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SAN DIEGO HEADS TO SANTA CLARA FOR WCC OPENER

Oct. 3, 2006

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WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The University of San Diego women's soccer team (8-4-0) will begin its West Coast Conference play this week as they have a single 1 p.m. match against Santa Clara University on Sunday at Buck Shaw Stadium.

SPLITTING A PAIR: The Toreros recorded a split this past weekend as they registered a 3-0 loss to the fifth-ranked UCLA Bruins on Friday before winning a 4-2 thriller over the University of Hawaii on Sunday. On Friday, the Bruins scored three goals in a four minute span in the first half to claim the win. UCLA out shot USD 23-4 and USD had a 5-2 advantage in corner kicks. On Sunday, USD scored a quick goal in the second minute of the match as Tara Hodgson sent a through ball behind the defensive back line of Hawaii and Leigh Ann Robinson went with the ball on a breakaway and punched the ball past the Hawaii `keeper for the 1-0 lead. Hawaii then scored two goals before the end of the first half to take a 2-1 lead into the break. USD then scored three second half goals to claim the come-from-behind win. In the 51st minute of the match San Diego was again on even playing terms with Hawaii. Vanessa Vella took a corner kick for San Diego and placed the ball to the right side of the goal box, where Ashley Kirk was there to put the ball into the back of the net for her first goal of the season. 16 minutes later, the Toreros again found themselves with the lead as Kirk netted her second goal of the evening. Vella again took a corner kick for the Toreros and Kirk was there to redirect the ball with her head past the Hawaii goalkeeper for the 3-2 lead. USD wasn't done yet, as Robinson put the match out of reach with her second goal of the evening. Allison Wolters took a throw in for the Toreros on the left side of the field. The ball was thrown directly to Robinson who then drilled the ball over the head of the Hawaii goalkeeper to put the match at its final of 4-2.

SCOUTING THE BRUINS: Santa Clara enters the week with a 9-2-0 record after picking up a 2-0 win over No. 18 Stanford this past weekend. The Broncos are currently ranked No. 3 in the latest NSCAA top-25 poll. SCU holds a 11-3-0 advantage against the Toreros all-time with USD claiming its last victory over the Broncos in the 2004 season. Santa Clara is led offensively by Megan Snell, who has a team-best eight goals for a team-leading 16 points. The defense is anchored down by Meagan McCray who has played all but 90 minutes of the season and has a goals-against-average of 0.49. The Broncos are under the direction of 20th-year head coach Jerry Smith. During his tenure in Santa Clara, Smith has posted a 320-81-26 overall record.

2006 GAMETRACKER AVAILABLE: All San Diego women's soccer home matches can be followed via Gametracker on the Toreros athletic web site at www.usdtoreros.com. Gametracker is a service of Online College Sports, the official web provider for San Diego athletics, and is a real time update of the action. Selected San Diego road matches are also available via Gametracker. To see if Gametracker is available for a game go to San Diego Events at the top-right of the home page. If Gametracker is available there will be a Gametracker link..

WELCOME TO THE CLUB: Ashley Kirk's two goals in Sunday's 4-2 win against Hawaii, her first two of the season, gave the Toreros eight different goal scorers this season.

LEIGH ANN'S SIX PACK: Junior forward Leigh Ann Robinson's two goals in Sunday's 4-2 win over Hawaii pushed her back into the team-lead in goals scored with six. Robinson has also added three assists on the season for a team-best 15 points.

AMBORT FINISHES STRONG SEPTEMBER: Senior midfielder Veronica Ambort has just finished one of her best months offensively in a Torero uniform. Ambort led the team in goals scored with four, three of which were match winners. Ambort tallied the game winning goals against, then No. 19, Cal State Fullerton, UNLV and Arizona State. Ambort's four goals places her second on the team in both goals scored and ties her for total points with Natalie Vinti with eight. For her efforts in September, Ambort was nominated for the West Coast Conference Player of the Month.

NATALIE ASSISTING THE TOREROS: Freshman midfielder Natalie Vinti, like Veronica Ambort, also had a solid month of September offensively for the Toreros. Not so much in the scoring column, but she has been setting up the goals by recording three assists during the month to run her season total of assists to four, good for second best on the team in this category. Vinti has also chipped in two goals this season.

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 14 year history, Greenwood has complied an overall record of 27-28-7 in his three 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.

VELLA ADDS TWO MORE: Junior defender Vanessa Vella has run her season total of assists to a team-leading five after recording two assists in Sunday's 4-2 win over Hawaii. With her five assists on the season, she has almost doubled her career total of six assists.

TOREROS IN THE RANKINGS: San Diego is currently ranked in a couple of West Region polls. In the Soccerbuzz top-15 West-Region poll, USD checks in at No. 13 and in the latest NSCAA top-10 West Region top-10 poll, the Toreros are in a four-way tie for 10th with USC, Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton.

TOREROS PICKED TO FINISH FIFTH IN WCC: The University of Portland, who won the 2005 national title, were tabbed as the favorite to win the 2006 WCC crown. The Pilots received five first place votes to tally 47 overall points. Santa Clara University, which welcomes back 10 starters from last season's team that advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals, was selected second with 45 total points and received three first place votes. The Broncos are followed in the poll by a pair of 2005 NCAA Tournament participants in Gonzaga University (34) and Pepperdine University (31). Selected fifth was the University of San Diego with 23 points, Loyola Marymount University was tabbed sixth with 21 points, while Saint Mary's College (15) and the University of San Francisco (7) round out this year's preseason poll in seventh and eighth place, respectively.