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Toreros Prep for a Pair of Top-10 Teams
Rachel Conners.
Aug. 27, 2014

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Rachel Conners.
WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The University of San Diego women's soccer team (0-1-1) will return to the pitch this weekend with a pair of top-10 opponents.  On Friday, USD 2will look to pick up its first win of the season, as No. 10 Michigan comes to town for a 7:30 p.m. showdown in Torero Stadium.  The Toreros will then hit the road on Sunday, as they travel to Los Angeles to take on the defending national champion, and top-ranked UCLA Bruins at Drake Stadium.  Match is slated to begin at 5 p.m., and will air live on the Pac-12 Network.    

LAST TIME OUT: Sophomore midfielder Rachel Conners tallied her first goal of the season to help the University of San Diego women's soccer team (0-1-1) record a 1-1 draw against the University of Southern California (1-0-1) Sunday afternoon in a non-conference game at Torero Stadium.  The Women of Troy got on the scoreboard first, as in the 24th minute of action, Katie Johnson fired off a rocket shot, but Torero goalkeeper Michelle Craft was there to record the save, punching the ball away. However, that rebound found the foot of USC's Megan Borman, who hit a one-timer right into the back of the net, giving USC a 1-0 lead.  San Diego then evened up the score in the 32nd minute of action. Mariah Butera took a corner kick for the Toreros, that ball then battered around a crowded goal box, until Nikki Pappalardo got to it in the center of the box, and fed the back backwards to Conners, who in turn fired off a laser strike into the back of the net, to knot things up at 1-all.  The two teams then battled back and forth over the remainder of the match, and both teams had their chances to win the game, but neither could penetrate the goal line, leaving things in a 1-1 draw.  The Trojans out shot the Toreros 13-6, and held a slight 9-7 advantage in corner kicks.  Craft was credited with the draw in goal for the Toreros, as she allowed one goal and recorded five saves, one a game-saver as time was expiring in regulation. Her counterpart, Caroline Stanley, was also credited with a tie, as she allowed one goal and recorded one save.

LIVE ON THE PAC-12 NETWORK: Sunday's showdown with the defending national champs and No. 1 ranked UCLA Bruins will be aired live on the Pac-12 network.  Calling all the live play-by-play this Sunday will be Jim Watson, and providing color commentary will be Tammy Blackburn.  This will be the second consecutive week the Toreros have had a live digital broadcast, as last week USD made its debut on  in the 1-1 draw against USC. 

SCOUTING THE WOLVERINES: Michigan opened the season with a pair of shutout wins last weekend, defeating Cal State Northridge (Aug. 22) and Bowling Green (Aug. 24), each by a score of 2-0. The Wolverines are now 11-7-3 all-time in home openers and have stated each of the last three seasons with back-to-back victories. Four different players scored goals for Michigan in its opening weekend, including sophomore Madisson Lewis and freshman Taylor Timko against CSUN and junior Christina Ordonez and sophomore Nicky Waldeck (PK) against Bowling Green. Junior Corinne Harris and sophomore/freshman Ani Sarkisian accounted for all of the Maize and Blue's assists, tallying three and two, respectively, through two games.  This will mark the second meeting in program history between USD and Michigan, with USD taking the first meeting, 2-0, on 8-29-10 in San Diego. 
SCOUTING THE BRUINS: UCLA, the defending national champions and No. 1 ranked team in the country, posted a perfect 2-0-0 record in the opening weekend of the 2014 season.  UCLA picked up a pair of 3-0 decisions over the weekend against Maryland and UC Irvine.  The Bruins only allowed one shot to get off over two matches, and for that effort, UCLA's Megan Oyster was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week.  Offensively, Sam Mewis leads the attack with a team-best two goals.  USD has posted a 1-14-5 overall record against the Bruins, with USD recording a 1-1 tie against UCLA in the last meeting in 2011, then went on to knock UCLA out of the NCAA Tournament by winning the PK battle. 

LAST TIME VS. UCLA:  The University of San Diego women's soccer team (12-7-2) will advance on to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament after battling to a 1-1 tie with No. 2 UCLA (16-1-4), then defeating the Bruins 3-2 in penalty kicks, on Nov. 18, 2011 evening in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Drake Stadium.  After the two teams battled to a 1-1 draw through two overtime periods, the NCAA rules state the game will officially go down as a tie, but the two teams must have a shootout to determine a winner. First up was UCLA, and USD's senior goalkeeper Courtney Parsons, as she had been all night long, was a brick wall as she blocked the shot attempt to fire up the Torero fans. After USD had its first PK blocked as well, each team then had their second PK stopped by the respective goalies. UCLA then made its third attempt, and Lexi Deol matched it for USD. The Bruins then made its fourth attempt, but USD missed theirs. Once again, Parsons came up big for USD as she blocked the next shot attempt, setting up Stephanie Ochs to even the score, and she had no problem doing just that.  The two teams then went into a one-on-one battle in a second shootout, and Parsons then recorded her fourth save in the penalty kick shootout, and senior Elissa Magracia had the pressure on her shoulders to nail a PK and send USD on to the Sweet 16. Magracia simply put the ball into the top left corner of the net, while the UCLA keeper dove to the right to lift USD to a stunning victory. USD successfully snapped a 30-match winning streak for the Bruins at Drake Stadium in the NCAA Tournament.

LAST TIME VS. MICHIGAN:  Junior forward Stephanie Ochs celebrated her 20th birthday on Aug. 29, 2010 by scoring her second goal in as many games to help propel the No. 22 University of San Diego Toreros to victory over the University of Michigan at Torero Stadium. USD got on the board in the 15th minute when Ochs corralled a pass from Kelley McCloskey inside the box and maneuvered around a Wolverine defender to score the game's first goal.  In the second half, Torero freshman midfielder Taylor Housley notched her first collegiate goal during the 63rd minute when she stole the ball off a deflection and connected from 25 yards out.

ABOUT THE 1-1 DRAW WITH USC:  The Toreros had gone 40 consecutive matches without ending in a draw. The last time San Diego recorded a tie was in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2011. In that match, the Toreros tied UCLA 1-1, but advanced to the Sweet 16 after winning PKs. The last true draw the Toreros had was 75 matches ago on September 17, 2010 against Cal State Bakersfield.

CONNERS AND WALKER TALLY FIRST GOALS OF THE SEASON:  Sophomore's Victoria Walker and Rachel Conners each tallied a goal this past weekend, to lead the team in the category. Walker scored the first goal of the season for the Toreros, and that the time it evened up the score against No. 20 Georgetown.  However, that goal was short lived as GU then scored the game-winner just a minute later.  Conners on the other hand, scored the goal the evened up the score against USC, and that ended up being the final goal of the match to give USD a 1-1 draw with the Trojans. 

THE RANKINGS:  Michigan comes into town ranked No. 10 in the NSCAA top-25 poll, while UCLA is the top-ranked team in the nation.  This marks the second consecutive week the Toreros will square off against a ranked opponent.     

I NEED STATS STAT!:  All San Diego women's soccer home matches can be followed via Gametracker, and through Statbroadcast, on the Toreros athletic web site at Gametracker is a service of CBS, the official web provider for San Diego athletics, and is a real time update of the action, and Statbroadcast is also an up to the minute update of the action in real time scoring.  Selected San Diego road matches are also available via Gametracker and Statbroadcast. To see if live stats are available for a match, go to San Diego women's soccer schedule page, and if any type of live state is available, you will see those links there.

THEW.TV: This season San Diego will be featured on the West Coast Conference's new digital platform,, four times.  All four of these productions will have a multi-camera high definition broadcast with a play-by-play announcer.  USD's match against USC (8/24) was the first of these broadcasts.  Here are the remaining matches to be aired on (10/3), Portland (10/12) and Santa Clara (10/26). 

TOREROS TABBED TO FINISH FIFTH IN PRESEASON POLL:  After capturing a share of the West Coast Conference championship for the second straight year in 2013, BYU was picked as a narrow favorite to win the 2014 title. The top three teams were separated by a total of just four votes in the annual preseason poll of the WCC's 10 coaches. The university of San Diego was picked to finish fifth, while receiving one first place vote.  BYU earned 73 points and three first place votes, while Portland collected 72 points with three first place votes. Santa Clara earned 69 points and three first place votes. The Cougars, Pilots and Broncos each shared the 2013 WCC Championship, the first time in league history three member institutions accomplished the feat in women's soccer. All three programs represented the WCC in the NCAA Postseason.  Pepperdine was picked fourth with 57 votes, while San Diego rounded out the top-five with 54 points including the remaining first-place vote. San Francisco was picked sixth with 35 points, while Saint Mary's (29), Gonzaga (25), Loyola Marymount (20) and Pacific (16) round out the survey.

#GoGetIt - Call the Torero ticket office today to secure your tickets to all USD Athletic events. Always stay connected with the Toreros on Facebook (USD Athletics), Instagram (USD Toreros) and Twitter (@USD Toreros).



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