Toreros Prepping for NCAA Second and Third Rounds
Mariah Butera.

Nov. 16, 2011

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ON THE PITCH: The University of San Diego women's soccer team (12-7-1) will hit the road for the second and third rounds of the NCAA Tournament this week, as they head to Los Angeles, Calif. to take on the UCLA Bruins on Friday at 7:30 p.m.  Should USD win, they will then play the winner of the Miami and Long Beach State game on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Drake Stadium.

NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY: This marks the fifth season in a row the Toreros have made an NCAA tournament appearance and 12th time overall. USD has advanced to the second round four times, which remains the highest finish in program history. In the first round of 2011, San Diego tied UC Irvine 2-2, then beat the Anteaters, 5-3, in penalty kicks to advance on to play UCLA in the second round this Friday.  

HOME AWAY FROM HOME: This marks the 12th season that the Toreros have competed in the NCAA Tournament.  Interestingly enough, USD has gone to UCLA's Drake stadium in nine of these 12 appearances.

OCHS NAMED TO NATIONAL TEAM OF THE WEEK: Senior forward Stephanie Ochs has been named to Top Drawer Soccer's National team of the Week after helping lead USD to a win over UC Irvine in the first round of the NCAA Tournament this past week.  Ochs, recorded a pair of assists in USD's 2-2 tie with UC Irvine in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Ochs then had the pleasure of recording the final goal of the shoot out for the Toreros that ended UC Irvine's season.

SCOUTING THE BRUINS: The second-seeded Bruins advanced on to the second round by virtue of a 1-0 victory over New Mexico this past Saturday evening. UCLA enters the match with an overall record of 16-1-3, and they hold a 16-1-4 lead in the all-time series with the Toreros. Offensively for the Bruins, senior forward Sydney Leroux leads the way, as she has recorded a team-best 16 goals and added in three assists for 35 points. Freshman goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland anchors down the Bruins defense, as she has recorded 10 shutouts and has a GAA of 0.60.

SCOUTING LONG BEACH STATE: Long Beach State enters the second round of the NCAA Tournament with an overall record of 16-5-1 after upsetting Pepperidne in the first round, 1-0, last week.   USD leads the all-time series at 9-1-1, but the 49ers did win this season's match-up, 1-0, in San Diego.  Nadia Link leads the 49ers offense, as she has recorded 16 goals and added in 10 assists for 42 points.  Kaitlyn Gustaves leads the team's defense with 10 shutouts on the season, and she has a goals against average of 0.80.  

SCOUTING MIAMI: Miami (10-7-1)won its first-ever NCAA Tournament game as it defeated Alabama, 3-2, in double overtime last Saturday in Coral Gables, Fla. The Hurricanes earned an at-large bid after finishing ninth in a tough Atlantic Coast Conference that had nine teams make it to the tournament, including top seeds Duke and Wake Forest, and perennial national powerhouse North Carolina. Kate Howarth has paced Miami with 10 goals and six assists, while Tara Schwitter is the team's second-leading scorer with five goals. Vikki Alonzo has anchored the defense with 82 saves and a 1.78 goals-against-average.

SHE SHOOTS SHE SCORES!: San Diego got production from freshman forward Mariah Butera yet again, as in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, she scored the first goal of the match, just 4:05 into the match.  Butera then nearly won the match for the Toreros, as she took a shot with about two seconds left on the clock in the double overtime period, but the goal was waived off as the officials felt the ball did not cross the plane of the goal before time had expired.  Nonetheless, Butera did manage to tally her fourth goal of the season, and now had a total of 10 points.

LAST TIME OUT: The University of San Diego women's soccer team pulled off a thrilling first round victory over UC Irvine Friday evening on penalty kicks, as the game officially ended in a 2-2 tie, but USD won the shootout, 5-3, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Anteater Stadium.   After both teams battled to a 2-2 double overtime tie, NCAA rules state that the two teams will battle in a penalty kick shoot out, with each team getting five shots. After USD's Natalie Garcia easily got the first USD goal, USD senior goalkeeper Courtney Parsons then came up huge for the Toreros, as she stopped the first UCI attempt by Judy Christopher. Meghan O'Rourke, Ellie Magracia, Lexi Deol, and Stephanie Ochs then all converted their shot attempts to seal the USD win.

EIGHT TOREROS EARN ALL-WCC ACCOLADES: After sharing the 2011 West Coast Conference title, the University of San Diego claims two WCC individual accolades. Senior striker Stephanie Ochs is the West Coast Conference Player of the Year, and teammate Natalie Garcia is the Defensive Player of the Year. In addition these two players, senior midfielder Elissa Magracia earned first-team All-WCC accolades. Taking home second-team honors was senior goalkeeper Courtney Parsons, while Erika Wesley, Dani Russell and Meghan O'Rourke were named All-WCC honorable mention. Freshman forward Mariah Butera was named to the All-Freshman team, along with O'Rourke.

STAY ON TARGET: The Toreros continue to apply pressure on opposing defenses this season, having put nearly half of their shots on frame in 2011, 226 total shots taken and 214 on those on goal.

CORNERING THE MARKET: San Diego continues to put the pressure on opposing defenses this season, currently leading the West Coast Conference with 120 corner kicks. The Toreros have out-cornered opponents by a margin of 128-77 including a season-high 13 against Kansas in San Diego on Aug. 28.

I`M HERE TO HELP: Senior striker Stephanie Ochs leads the Toreros in goals scored with eight, but did you also know she is not just a scoring machine, but she knows how to spread the ball around, as she has recorded 13 assists on the year including two in Friday's win over UC Irvine.  In fact, Ochs has tallied fiver assists in the past two matches, as she had three in USD's 3-0 win over Santa Clara in the regular-season finale.

TOREROS CLAIM SHARE OF WCC CHAMPIONSHIP: In a wet, cold climate, and a soggy field, the University of San Diego women's soccer team was shining, as they upended No. 7 Santa Clara University, 3-0, Friday evening to claim a share of its first-ever West Coast Conference championship at Torero Stadium, live on ESPNU in front of 1,789 fans.  With the win, the Toreros conclude the regular-season with a 12-7-0 overall record, run their winning streak to seven, and they claim a share of the WCC championship with a 7-1-0 WCC record.  Stephanie Ochs recorded three assists, as she set up Mariah Butera, Meghan O'Rourke, and Dani Russell to give USD the victory on national television.

OCHS NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Senior striker Stephanie Ochs has been tabbed the WCC Player of the Year.  Ochs becomes the first San Diego player to be recognized as the WCC Player of the Year award. The Toreros reeled off seven straight conference wins to earn a share of the 2011 WCC championship for the first time in school history. Ochs tied for the conference lead with 13 points during WCC play, while leading the West Coast Conference with nine assists in eight conference matches. For the season, Ochs scored eight goals and registered 13 assists.  

GARCIA NAMED WCC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Senior defender Natalie Garcia has been named the WCC Defensive Player of the Year.  The Valley Center native becomes the third San Diego player to win the award, joining Brittany Cameron (2008) and Dawn Birdsall (1995) as Defensive Player of the Year honorees. Garcia and the Toreros defense allowed just four goals during conference play, while posting four WCC shutouts - including three straight to end the season. Overall, Garcia recorded five goals and had one assist for 11 points.



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