49ers Set to Play at Two Top-25 Foes in the Carolinas
Three-Match Road Trip Awaits at No. 22 Wake Forest, No. 19 Clemson
and at Top-25 BYU over Week Span
September 3, 2007
OF THE RELEASE
BEACH TO PLAY TWO TOP-25 TEAMS ON THE ROAD
The No. 25-ranked 49ers (2-0-0) will take on two top-25 opponents
this week, both on the road in the Carolinas, to begin a three-match road
trip. LBSU will travel to No. 22-ranked Wake Forest (1-1-0) on Wednesday,
before heading to No. 19-ranked Clemson (1-0-0 prior to playing Coastal
Carolina on Wednesday) on Friday. Both matches are at 4 p.m. Pacific.
The 49ers remain on the road to play at BYU on September 11. The Wake
Forest match is being webcast through www.accselect.com. The Beach, who
are coming off a perfect first weekend following a 5-0 win over CS Bakersfield
and a 1-0 overtime over Utah, return nine starters and are 2-0-0 to start
the season for the second-straight year.
COMING UP THIS WEEK
at No. 22 Wake Forest 4 p.m.
at No. 19 Clemson 4 p.m.
WHAT’S KICKING NEXT
The 49ers will play at Mountain West Champion, BYU, on Tuesday,
September 11, before hosting Oklahoma on Friday, September 14 and Baylor
on Sunday, September 16. That stretch will end a streak of six matches
in 14 days. Four of those matches are against NCAA Tournament teams from
a year ago.
A LOOK AT THE OPPONENTS
Wake Forest enters the match on Wednesday 1-1 on the season following
a 2-1 loss at San Diego and a 2-0 win over Pepperdine in San Diego last
weekend... the Deacs are No. 22 in the NSCAA pre-season poll... Tony da
Luz is in his 11th season, ranking No. 11 in the final poll in 2006, going
16-6-1... the Deacons return seven starters and 18 lettermen from a year
ago... Clemson is 1-0 on the season, having beaten Liberty 4-0 after a
pair of 1-0 exhibition wins over Davidson and Georgia... the Tigers play
Coastal Carolina two days prior to hosting The Beach... Todd Bramble is
in his seventh year at the helm, going 11-8-5 and reaching the NCAA Quarterfinals
a year ago.... 17 lettermen return, including nine starters... Clemson
is No. 19 in the NSCAA pre-season poll
AT THE HELM
The 49ers quick emergence as a regional and national threat has
become at the hands and feet of Head Coach Mauricio Ingrassia. Ingrassia,
who has gone 34-19-7 over three-plus seasons, has brought in three top-40
recruiting classes, including the 15th-best class in the nation in 2005.
That class, now juniors, is the core of this year’s team. Ingrassia
previously won five state titles at nearby Long Beach City College, the
most of any California coach. He finished his LBCC career winning the
last 55 in a row.
IN THE TOP-25
Prior to Mauricio Ingrassia’s arrival, the 49ers were never
in the regional polls, let alone the national polls. This year’s
team for the second straight year is ranked in the top-30 to start the
year, ranking a pre-season high of No. 25 in Soccer Buzz’ annual
poll. The 49ers were as high as No. 21 last season. The team’s No.
8 regional ranking is one spot away from the program’s best mark,
set last year. The next rankings come out late Tuesday.
NEWCOMERS TALLY POINTS EARLY
Thirteen of the 49ers first 17 points have come from its newcomers,
especially its freshman class, ranked 27th nationally. Nikki Myers (two
goals, San Diego) tallied two second half goals against CS Bakersfield,
while Kristen Kiefer (Mission Viejo) and Lindsay Bullock (Manhattan Beach)
each have game-winning goals. Bullock’s score came in the 94th minute
against Utah, while Kiefer’s was the start of five straight scored
by The Beach in Bakersfield.
NIL, NADA, ZIPPO
Liz Ramos (Bakersfield), the team’s starting goalkeeper
the last three years, continues to add to her school-record for shutouts
with 1.5 more the first weekend. Ramos now has 24.0 shutouts in her career.
RECORD BREAKING COUPLE OF YEARS
The 49ers have had the two best seasons in school history, going
12-5-3 in 2005 and 14-5-1 in 2006. Both times they broke the school record
for victories and shutouts, as the team has produced 26 scoreless contests
over two-plus seasons. They just missed the NCAA Tournament in 2006 after
winning the Big West’s regular season title.
A TOUGH SCHEDULE
Besides the six tournament teams from a year ago, the team’s
highest ranked opponent will be No. 14-ranked USC. BYU is also ranked,
checking in at No. 23. This week’s opponents are both ranked in
the NSCAA poll.
PICKED TO WIN IT AGAIN
The defending Big West regular season champions are picked to
repeat and win the conference championship, according to the conference
coaches. The 49ers, who were 5-1-1 in conference play, received five of
the nine first place votes and 77 points overall. Cal Poly, which upset
the 49ers in the first round of the Big West Tournament in Long Beach,
and UC Santa Barbara, also a Big West Tournament team, were picked to
finish second with 63 points (two first place votes).
The 49ers return four all-conference players and a number of
players with significant experience in 2007. Along with Silos and Bolt,
Sahar Haghdan (Palmdale) joined the duo on the first team, while Dana
Farquhar (Redlands) was named to the second team. Seven players have 40
or more caps to their credit, including defensive midfielder Sara Baca
(Ventura), goalkeeper Liz Ramos (Bakersfield) and seniors Amanda Perry
(Fresno) and Katelyn Quaresma (Manteca). Also returning to a revamped
starting backfield is defender Julie Megorden (Los Alamitos).
FIRE POWER RETURNS
The 49ers return 90.6 percent of their scoring output from a
year ago (29 of 32). Kim Silos (nine goals), Hayley Bolt (eight goals)
and Sahar Haghdan (six goals) all ranked in the Big West’s top-10
in that category.
STINGY ON DEFENSE
The Beach have twice posted shutout records over the past two
season, breaking their own record in 2005 with 14 in 2006. Junior Liz
Ramos (Bakersfield) entered the season with a record 0.64 goals against
average. Ramos, the last line of defense, has been helped by two-year
starters Julie Megorden (Los Alamitos) and Tiffany Vaught (Ladera Ranch).
NEWCOMERS SET TO CONTRIBUTE
More than in any other year, this year’s team has interchangeable
parts. Junior midfielder Mariko Strickland (Anahola, HI) is expected to
be a big part of the midfield, while speedster Kristen Kiefer (Mission
Viejo) and midfielder Lindsay Bullock (Manhattan Beach) are expected to
be big parts of the freshmen offensive contingent. Defender Tara Corcoran
(La Verne) and twin sisters Caroline and Grace Shevlin (San Diego) will
also see extended time.