Sept. 22, 2007
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Freshman Philippe Garre took a pass from veteran George Josten and scored from 8 yards for his first career goal to give the 25th-ranked Gonzaga University's men's soccer team a 1-0 victory over Northern Illinois University Saturday night.
With the win the Bulldogs (5-2-0) won their second straight Stephen Hensor/Joe Zaher Classic hosted by Oregon State University. Gonzaga and NIU (2-3-3) both won their opening matches Friday to set up the winner-take-all meeting Saturday.
Garre, a forward from Scottsdale, Ariz., got the only goal the Bulldogs and keeper Vito Higgins would need at 44:41 on the give-and-go from Josten. For Josten it was his third assist of the season and the 13th of his career as he moved into a tie for fourth on the all-time Gonzaga list with Scott Yuska (2000-03) and Arni Ingi Pjetursson (2001-04). With his goal and assist Friday, it gives him seven goals and five assists in eight career matches in Corvallis. He had four goals and two assists in this tournament last year.
Higgins made three saves - all in the first half - and defender Daniel Scott also chipped in with a team save to help the native of Kailua, Hawai'i, record his second shutout of the season and the 10th of his career to become the third keeper in Bulldog history with 10 or more. The two ahead of him are also fellow Islanders - Josh Fouts (1996-98) with 19 and Mike McCarthey (199-02) with 13.
Higgins and the Bulldogs survived one close call in the 37th minute when Scott, another Hawaiian native from Maui, kept Chris Rufa's shot from finding the net, the rebound came out to Drew Jeskey and Higgins made that save to thwart the Huskies.
Gonzaga out shot the Huskies 12-6, seven of the Bulldogs shots on goal as keeper Joe Zimka had six saves.
The Bulldogs won their third straight match and are off to their best start since 1997 when they opened the season 6-1 on the way to a 14-4-0 overall record and 4-2-0 West Coast Conference record that earned them a share of the regular-season title.
Saturday's match also saw two familiar coaches on opposing sidelines. NIU is coached by Steve Simmons, a 1994 Gonzaga men's assistant who replaced current Gonzaga head coach Einar Thorarinsson at Whitworth College in 1995 when Thorarinsson came across town to join the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs will open WCC play Saturday at the University of Portland in a 7 p.m. match.