Sept. 9, 2006
CORVALLIS, Ore. - George Josten scored two goals and had an assist for the second straight match and Gonzaga University snapped a four-match losing streak to Oregon State University on Saturday with a 4-1 victory to claim the OSU Joe Zaher/Stephen Hensor Memorial at Lorenz Field.
Gonzaga (3-2-1) defeated Xavier on Friday while the host Beavers (4-2-0) stopped UC Davis to set up the winner-take all showdown on Saturday. The Beavers and Xavier, a 2-1 winner over UC Davis in Saturday's first match, tied for second with 1-1 records, but OSU claimed the tiebreaker on goal differential zero to minus 2.
Junior midfielder John Palladino scored the Bulldogs' other two goals against the Beavers, giving him three for the season after missing all of last year after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury early in the summer of 2005.
Gonzaga built a 2-1 halftime lead, then scored twice in the final three minutes to clinch the victory.
The Bulldogs, competing in this tournament for the second straight season after going 1-1 last year, got on the scoreboard first at 13:05 when Josten slipped a through ball past the OSU back line, and Palladino ran onto it and scored from a few yards away on the right side.
Oregon State didn't waste much time getting the equalizer. Midfielder Lucas Egenwall sent in a free kick from the left side that went into a crowd and was deflected to the far post to Alex Christensen who headed it back across the goalmouth. Bryan Jordan slid in and knocked the ball into the back of the net at 18:10 for his second goal of the season.
Gonzaga, however, took the lead for good at 32:02 when John Reha played a cross from the left side and Josten leaped high among a crowd of players and headed it in.
Bulldog goalkeeper Vito Higgins helped preserve the 2-1 first-half lead as with less than two minutes to go in the opening half he made a nice diving save to his right to stop a long-distance shot by Egenwall. Higgins made another excellent save in the 59th minute off a rocket by Robbie Findley from 25 yards out, tipping the swerving blast over the bar. Two minutes later, he stopped another hard shot from inside the box by Findley.
The Beavers started to pile up shot attempts down the stretch, and ended up with overall advantages of 17-8 on shots and 9-6 on corner kicks, but couldn't make any of them count.
With Gonzaga trying to waste time on OSU's defensive end, the Bulldogs drew a foul on the left side of the box in the 88th minute. Palladino bent a hard free kick perfectly into the net for a goal at 87:31 that all but iced the match for Gonzaga.
Then, on a counterattack, Tye Perdido fed Josten for the game's final goal with 47 seconds left on the clock.
Josten, who scored 12 goals last season, now has six goals in six matches this year. He has 23 career goals and, with four assists this season, now has 10 assists. He had already moved into fourth on the career goals list at Gonzaga earlier this season, and is now tied for eighth in career assists. He has 16 points this season to give him 56 in his career to vault from seventh entering the season to fourth on the all-time points list.
Gonzaga will be idle next weekend, returning to action Sept. 22 in the West Coast Conference opener at Loyola Marymount University followed two days later by a WCC match at the University of San Diego. Gonzaga, which opened the season with back-to-back home matches, won't return to Martin Field until Oct. 6 when Santa Clara University visits.