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WCC Men's Soccer Recaps - 8/25

Aug. 25, 2006

Gonzaga - 4
UNLV - 1

SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University scored three unanswered goals Friday to open the 2006 regular season with a 4-1 non-conference men's soccer victory over UNLV in front of 400 sun-baked fans at Martin Field.

The four goals were the most for the Bulldogs since a 5-1 home win over Montana State University-Billings in 2004, and the most against a NCAA Division I opponent since a 5-3 win at Air Force to open the 2003 season in the Parents Weekend Invitational.

Junior John Palladino, who sat out last season after suffering a knee injury during the summer, got the Bulldogs on the board early at 22:09, his right-to-left shot ricocheting off the far post and into the net. It was his second career goal, his first coming as a freshman in 2003. He was assisted by George Josten, last year's leading Bulldog scorer with 12 goals, 5 assists and 29 points. Friday's assist gives Josten 41 career points to move into a tie for sixth with Jason Adams on the all-time Gonzaga list.

UNLV, with first-year head coach Mario Sanchez making his debut, came back just 30 seconds later when Nicholas Paterson's free kick from the left wing beat Gonzaga keeper Vito Higgins to the far side.

Grant Lundberg gave Gonzaga a 2-1 halftime lead when he took Austin Washington's pass on the left wing and his shot changed direction a couple of times on its way past Rebels' keeper Brett Hafeman at 34:31.

The Bulldogs scored a big insurance goal at 77:09 as John Reha, with an assist from Lundberg, caught the far post from the left wing. Freshman Nick Barclay of Boise, Idaho, made his Gonzaga debut a memorable one with a header from the top of the box at 83:09 for his first collegiate goal to all but end any hopes of a UNLV comeback.

Gonzaga held a 14-4 edge in shots and controlled the territorial play for much of the afternoon. And several of the shots were on target as Hafeman was called on for seven saves while Higgins had a relatively easy day in the nets with just two saves.

Gonzaga remains home Sunday to face UC Davis at 1 p.m., a match that was changed from its original 2 p.m. kickoff to accommodate UC Davis' flight schedule home. Sunday's match will be the final home appearance for the Bulldogs until Oct. 6 when Santa Clara University visits Martin Field.

San Diego - 2
Rutgers - 0

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of San Diego men's soccer team (1-0-0) handed the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights (0-1-0) their first loss of the season as the Toreros posted a 2-0 shutout to open the 2006 season. Both of San Diego's goals came in the second half including one from freshman midfield Ciaran O'Brien. With the victory over Rutgers, the men's soccer team completes the trifecta for USD athletics as the women's soccer team defeated Cal Poly 3-2 on the road and the women's volleyball team defeated Hofstra 3-0 at the Aztec Invitational hosted by San Diego State.

Both San Diego and Rutgers got off to a slow start in the first half of play as the Toreros posted only five shots, while the Rutgers managed only two shots. San Diego's front line kept the Knight's goalkeeper Matt Vanoekel on his toes as he posted two saves, both of which were on target for the net. At the end of the first half, the score was 0-0.

San Diego returned from the break when in the 55th minute from the near-side at centerfield, senior forward Michael Caso pushed a ball lofted a long pass into the penalty box to O'Brien. O'Brien broke away from defenders firing off a shot from 10 yards out into the opposite corner of the net taking a 1-0 lead over Rutgers and recording his first career goal as a Torero.

Both teams battled for possession of the match until the 77th when Nick Leonard found himself just outside the left side of the goal box. As he attempted to take a shot on goal, the Rutgers defender guarding him poked the ball back towards the goalie who fanned the kick attempting to clear it, and the ball rolled into the net for an own goal capping the Torero victory 2-0.

For the Toreros, Caso took four shots and tallied one assist. Senior forward Ryan Guy took three shots and had one shot on goal. O'Brien had one shot on goal and recorded a goal for the Toreros. Goalkeeper Lance Friesz record one save against Rutgers.

For the Scarlet Knights, Charlie Cox took two shots against the Toreros. Both Sean Cameron and Nick Labrocca recorded one shot on goal each. Vanoekel finished with two goals against and four saves.

Rutgers University travels across town to take on San Diego State University on Sunday afternoon. The Toreros continue their homestand as they host the University at Albany Great Danes on Sunday, August 27 at 12:00 p.m. at Torero Stadium.

San Francisco - 1
California - 0

Berkeley, CA - The 17th ranked USF Dons opened the season by defeating #11 California 1-0 Friday afternoon in Berkeley in the first game of the WCC/Pac 10 Challenge.

The Dons only goal was an "own goal" in the 37th minute when a Cal defender deflected a hard low pass by USF's Adam Bergman into the net. The goal happened less than a minute after Bergman entered the contest.

USF started slowly and a diving save by Geremy Uhl on a clean breakaway by Chris Cortez midway through the first half, kept he score tied early. The Bears had the best of the play early, outshooting USF 6-3 before intermission, but USF held the Bears to just two shots after halftime.

"We started the game a little slowly," said Dons head coach Erik Visser. "Geremy made a big save for us and maybe swung the momentum a little. I thought we had the better chances after that. Aaron Chandler had a couple of chances in the second half that barely missed."

Cal outshot USF 8-7, but the Dons had a 4-2 advantage after intermission.

Geremy Uhl made five saves for his 19th career shutout. It was USF's first win over Cal since 2000.

Several players made debuts for USF, including junior college All-American Ardalan Attar, transfer Chris Rodd, and defender Tyler Ruthven. Ruthven's college debuit was watched by his family, including former Major League pitcher Dick Ruthven.

The Dons will host Stanford Sunday at 7:00 p.m. in the WCC/Pac 10 Challenge at Negoesco Stadium.

Santa Clara - 1
Stanford - 0

Stanford, Calif. - The Santa Clara men's soccer team (1-0-0) opened its season with an impressive 1-0 win on the road against the Stanford Cardinal (0-1-0). Peter Lowry scored the game's lone goal on a penalty kick early in the second half and the Broncos experienced defense clamped down on the Cardinal to earn the shutout. SCU has now beaten Stanford three straight times and is unbeaten in their past four matches against them.

Despite some early nerves with some new faces in the line-up, the Broncos started the match strong, keeping the Cardinal off balance and limiting their possession. They also created a number of opportunities, but could not convert in the final third.

One of the team's best chances in the first half came off the foot of sophomore transfer Brian Martin at the 25 minute mark. Freshman Amaechi Igwe set the play up with some nifty work in midfield before sending a perfectly weighted ball into the box. The ball came down to Martin 15 yards from goal, but his left-footed volley sailed high keeping the match scoreless.

Besides Igwe, four other freshmen got their first taste of college soccer in the first half with Stephen McCarthy starting and playing well in the midfield. Sean Danzeiser and Jeff Cosgriff also saw time with Cosgriff receiving a strong ovation from some hometown fans. Cosgriff is from nearby San Bruno and played his high school soccer at St. Ignatius.

Just before halftime, two of those freshmen nearly connected for the game's first goal. Captain Peter Lowry started the play with a great ball down the left wing to Igwe, who faked to his left before slotting a pass across to McCarthy. McCarthy side-footed a low shot to the near post, but it was just off target.

At halftime, the Broncos had dominated possession and held the Cardinal to just two shots one of which found the frame. Bronco goalkeeper Joseph Buttita was steady in his first game, coming off his line to punch some balls clear and making the one save to preserve the clean sheet.

Coming out of halftime, head coach Cameron Rast inserted freshmen forward Ryan Brown and he made an immediate impact. After saving an errant pass on the sideline he battled through two tackles to break free on the left wing. The Montclair, NJ native then knocked a pass into the box for Martin, who turned his defender and broke to goal. Just as Martin attempted to shoot, he was brought down and referee Yader Reyes pointed to the spot.

Lowry calmly stepped up and slotted home the penalty kick past a diving Brent Stewart in the 49th minute to give the Broncos the only goal they would need.

With the SCU backline of Jamil Roberts, Matt Marquess, Brian Curry and Matt Hatzke playing well, the Cardinal could not find any gaps in the Bronco defense and Rast's squad earned their first shutout of the season.

Next up for the Broncos is California, who comes to Buck Shaw Stadium on Sunday, Aug. 27 for a 7:00 p.m. PT game.

Saint Mary's - 1
Butler - 1

Fairborn, OH - The Saint Mary's men's soccer team opened its 2006 campaign with a 1-1 tie against Butler University in the opening round of the Adidas Cup from Alumni Field on the Wright State campus. 2005 All-WCC first-team selection Carlos Diaz paced the Gaels with a late second half goal.

After 82 minutes of scoreless soccer, SMC was awarded a free kick after Butler's Eduardo Garcia was handed a yellow card. From 45-yards out, Diaz blasted a shot passed Bulldogs goalkeeper Frank Peabody that tickled the net and handed the Gaels a quick 1-0 lead.

But just 30 seconds later, Butler responded when Danny Akl caromed a shot off the left post to even the score at one.

Both Peabody and SMC goalkeeper Brian Mason played the entire 110 minutes and allowed one goal and tallied five saves.

Diaz paced the Gaels offensively with seven shots while senior defender Alex Christlieb racked off six. SMC newcomer Ryan Corriveau rallied off two shots in his first start as a Gael. As a team, SMC out-shot BU 20-13.

The Bulldogs were led by the duo of Frank Patano and Garcia. The tandem recorded three shots apiece.

Saint Mary's will return to action on Sunday, August 27 when the Gaels play host Wright State at 7 p.m. EST.