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Men's Soccer Topples Defending Champs

Sept. 2, 2007

Box Score

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Gonzaga University senior Grant Lundberg scored the only goal of the match at 81:35 Sunday as the Bulldogs defeated defending College Cup champion UC Santa Barbara 1-0 at Maloney Field.

The Bulldogs evened their record at 1-1-0 after dropping a season-opening 1-0 verdict Friday at UC Irvine.

Lundberg, a graduate of Lewis and Clark High, scored his 10th career goal in giving the Bulldogs their inaugural win over a defending national champion. The Bulldogs lost at UCLA 1-0 on Sept. 17, 1998, the season following the Bruins' 22-2 national championship season. Sunday was the third time the Bulldogs have played a top-ranked team - UCSB was ranked No. 1 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA)/adidas pre-season poll. In 1999 Gonzaga bested top-ranked Creighton University 1-0 Sept. 26 at the Blue Jays Diadora Classic, then two weeks later fell 1-0 at No. 1 Santa Clara University in a West Coast Conference match on Oct. 8.

Lundberg's goal was shot to the left side inside the left post from 15 yards. George Josten, a Hermann Trophy Watch List candidate, got the assist, the 11th of his career and the first point of the season for the two-time defending West Coast Conference scoring champion. His 11 assists tie him for seventh on the Gonzaga career charts.

After thwarting a Gaucho offensive push, Bulldog midfielder John Palladino carried the ball upfield on the right side and played it to his left for Josten. UCSB defender Martin Hedevag cut off Josten's angle towards the goal and got a foot on the ball, but it ricocheted directly to Lundberg, who was trailing the play on the left. All alone in front of Gaucho keeper Bryant Rueckner, Lundberg slipped a low shot past him.

UCSB had a great shot at equalizing on the ensuing possession when senior forward Andrew Proctor slipped the ball through the Gonzaga backline in the box. He found a streaking Perera to his left, but the Bulldog defense recovered to clear the ball off the goal line and preserve the victory.

Senior keeper Vito Higgins picked up his ninth career shutout in making five saves, including three in the second half. The Gauchos outshot Gonzaga 19-8 and had a 13-5 shots advantage in the second half.

The Bulldogs will make their regular-season debut at home on Friday when cross-state rival University of Washington visits Martin Field for a 4 p.m. contest. The Bulldog women open the in-state double-header by hosting Washington State University at 2 p.m.