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Toreros Prep for NCAA Tournament

Nov. 14, 2007

IN A NUTSHELL: The ninth-ranked University of San Diego women's soccer team (15-2-3) will head to Los Angeles and the campus of UCLA to compete in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. USD will square off against No. 19 Oklahoma State University in the first round at 8 p.m. on Friday. Should USD win, they will play the winner of the No. 1 UCLA vs. Cal State Fullerton match on Sunday in a 1 p.m. contest at UCLA's Drake Stadium.

LAST TIME OUT: This past week, the Toreros concluded their season with 3-0 win over the University of San Francisco. In the match, junior forward Amy Epsten tallied the first two USD goals, to push her career total to 30, breaking an 11-year old record held by Michele Kennedy (1993-96). Senior Vanessa Vella scored the final USD goal on a penalty kick situation. With the win, the Toreros moved their season record to 15-2-3 and took sole possession of second place in conference with a 5-1-1 record.

THE POLLS: The University of San Diego women's soccer team has cracked into the top-10 for the first time in program history, as they check in at No. 9 in the latest Soccerbuzz top-30 poll. San Diego is also up five spots in the latest Soccer America top-25 poll to No. 12, and remained at No. 12 in the Soccer Times top-25 poll. The Toreros also held steady at No. 17 in the final NSCAA top-25 poll. UCLA is Ranked No. 1 in all of the polls and Oklahoma State is ranked No. 19 in the latest Soccer America top-25 poll, are No. 21 in the latest Soccerbuzz top-30 poll, No. 24 in the latest Soccer Times top-25 poll and are No. 22 in the final NSCAA top-25 poll. Cal State Fullerton is not ranked in any of the polls.

GAMETRACKER AVAILABLE FOR THIS WEEKEND'S GAMES: This weekend, the first and second round games will be available live via Gametracker. 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.

SCOUTING THE COWGIRLS: The Cowgirls are coming into the match with an overall record of 13-5-3 and they advanced into the semi-final round of the Big-12 tournament, before falling to Texas in penalty kicks. Oklahoma State and San Diego have never met in the sport of women's soccer. The Cowgirls are led offensively by a pair of seven-goal scorers in Siera Strawser and Yolanda Odenyo. Defensively, OSU is led by goalkeeper Erin Stigler, who has a 0.72 goals-against-average. The Cowgirls are under the direction of first-year head coach Colin Carmichael.

SCOUTING THE BRUINS: UCLA enters the Tournament as the No. 1 team in the country and winners of the Pac-10 conference. The Bruins have an overall record of 16-1-2. USD and UCLA battled to a scoreless draw at Torero Stadium back on Sept. 14 to move the all-time series record between the two programs to 13-1-3 in favor of the Bruins. UCLA is led offensively by sophomore forward Lauren Cheney, who has a team-leading 20 goals and has added in nine assists for 49 points. Defensively, the Bruins turn to senior goalkeeper Valerie Henderson, who is bolstering a 0.44 goals-against-average and has recorded eight shutouts on the season. UCLA is under the direction of ninth-year head coach Jillian Ellis. During her tenure in Los Angeles, Ellis has posted an overall record of 169-32-9.

SCOUTING THE TITANS: Cal State Fullerton enters the NCAA Tournament after claiming their third straight Big West Conference tournament championship and finishing with an overall record of 12-7-2. USD defeated the Titans 1-0 back on Nov. 4 to move their all-time series record to 7-4-0. Fullerton is led offensively by senior forward Lauren Cram, who has a team-best six goals on the season to go along with two assists for 14 points. Defensively, the Titans turn to junior goalkeeper Shayla Sabin, who has a 0.77 goals-against-average. The Titans are under the direction of first-year head coach Demian Brown.

EPSTEN NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior forward Amy Epsten of the ninth-ranked University of San Diego women's soccer team has been named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday afternoon. Epsten, a 5-6 junior from San Diego, helped lift the Toreros to a 3-0 win over the University of San Francisco this past week as she tallied two of USD's three goals. With the two goals, Epsten became the new all-time leader in career-goals scored with 30, and she also ran her season total to 14 goals, which ties a single-season record at USD.

ABOUT THE RECORD: San Diego has posted the best record in program history at 15-2-3. During this record setting season, the Toreros have posted 11 shutouts, which ties a program single-season record, posted a program-best 11-match unbeaten streak and tied a program-best second place finish in the WCC with a 5-1-1 record.

255 MINUTES OF SCORELESS SOCCER: Junior goalkeeper Brittany Cameron has held opponents scoreless in her last 255 minutes of action. Cameron has now lowered her goals-against-average to 0.64 and has posted nine shutouts on the season.

VIEW FROM THE TOP: Junior striker Amy Epsten became the all-time career goals leader at San Diego in Saturday's 3-0 win over San Francisco. She broke an 11-year old record held by Michele Kennedy (1993-96) and now has 30 career goals. She also tied a single-season record for goals scored with 14. Her 14 goals also leads the West Coast Conference on the season.

GOING STREAKING: USD is in the midst of a four-match winning streak, only the second such streak this season. USD had a program-best 11-match unbeaten streak between Sept. 14 and Oct. 21, only to see the University of Portland snap that streak with a 4-0 loss on Oct. 25. USD will look to extend their current streak on Friday vs. Oklahoma State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Drake Stadium.

TOREROS IN THE POSTSEASON: San Diego is making their eighth trip to the NCAA postseason, and first since the 2004 season. The Toreros have an all-time mark of 3-7 in postseason play and have advanced to the second round on three occasions. The Toreros will look to improve that record this week as they head to Los Angeles for the first two rounds.

SIX TOREROS NAMED TO ALL-WCC TEAMS: The ninth-ranked University of San Diego women's soccer team placed six players on the All-West Coast Conference teams. Junior forward Amy Epsten and senior midfielder Leigh Ann Robinson were selected first-team All-WCC, while junior goalkeeper Brittany Cameron and senior defender Vanessa Vella were named second-team All-WCC. Sophomore defender Natalie Vinti was named All-WCC honorable mention and freshman striker Ashleigh Shoughro was named to the All-WCC Freshman team.

SCORING FRENZY: Over the last two and a half weeks, the Toreros have had no trouble finding the back of the net, as they have scored eight goals, while only allowing their opponents to score once. USD tallied three goals in wins against Saint Mary's and San Francisco, then scored one goal in wins over Cal State Fullerton and Gonzaga.