ON THE PITCH: The University of San Diego women’s soccer team (3-9-1, 1-2-0 WCC) will return to action on Friday, as they host Saint Mary’s College in a 5 p.m. West Coast Conference match at Torero Stadium.
LAST TIME OUT: Despite a valiant effort from the University of San Diego defense, and an impressive performance from senior goalkeeper Michelle Craft, the Toreros fell to No. 5 BYU, 1-0, Friday evening in a West Coast Conference match at the South Field. With the loss, the Toreros fall to 3-8-3 overall, and 1-2-0 in the WCC. With the win, the Cougars improve to 11-1-1 overall, and remain perfect in WCC play at 3-0-0. Craft was an unbelievable hard force to crack through for the Cougars high-powered offense. Craft recorded a career-high 17 saves in the loss, despite facing 49 shots, 18 of them on frame. The Cougars had opportunity after opportunity come their way in the first and second half, but almost every time the BYU offense fired off a shot, either Craft, or the Torero defense was there to put a stop to it. San Diego had a great scoring opportunity not go its way, as in the 27th minute of play, Victoria Walker took control of the ball, dribbled through the Cougars defense, and fired off a rocket of a shot, only the Cougars goalkeeper, Rachel Boaz, was there to save the ball, preserving the 0-0 contest. After the two teams battled through 82 minutes of scoreless soccer, the Cougars were finally able to slip one past the hard working Torero defense. BYU’s Madie Lyons took a corner kick for the Cougars, and the ball sailed into a crowded goal box, where Sarah Gardner-Chambers was there to redirected the ball with her head into the back of the net, giving BYU the 1-0 win at the 82:34 mark of play. The Cougars fired off an astonishing 49 shots, while USD managed to get off four shots on the evening.
SCOUTING THE GAELS: Saint Mary’s enters the match with a 6-6-3 overall record after dropping a pair of contests this past week to Portland and Gonzaga. Hannah Diaz, who has scored a team-leading five goals, and added in one assist for a team-best 11 points, leads the Gaels offensively. Julia McDonald is anchoring down the defense, as she has recorded six shutouts on the season, and has a goals-against-average of 0.82. SMC is under the direction of first-year head coach Travis Clarke.
THE SERIES VS. SMC: San Diego is 15-8-0 all-time against the Gales, and have won the last five meetings. USD has managed to outscore Saint Mary’s in the series 42-29, and the Toreros are posting a record of 9-3-0 when playing in San Diego, while posting a 6-5-0 mark when playing in Moraga.
THE MAGICAL CRAFT: Senior goalkeeper Michelle Craft has a huge night against the fifth-ranked Cougars of BYU. Craft recorded a career-high 17 saves, on 49 shots faced, 18 of them on frame. Craft was a near brick wall for USD, and only let in one goal late in the match. The 17 saves is also a new record for saves at BYU’s South Field.
HOW’S THIS FOR BALANCE?: San Diego has scored 17 goals on the season, and eight different players have managed to score at least one goal. Victoria Walker leads the way with four goals scored, followed by Jacqueline Altschuld and Caitlyn Kretzschmar with three a piece. Julia Sherwood has chipped in with a pair of goals, and then Julianne De Armas, Tara Meier, Danielle Gonzales, and Rachel Conners each have one goal. The one remaining goal USD scored was an own goal, that Gonzaga gave up this past weekend.
DECISIONS BY ONE GOAL: San Diego opened the season with four consecutive matches that were decided by one goal. Unfortunately, USD was on the losing side the final three of those, having dropped a pair of 1-0 double overtime decisions to UCLA and Georgetown, and a 2-1 decision to Michigan. USD did however win its season opener, 2-1 over NC State. USD then broke that trend with a 0-0 tie to No. 23 Long Beach State, but the trend resumed the following match in the 2-1 loss to Utah. USD then continued this trend with a 2-1 loss to USC, followed by a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to cross-town rival San Diego State. USD then drew a 0-0 tie with Oregon State, before breaking the trend for a pair of matches, a 4-1 win over Cal State Northridge, followed by a stunning 6-3 loss to Cal State Fullerton. Then WCC play opened, and USD picked up a 1-0 win over Portland, and then fell by another one-goal decision to Gonzaga, 2-1. USD then kept the one-goal deal going in a 1-0 loss to No. 5 BYU this past Friday. So in total, 10 of USD’s 13 matches this season, have been decided by one goal.
I NEED STATS, STAT: All San Diego women’s soccer home matches can be followed through Statbroadcast, on the Toreros athletic web site at usdtoreros.com. Statbroadcast is 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.
ABOUT THE SCHEDULE: The University of San Diego women’s soccer will play 20 matches this season, and will face seven 2014 NCAA Tournament participants; Georgetown, UCLA, Cal State Fullerton, BYU, San Diego State, USC and Pepperdine. The Toreros will be featured on their home pitch in 10 matches, highlighted by showdowns with national power UCLA (Aug. 23) and WCC rival Pepperdine (10/31).
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 20-year history, Greenwood has compiled an overall record of 144-94-30 in his 13 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. Since taking over the reigns as head coach, Greenwood has guided the Toreros to eight NCAA Tournament appearances including four straight from 2007-10.
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