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No. 5 Santa Clara Comes to Town to Open WCC Play

Oct. 9, 2007

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IN A NUTSHELL: The 16th-ranked University of San Diego women's soccer team (9-1-2) will put their eight-match unbeaten streak on the line this week as they open West Coast Conference play against No. 5 Santa Clara University on Sunday at USD's Torero Stadium.

LAST TIME OUT: The Toreros, who own the WCC's best overall record, ran their unbeaten streak to eight this past week, as they posted back-to-back wins against Cal State Bakersfield and Arizona State. On Friday, USD picked up a 5-0 win over Bakersfield, then on Sunday they picked up a 1-0 decision over ASU. In Friday's wild win, the Toreros wasted no time in scoring, as freshman striker Ashleigh Shoughro tallied the only goal USD would need in the fifth minute of the match. Eight minutes later, the team's leading goal scorer, junior forward Amy Epsten, got in on the scoring frenzy as she tallied her team-best sixth goal of the season. USD wasn't done scoring yet, as in the 31st minute, Leigh Ann Robinson tallied a unassisted goal. Junior forward Tara Hodgson got in on the scoring frenzy with her first goal of the season in the 43rd minute of the match. The scoring was capped in the 88th minute of the match as Jessica Larrabee tallied her first collegiate goal to put the match at its final of 5-0. In Sunday's win, with the match winding down and both teams trying to break the scoreless contest to capture a win, the Toreros once again turned to their freshman forward, and she delivered her second game-winning goal in as many games. Shoughro found herself in the right place at the right time, as a ball was deflected off the ASU goalkeeper, and Shoughro was there to punch the ball into the back of the net to give USD the win.

THE POLLS: The University of San Diego women's soccer team has moved up three more spots to No. 16 in the latest Soccer America top-25 poll. The Toreros also moved up seven spots in the latest Soccerbuzz top-30 poll to No. 23 and have cracked into the NSCAA top-25 poll at No. 22 and cracked into the Soccertimes poll at No. 24.

SCOUTING THE ROADRUNNERS: Santa Clara enters the week with the league's second-best overall record behind USD, at 7-2-2 after battling to a scoreless draw with No. 1 Stanford, and then falling 4-1 to UCLA. The Broncos own a 12-3-0 all-time record against USD. The Offensive leader for Santa Clara is Brittany Klein, who has a team-leading five goals. Junior goalkeeper Meagan McCray anchors down the defense with her 0.95 goals-against-average. The Broncos are under the direction of 20th-year head coach Jerry Smith. During his tenure in Santa Clara, Smith has amassed an overall record of 333-86-29.

TOREROS TO OFFER FREE AUDIO STREAMING: San Diego will start to offer a free audio broadcast of all home West Coast Conference matches this season. The women's soccer inaugural broadcast will be on Oct. 14 in a 1 p.m. match against defending champion Santa Clara University. David Bardecki will be bringing Torero fans all the play-by-play action and providing color commentary will be Lovel Tokic. In order to hear the broadcast, fans just need to simply click on the "Live" button on the USD athletics home page, sign up for a "free account," then click on the women's soccer tab and choose the match to listen to.

ABOUT THE RECORD: San Diego is off to its second best start in program history with a 9-1-2 overall record, trailing only the 1999 squad who began the season 10-2-0 through the first 12 matches. USD's only loss of the season came to Ohio State back on Sept. 9 in Columbus, Ohio.

DIFFICULT TO DEFEND: The Toreros have become a multi-dimensional offense as of late, giving opposing defenses fits about who to focus on. Five different players have accounted for the team's last six goals while 13 different players have tallied either a goal or an assist in 2007.

GOING STREAKING: San Diego is in the midst of a program-best eight-match unbeaten streak. The Toreros have only lost one match on the season, and that was back on Sept. 9, since then USD has posted wins over Cal Poly, UC Riverside, UC Irvine, Cal State Northridge, Pacific, Cal State Bakersfield, Arizona State and tied No. 6 UCLA. The Toreros will look to extend that streak this week with a pair of matches against Cal State Bakersfield and Arizona State.

HOME SWEET HOME: The Toreros have enjoyed a winning record while playing on their home pitch of Torero Stadium. San Diego is bolstering a 94-45-10 all-time record at Torero Stadium. The Toreros will look to improve upon their 4-0-2 record this season on their home pitch a match against No. 5 Santa Clara on Sunday.

TOREROS IN THE RPI: In the newest set of RPI rankings, the University of San Diego checks in at No. 19, after posting a 9-1-2 record to start the season.

WHO'S HOT FOR THE TOREROS: Freshman forward Ashleigh Shoughro has been red hot as of late for the Toreros, as the Las Vegas, Nev. native has posted two game-winning goals in the last two outings for USD. She tallied the first of five USD goals against Cal State Bakersfield, then scored the game-winner against Arizona State this past Sunday. On the season, Shoughro has four goals scored, three of them game-winners, and has added on one assist for nine points.

LEADER OF THE PACK: Junior striker Amy Epsten continues her assault on opposing defenses, as she tallied one goal in Friday's throttling of Cal State Bakersfield. That marks three consecutive weeks that Epsten has tallied at least one goal, and she now leads the West Coast Conference in goals scored with six. Epsten has also added in one assist for a team-leading 13 points.

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.