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WCC Men's Soccer Recaps - 9/10

Sept. 10, 2006

Saint Mary's - 4
UC Riverside - 2

Moraga, CA - The Saint Mary's men's soccer team exploded for four goals including three in the second half to run away from the UC Riverside Highlanders 4-2 Sunday morning from Garaventa Field. Four different Gaels recorded goals en route to their second victory on the season. After the day, SMC improves to 2-2-2 on the year.

After pounding the UCR defense early with numerous close calls, junior midfielder David Blanchard broke the silence with a one-touch far-post goal. Senior Matthew Fitzgerald broke away from the Highlander defense and slipped a perfectly placed ball to the far post run of Blanchard at the 30-minute mark.

Two minutes later UCR evened the score when Andrew Villalobos cleaned up a loose ball off a corner and drilled a shot far post for the goal.

In the 52nd minute Alex Christlieb tallied his first goal of the season that handed SMC a 2-1 advantage. Christlieb came into the UCR box for a Carlos Diaz throw in and Diaz found the 6-1 defender for a header that he drilled far post for the goal.

Again the Highlanders answered. At the 63-minute mark Ben Oliver collected a SMC clearance and drilled a 45-yard blast that sailed over Gael goalkeeper Brian Mason for the equalizer.

But two minutes later SMC would grab the game for good. Sophomore midfielder Guillermo Trujillo buried a volley off a loose ball from 18-yards out for the game-winner.

With two minutes left in the contest, freshman midfielder Dylan Leslie tallied his first career goal on a penalty kick.

Saint Mary's will return to action on Friday, September 15 to participate in the UNLV Tournament. The Gaels will open tournament play against host UNLV at 7 p.m. from Peter Johann Field.

San Francisco - 1
Ohio State - 1

University Park, PA - The ninth ranked USF Dons won the championship of the Penn State Classic after a 1-1 tie with Ohio State Sunday afternoon in University Park, Penn. The Dons finished 1-0-1 in the event and had the best goal difference.

The Dons (4-0-1) opened the scoring when Aaron Chandler, the team's leading scorer the past two seasons, rifled a shot home from eight yards out past Buckeyes goalkeeper Casey Latcham. The play was set up when Jordan Keyes' long throw-in was headed to Chandler by tournament MVP Kevin Long. It was Chandler's first goal of the season.

Ohio State (1-3-2) equalized in the 78th minute when after the Dons failed to clear a loose ball in the box. Ohio State forward Stephen Traeger blasted a low shot past Geremy Uhl after picking up loose ball in the box.

The goal by Ohio State stopped USF's streak of not allowing a score in the first 437 minutes of play this season, all but 90 of which were away from home.

"I felt that we played a little bit tired today," said head coach Erik Visser. "Maybe the early kickoff time threw us off. But we came East and got a win and a tie against two quality teams. We had chances today but failed to finish. That being said, Ohio State is a quality team, that got to the NCAA final 16 last year. They are a hard-nosed hard-working group and played well enough to tie us."

Besides Long being named tournament MVP, Chris Rodd, Rob Valentino and Geremy Uhl were named to the all-tournament team.

Things get no easier for USF next weekend when they head south to play top regional contenders Cal State Northridge Friday afternoon and UCLA Sunday, both on the road.

Harvard - 1
LMU - 0

Cambridge, Mass. - The LMU men's soccer team could not wrap up a weekend sweep, falling to the host Crimson 1-0 in the Harvard Invitational on Sunday afternoon. Harvard scored in the 38th minute, and the Lion offense could not capitalize on its opportunities. Three LMU players were named to the All-Tournament team - Bobby Burling, David Niemeyer and Junior Ybarra.

Harvard failed to score at least three goals in a game for the first time this year but managed to hold LMU at bay long enough to collect its second consecutive shutout while improving to 4-1-0. LMU sees its record drop to 3-2-0 with the loss.

Both teams showed offensive capabilities throughout the first half but Harvard pressed LMU with several prime opportunities before breaking through in the 38th minute. Tom Stepleton took a ball at midfield and threaded a pass between three LMU defenders to Charles Altchek making a run down the middle. Altchek took the pass in stride and flicked a shot past Lions' keeper Robert Flores. Harvard had a big chance go by the wayside 16 minutes into the contest when Michael Fucito stole a ball and made a long run only to have a hard shot turned away by Flores.

After Flores denied John Stamatis five minutes into the second half with a sprawling save, Andre Akpan chipped a shot just over the crossbar on a breakaway. With 19:53 to play, Flores recorded his fifth and final save as he denied Altchek on the doorstep after a series of give-and-go efforts by the Crimson.

At the 79:07 mark, LMU had its best chance following a scramble off a corner kick, but Trini Gomez's shot for the far post was cleared off the line by Hoff and out of harm's way.

LMU returns to Southern California and will travel up the coast for its next game against UC Santa Barbara on Friday night at 7:30pm.