Soccer Hosts UC Riverside in Bulldog Stadium

By Stephanie Juncker

Weekly Release

Mountain West Weekly Release No. 4

FRESNO, Calif. ---The Fresno State soccer team will play under the lights this Friday night at 7 p.m. when the Bulldogs take on UC Riverside in Bulldog Stadium. Senior Callie Hancock and sophomore Katie DeVault lead the team in goals and saves respectively. The Bulldogs dropped the home opener in front of the largest crowd since 2009 to then- No. 5/4 UCLA and are looking for the first win in front of the Red Wave this season. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About the Highlanders (3-2-1)
UC Riverside enters this weekend's game with the 'Dogs coming off a come from behind 3-2 overtime victory over UTEP in the UCR Tournament. The Highlanders are led by head coach Nat Gonzales, who is in his first season with the program. Sophomore Celina Valencia leads the team with three goals and an assist thus far this season. Goalkeeper Jessica White has recorded 28 saves and allowed nine goals.

Against the Highlanders
Fresno State will be looking for its first win in school history over UC Riverside as the Highlanders lead the series 4-0-1 over the Bulldogs. The most recent match came in 2009 at a neutral site with UC Riverside coming out with a 1-0 victory.

Best of the West
Sophomore Katie DeVault returned this year for the 'Dogs between the pipes. After three weeks of action, she leads the Mountain West in saves (42) and saves per game (7.00). The closest competitor is Air Force's Kelly Stambaugh who has 29 saves on the year. DeVault recorded a monstorous 24 saves during week two when she set the school record for single game saves (12) in back-to-back games.

Senior Strikes Again
Senior Callie Hancock hopped back on the scoring train against Washington, when she beat the keeper to score the lone goal for the 'Dogs. Hancock leads Fresno State in scoring with three goals and points (6) on the season. In the Mountain West, Hancock ranks third in shots and is tied for third in goals.

Kiwi Kickin' It At FIFA U-20 World Cup
Sophomore Nadia Pearl returned to the Bulldogs starting lineup during the Husky/Nike Invitational with some top quality international experience after participating in the FIFA U-20 World Cup which took place in Japan at the end of August. She was named to the Junior Football Ferns for her home country of New Zealand. New Zealand was grouped with host country Japan, Mexico, and Switzerland in Group A. Pearl saw action in all three contests, including starting for New Zealand in their match against Japan. She recorded a total of 90 minutes throughout the tournament. New Zealand was eliminated after the group stage after they finished third in Group A.

Still Searching
After a tough opening schedule against stiff competition, the Bulldogs are still searching for the first win of the season. Fresno State has faced two Top 25 opponents as a part of this difficult schedule and will look to capitalize on a home field advantage against the Highlanders.

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