Women's Soccer Opens 2007 Season At No. 8 Santa Clara

THIS WEEKEND - SPARTANS OPEN 2007 SEASON AGAINST PAIR OF WCC FOES
The San Jose State University women’s soccer team opens the 2007 season at eighth-ranked non-conference rival Santa Clara University on Friday, August 31. Kick-off at Santa Clara’s Buck Shaw Stadium is set for 5:30 p.m. The game will mark the first match-up of the 2007-08 installment of the “Rivalry Series” between the two South Bay schools, with the first three points of the all-sports competition up for grabs. Buck Shaw has a capacity of 6,800 spectators.

San Jose State will then face its second straight area foe from the West Coast Conference to begin the 2007 campaign in its home opener on Sunday, September 2, as the University of San Francisco comes to Spartan Stadium for a 1:00 p.m. contest.

GAMES #1-2 SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY (0-0)
at NO. 8 SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY (0-0)
BUCK SHAW STADIUM, SANTA CLARA, CALIF.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 5:30 P.M.

vs. UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO (0-0)
SPARTAN STADIUM, SAN JOSE, CALIF.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 1:00 P.M.


SAN JOSE STATE (0-0, 0-0 WAC) at NO. 8 SANTA CLARA (0-0, 0-0 WCC)
(SCU Leads Series, 11-0)
Santa Clara is ranked eighth, ninth and 15th nationally in the NSCAA/adidas, Soccer Times and Soccer Buzz preseason polls, respectively.

The Broncos are coming off a 2006 season in which they finished 15-5-1 in winning their ninth consecutive West Coast Conference title. Santa Clara earned a No. 1 seed in its 18th straight NCAA Championship, but was upset by USC at home in the first round, 1-0.

Some of the current crop of Bronco standouts include the senior quartet of Brittany Klein, Tina Estrada, Chioma Igwe and M.A.C. Hermann Trophy candidate Meagan Snell. Klein was a second-team All-WCC choice in midfield as a junior with five goals. Estrada was the team’s leading scorer as both a sophomore and a junior before missing the 2006 season.

San Jose State has never beaten or tied Santa Clara in 11 all-time meetings since the Spartan program began in 1995. That includes six Bronco victories at its home venue, Buck Shaw Stadium. The teams have played each other once each season since 1995, with the exception of 1996. This will be the second straight year in which the annual meeting will take place at Santa Clara. Last season, the then-third-ranked Broncos posted a 6-0 victory on October 4. Jerry Smith has compiled a record of 326-84-27 in his 21st year as the Bronco head coach.

SAN JOSE STATE (0-0, 0-0 WAC) vs. SAN FRANCISCO (0-0, 0-0 WCC)
(USF Leads Series, 8-2)
San Francisco, which will be opening its season at Spartan Stadium on September 2, dropped a 1-0 decision to Sacramento State in the Dons’ only exhibition contest ahead of the 2007 campaign. The match was played at San Marin High School in Novato, Calif., on Sunday, August 26. USF went 5-13-2 overall and 1-5-1 in the West Coast Conference a year ago.

The Dons’ top returning scorer is senior forward Fiona O’Sullivan, who tallied five goals in 2006. Samantha Brand returns after a freshman year in which she had one goal and four assists.

USF holds an 8-2 advantage in the all-time series between the schools. The teams have met once in each season since 1996, with the exception of 2000, with the Dons having won the last six meetings in a row since a 3-1 Spartan triumph in San Jose in 1999. The Spartans are an even 2-2 all-time against USF in San Jose, with the 2005 game having been played at Spartan Field. In the last match-up on September 3, 2006, USF took a 3-1 decision at its own Negoesco Stadium, behind a three-goal hat trick by O’Sullivan. Jessica Scott scored the lone goal for San Jose State. Mark Carr heads into his first season in charge of the Dons following a four-year stint as an assistant coach at UCLA.

COVERAGE
Fans can listen to the Santa Clara-San Jose State game on August 31, or follow via live streaming video or live statistics at santaclarabroncos.com. The live stats will be available free of charge, courtesy of GameTracker by CSTV. The audio and video are through CSTV’s Broncos All-Access for a monthly subscription fee of $6.95.

Live stats for all San Jose State home contests held at Spartan Stadium and most road matches are available for free at sjsuspartans.com. Just click on “Live Stats” under “Live” from the top menu bar on the front page.

“RIVALRY SERIES” BEGINS ANEW FOR 2007-08 ON FRIDAY NIGHT
San Jose State and Santa Clara renew their “Rivalry Series” match-up on Friday night with the 2007 women’s soccer opener for both universities. The annual competition pits the two schools in 13 sports, with predetermined point totals being awarded for the winner in each sport. The school with the most points at the end of the athletic season, wins the competition for that year. Santa Clara has won the “Rivalry Series” in each of its first five seasons. The Broncos have taken the three points in women’s soccer in each of the past five seasons since 2002, the inaugural year of the “Rivalry Series.”

SPARTANS TO PAY TRIBUTE IN SUNDAY’S GAME
Members of the San Jose State women’s soccer team will wear blue wristbands during the 2007 home opener against the University of San Francisco on Sunday, September 2, in honor of William Simonian, the young son of Carl and Amanda Simonian, friends of the family of current Spartan junior Jennifer Guadagnolo. William passed away earlier this year at the age of one.

TRIO OF ALL-CONFERENCE RETURNERS FOR SPARTANS
Senior midfielder Nicole Irwin, junior forward Jessica Scott and redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Marissa Dayton return in 2007 after each earned All-Western Athletic Conference honors for the 2006 season. Irwin garnered “Offensive Player of the Year” and first team distinction, while Scott and Dayton both earned spots on the All-WAC second team. Irwin became the first Spartan “Player of the Year” honoree since Stacie Savage in 1997. The trio are among nine starters and 13 letterwinners back from a year ago.

SENIOR LEADERSHIP
The Spartans will look to a total of eight seniors for leadership during the 2007 season. Those seniors are Nicole Irwin, Kristin Krale, Kelly Madej, Erica Ng-Pinkerton, Heather Oranje, Heidi Romswinckel-Guise, Tasha Van Dixhorn and Jackie Zabek. San Jose State will be captained in 2007 by Krale, Romswinckel-Guise and Zabek.

FIVE NEWCOMERS
The 2007 San Jose State roster features five freshmen newcomers. The group includes goalkeeper Sarah Wisotsky out of Aromas, Calif., who attended San Jose State during the 2006-07 academic year, but did not participate in soccer. The remaining four are all local standouts. They are Kim Johnston (Los Gatos, Calif./Leigh HS), Stephanie Righetti (San Jose, Calif./Pioneer HS), Lauren Ng-Pinkerton (San Jose, Calif./Santa Teresa HS) and Danielle Drago (San Mateo, Calif./Saint Francis HS).