Battle for First Place with Portland on National TV and Gonzaga are up Next for No. 11 USD

Oct. 23, 2007

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IN A NUTSHELL: The 11th-ranked University of San Diego women's soccer team (11-1-3, 2-0-1 WCC) will put their program-best 11-match unbeaten streak on the line this week as they head to the Pacific Northwest to take on No. 6 University of Portland and Gonzaga University. Thursday's game against Portland is at 8 p.m. and will be aired live on a nationally televised broadcast on the Fox Soccer Channel. USD will then head to Spokane, Wash. to take on Gonzaga University on Sunday at 12 p.m.

LAST TIME OUT: San Diego ran their unbeaten streak to 11 as they picked up a 3-1 win over Loyola Marymount and then battled to a 1-1 tie with Pepperdine University this past Sunday. In Friday's match, USD used three second half goals to come-from-behind and claim the win. USD's first goal came just 13 seconds into the second half as senior midfielder Leigh Ann Robinson took the ball at midfield and dribbled through the Lions defense to even the game at 1-1. IN the 79th minute Amy Epsten scored the game winner off a cross from both Hallie Huston and Jackie Garcia. Freshman striker Ashleigh Shoughro then put the match out of reach in the 88th minute as she dribbled past to defenders and the goalie for an open net shot and goal. On Sunday, USD struck first and Amy Epsten found herself inside a crowded goal box and a free kick from Vanessa Vella hit the cross ball and fell to Epsten who in turn put the ball into the back of the net. Pepperdine then tied things up late and the 1-1 score stood through two overtime periods.

 

 

THE POLLS: The University of San Diego women's soccer team held steady in the latest SoccerAmerica top-25 poll at No. 11. The Toreros also moved up one spots in the latest Soccerbuzz top-30 poll to No. 13, have moved up to No. 17 in the latest NSCAA top-25 poll and remain at No. 14 in the latest Soccer Times top-25 poll. Portland is ranked as high as No. 6 in the latest Soccer America top-25 poll and Gonzaga not ranked in any of the polls.

SCOUTING THE PILOTS: Portland enters the nationally televised match with an overall record of 11-3-0 and a perfect 3-0-0 record in the WCC after picking up a 6-0 win over San Francisco and a 1-0 win over Saint Mary's this past week. The Pilots own a 12-2-2 overall record over the Toreros all-time. The Pilots are led offensively by Kendra Chandhoke, who has a team-leading eight goals scored for 16 points. Foru of her goals came in the 6-0 win over USF this past week. Defensively, Kelsey Davis anchors things down in goal as she has a 0.53 goals-against-average. Portland is under the direction of fifth-year head coach Garrett Smith. During his tenure in Portland, Smith has amassed an overall record of 89-14-7.

SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS: Gonzaga University enters the week with an overall record of 9-5-1 and a 1-2-0 mark in the WCC after splitting a pair of matches this past week, recording a 2-0 win over Saint Mary's and dropping a 3-0 match to San Francisco. USD holds an 11-4-0 all-time record over the Zags. The GU offense is led by Christine Soma, who has a team-leading three goals and three assists for a team-best nine points. Jessie Thalman anchors down the defense with her 1.26 goals-against-average. The Bulldogs are under the direction of eighth-year head coach Shannon Stiles. During her tenure in Spokane, Stiles has posted an overall record of 69-91-9.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: San Diego's match against the University of Portland will be aired live on a national television broadcast on the Fox Soccer Channel. Mark Rogondino will doing play-by-play for the match and providing color commentary will be Ridge Mahoney. This will be the first nationally televised broadcast of the season for the Toreros. The Fox Soccer Channel offers the most comprehensive coverage of world-class soccer available in the United States, including Major League Soccer, England's Barclays Premier League, Argentine First Division and Italian Serie A; as well as global tournaments such as the UEFA Cup, UEFA Women's Championship, English FA Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, CONCACAF Champions' Cup, and FA Community Shield.

ABOUT THE RECORD: San Diego is off to its second best start in program history with a 11-1-3 overall record, trailing only the 1999 squad who began the season 13-2-0 through the first 15 matches. USD's only loss of the season came to Ohio State back on Sept. 9 in Columbus, Ohio.

GOING STREAKING: San Diego is in the midst of a program-best 11-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, No. 5 Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount and tied No. 6 UCLA and Pepperdine University. The Toreros will look to extend that streak this week with a pair of matches against Portland and Gonzaga.

SUDDEN IMPACT: San Diego freshman striker Ashleigh Shoughro has wasted no time making an impact at the collegiate level. Not only has been in the starting lineup from the start of the season, but she has emerged as one of the go-to players for USD. Thus far through her rookie campaign, Shoughro has recorded five goals, three of which were game-winners, and added in one assist for 11 points. This past week, Shoughro tallied her fifth goal of the season in USD's 3-1 win over Loyola Marymount.

WHO'S HOT FOR THE TOREROS: San Diego's junior forward Amy Epsten has been red hot as of late for the Toreros, as she tallied yet another two goals this past week, one of which was a game-winner. Epsten has now score at least one goal in three consecutive matches and has scored in five of the last six matches. With her two goals this past week, Epsten has pushed her season total to a WCC-leading nine. Epsten has also chipped in one assists to share in the conference-lead in points with 19.

I'M HERE TO HELP: A lot is made about the person who scores the game-winning goal, but little is often said about those who help that person find the back of the net. We're here to change that. Six different Toreros this season have posted game-winning assists in San Diego's 11 wins, including two from senior midfielder Leigh Ann Robinson, sophomore midfielder Hallie Huston and junior midfielder Jackie Garcia. Vanessa Vella, Natalie Vinti, and Erika Wesley have also had a hand (or foot) in helping the Toreros to victory with one game-winning assist each.

SPREADING IT AROUND: San Diego's offense this season has been one of the most diverse in the West Coast Conference as six different players have found the back of the net for the Toreros - four of those players with two or more goals.

THE GREAT WALL OF CAMERON: Junior goalkeeper Brittany Cameron has become an impenetrable wall in goal for the Toreros, as she posted seven shutouts of the season. Cameron has lowered her goals-against-average to an impressive 0.53, which is good for a tie for the WCC lead with Portland's Kelsey Davis. So not only is this Thursday's match-up a battle for first-place in the WCC, but also a battle against the conference's top two goalkeepers.

A LOOK AHEAD: San Diego will continue their four-match road swing next week as they travel to Moraga, Calif. on Friday for a 3 p.m. match with Saint Mary's College. Then on Sunday, USD will play their final regular-season non-conference opponent in Cal State Fullerton at Titan Stadium on the campus of Cal State Fullerton at 6 p.m.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Many Toreros, as well as the combined team itself, hold lofty spots in the West Coast Conference statistics. In team standings, the Toreros are leading the conference in goals-against-average at 0.51, are also leading the WCC in fewest goals allowed with eight and tied for most shutouts with eight. For the individuals, Amy Epsten leads the WCC in goals scored with nine, Ashleigh Shoughro, Leigh Ann Robinson and Epsten are tied for the conference lead in game-winning goals with three each. Brittany Cameron leads the conference in GAA at 0.53, is third in saves at 66 and second in shutouts with seven.

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.

2007 GAMETRACKER AVAILABLE: All San Diego women's soccer home matches can be followed via Gametracker on the Toreros athletic web site at www.usdtoreros.com. 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. Selected San Diego road matches are also available via Gametracker. To see if Gametracker is available for a game go to San Diego Events at the top-right of the home page. If Gametracker is available there will be a Gametracker link.

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