match-up against No. 5 UCLA will also be available on Gametracker. Check the Gonzaga web site for all Gametracker links. Also this season, the Bulldogs' match against No. 3 Santa Clara on Oct. 22 will feature a free live video feed. The free video feed will be exclusively available on the West Coast Conference's website, www.wccsports.com.

SCOUTING THE GAUCHOS: UC Santa Barbara enters Friday's match looking to improve on its 2-4-3 overall record. The Gauchos' roster includes a recruiting class of eight that was ranked in the top-45 in the nation by Soccer Buzz Magazine. UCSB is currently led by senior Chandi Bickford with four goals and two assists for 10 points. Right behind her in the stats is the 2005 Big West Co-Freshman of the Year, Genelle Ivey with two goals and three assists for seven points. When Gonzaga University and the Gauchos meet on Friday, UCSB will be looking to break its two-match losing streak. The last game UC Santa Barbara won was Sept. 10 against Tulsa. Since the win, UCSB has posted a 0-2-1 record. Friday night's meeting between to two schools will be the first time the programs have met on the pitch.

SCOUTING THE BRUINS: UCLA, the 2005 NCAA Women's Cup runner-up, has posted a 7-2-0 overall record this season and are currently ranked fifth in the national polls. The Bruins are led by freshman Lauren Cheney, with five goals. Junior Danesha Adams, a member of the United States Women's National Team, was one of two UCLA squad members named to the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List to begin the season. Joining Adams on the list is junior goalkeeper Valerie Henderson, a member of the U.S. Under-20 team. More than half (15) of the student-athletes on UCLA's roster have been involved with the U.S. National Team Program at some point during their career. In addition, sophomore Kara Lang is a member of the Canadian National Team. Sunday's meeting marks the first time the two programs have met on the pitch.

HOME SWEET HOME: During the past two seasons, Gonzaga University has posted a record of 16-3-1 when playing on their home pitch, Martin Field. The Zags have dropped two games to date at home this season, which marks the first time since the 2003 campaign that GU has dropped multiple games while playing at Martin Field.

TEN DOWN, TEN TO GO: Sunday's match against then-No. 21 Long Beach State marked the half way point of the 2006 campaign for the Gonzaga University's women's soccer team. With half of the season finished, GU has posted a 5-4-1 record, with the harder half of the schedule ahead of them. Six of the 10 up-coming opponents have been ranked in the top 25 at least once this season, including three schools currently ranked in the top five. UCLA, Portland and Santa Clara are currently ranked in the top five, while Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine are placed in the top 25. West Coast Conference foe, San Diego, busted into the top 25 on Sept. 12, but has since fallen out of the national rankings.

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 all but six of the team's total goals, all but two of the total assists and over two thirds of the Zags' total points. In total, the juniors boast eight goals, seven assists and 23 points. Leading the pack is McCormick with six points (2 goals, 2 assists). McCormick shares the team-lead for points with sophomore Lacy Castleberry (3 goals, 0 assists). As a team, GU has posted 14 goals, nine assists for 37 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.

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.

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, begining this weekend. Sunday, the Bulldogs will travel to Los Angeles to meet No. 5 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.