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Zags Return Home To Face No. 12 SCU and No. 11 USD

Oct. 23, 2007

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Game 16
No. 12 Santa Clara at Gonzaga
Martin Field
Spokane, Wash.
Thursday, Oct. 26, 1 p.m.

Game 17
No. 11 San Diego at Gonzaga
Martin Field
Spokane, Wash.
Sunday, Oct. 28, Noon

THIS WEEK: Gonzaga University will return home from a five-match road trip to face a tough pair of games. This week, the Bulldogs will welcome a pair of nationally ranked West Coast Conference opponents to Martin Field. Thursday, the Zags will host No. 12 Santa Clara University at 1 p.m., before facing No. 11 University of San Diego Sunday at Noon.

NEXT WEEK: The Bulldogs will wrap up their road schedule as Gonzaga University travels to the Los Angeles area for a pair of matches. The Zags will face West Coast Conference opponent Loyola Marymount University Saturday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. before turning around and facing non-league opponent, Cal State Bakersfield, Sunday, Nov. 4 at 1 p.m.

LAST WEEK: Gonzaga University continued West Coast Conference play with a trip to the Bay Area for a pair of matches. Friday, the Zags dropped a 3-0 decision to the University of San Francisco, before rebounding to shutout Saint Mary's College 2-0 Sunday. Jamie Blanche led the Zags against the Gaels by recording a goal and an assist. Ashley Riley gave the Zags an early 1-0 edge at 6:55 when she scored off of a rebound from six yards out. Blanche earned the assist on Riley's goal. Blanche then added another tally to Gonzaga's score during the 70th minute when she connected with a rebound from five yards out. The match was also highlighted by a shutout by freshman goalkeeper Lauren Ames. In her first career start, Ames posted two saves en-route to her first career shutout.

FRESHMEN LIFT ZAGS TO VICTORY: Gonzaga University can give thanks to four freshman for playing a major role in last Sunday's 2-0 shutout over Saint Mary's College. Four rookies were in the Zags' staring lineup - goalkeeper Lauren Ames, forward Ashley Riley, defender Catherine Cullen, and midfielder Sheridan Jones. In her first collegiate start, Ames posted two saves while earning her first career shutout. Riley scored the game-winning goal for the Bulldogs, her team-leading fourth goal of the season. Jones assisted in her own way, earning an assist on Jamie Blanche's goal during the 70th minute. Cullen aided the Gonzaga defense as it posted its seventh shutout of the season. The seventh shutout is the third highest total in the program's history.

VERUS RANKED OPPONENTS: When Gonzaga University faces nationally-ranked Santa Clara University and University of San Diego this weekend, it will mark the 49th and 50th times in program history the Zags have faced a ranked foe. All-time against ranked opponents the Bulldogs are 4-43-1, including going 0-13-0 against Santa Clara and 0-2-0 against San Diego when the Broncos and Toreros are ranked. The last time the Bulldogs defeated a ranked opponent was October 15, 2005 when they up-ended then-No. 10 Pepperdine University 1-0. Earlier this season, the Bulldogs dropped a 3-1 decision to then-No. 8 University of Portland.

STILES' SCU CONNECTION: Shannon Stiles, Gonzaga University women's soccer head coach, has a personal connection to one of this week's opponents, Santa Clara University. Stiles, a 1993 graduate of SCU, was a four-year letterwinner with the Broncos. She started all 35 matches of her junior and senior seasons, and helped Santa Clara advance to three NCAA Tournament semifinals in her four-year career. As a senior, she earned All-Far West recognition, All-West Coast Conference second team honors and was named Santa Clara's Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

SCOUTING THE BRONCOS: Santa Clara University travels to Spokane ranked as the 12th team in the nation and a 10-3-3 overall record, 2-1-0 in West Coast Conference play. The Broncos, who are tied for third in the league, are fresh off a 2-0-0 weekend with victories over Pepperdine University and Loyola Marymount University. SCU is led by this week's WCC Player of the Week, Brittany Klein. Klein boasts a team-leading seven goals and one assist for 15 total points. Kiki Bosio also boasts 15 total points - five goals and five assists. Gonzaga University will be searching for its first win over the Broncos when the two teams face off Thursday, as Santa Clara holds the 13-0-1 all-time advantage. Last season, the Bulldogs fell to the Broncos 6-2 at Santa Clara.

SCOUTING THE TOREROS: Nationally ranked No. X University of San Diego enters the weekend with a 11-1-3 overall record. The Toreros are currently ranked second in the league, boasting a 2-0-1 West Coast Conference record. Amy Epsten leads USD with nine goals and one assist for 10 total points. The Torero defense is anchored by goalkeeper Brittany Cameron, who boasts an 0.53 goals against average and 66 saves in fifteen matches, including seven shutouts. As the Toreros enter the weekend they are looking to extend their 11 match unbeaten streak. San Diego holds the 11-3-0 all-time edge over Gonzaga University. Last season, the Zags defeated the Toreros 1-0 in San Diego.

ZUCKERMAN HITS THREE: Senior Lauren Zuckerman has posted four goals in her career, three of which came in three consecutive matches this season. Zuckerman posted the first goal of her three-match streak during the Zags' 3-0 shutout over Boise State University Oct. 2. She scored the final goal of the match from right outside the box to tap in the ball at 44:22. Her second goal came on Oct. 5 at Oregon State University. The goal was the lone score of the match as it gave the Bulldogs' an early 1-0 lead at the 6:33 mark. Oct. 7, as the Zags fell 4-1 to the University of Oregon, Zuckerman aided in the Bulldogs avoiding a shutout, scoring her third goal in as many matches during the 85th minute.

SOMA STRIVES TOWARDS SCHOOL RECORD: Senior midfielder Christine Soma recorded her second assist of the season Sept. 28 against Idaho State University. The assist propelled her into sole possession of second place on the career assist ranks. Soma currently has amassed 11 career assists, four shy of the school record. Sara Streufert, who played for Gonzaga University from 1997 to 2000, posted a total of 15 career assists.

SHOWING UP IN NUMBERS: Nearly 1,020 fans showed up to Martin Field on Sept. 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 Oct. 23, 2005 in front of 1,164 Bulldog fans.

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. After starting the season out of the career rankings, Jamie Blanche has posted fours goals to-date this season and has moved into sole possession of eighth with 10 career goals. Nanda McCormick also holds a spot on the career goals list with 18 for third place. Christine Soma is four assists short of the Gonzaga all-time record of 15 held by Sara Streufert. Soma currently ranks second with 11 assists. McCormick continues to move up the total points all-time rankings, currently she is listed third with 41 points. Soma and Blanche also hold spots on the list at eighth (27) and ninth (26), respectively. Blanche, Soma and McCormick also rank in the shots lists as Blanche ranks fourth (107), Soma sixth (94) and McCormick eighth (91). Goalkeeper Jessie Thalman has posted five shutouts this season to bring her career shutout count to 11, 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.

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. Links to live stats can be found on the women's soccer schedule page on the Bulldogs' website.

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 Sept. 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.

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.

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.

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 69-91-8 overall record.

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.