Sept. 29, 2006
Moraga, CA- Freshman midfielder Dylan Leslie tallied his first career hat trick to lead the Gaels past the No. 10-ranked Toreros 4-2 Friday afternoon from Saint Mary's Stadium. The victory marks the second time in as many games that SMC has downed a ranked opponent. After the win, the Gaels improve to 4-3-3 overall and 2-0 in West Coast Conference play.
The back-to-back victories over ranked opponents marks the first time in school history that the Gaels have accomplished that feat.
The Toreros, who were the highest scoring team in Division I soccer with 29 goals entering Friday, allowed four from a swarming Gaels offense, one more than USD has allowed all season.
Leslie got the Gaels on the board when he converted a penalty kick in the 18th minute to the right side of the net. Senior midfielder Corey Watts drew the foul after splitting two Torero defenders inside the box.
In the 30th minute, Leslie struck for his second goal of the match. Senior forward Matthew Fitzgerald broke loose down the left side of the USD half and slipped a perfect ball across the box to the far post run of Leslie. The newcomer buried the shot past USD goalkeeper Lance Friesz.
The Toreros then cut the Gaels lead to one on a cluster of shots that finally found net in the 59th minute. SMC goalkeeper Brian Mason came up big, making a save on a penalty kick. After the ball trickled out into the box, Dustin Guerrero scored after Mason made two saves from point blank range.
Leslie and the Gaels were not done though as one-minute later the freshman found the back of the net for the hat trick. Off a corner kick by sophomore forward Carlos Diaz, Leslie headed the ball into the upper left corner to give SMC a 3-1 advantage.
San Diego had not heard the last from a SMC newcomer, this time Bryan VanDoorninck put the game away with a goal in the 77th minute. Fellow freshman Mark Araujo made a key steal deep in USD territory and then found VanDoorninck with a through ball to set up a one-on-one that the newcomer buried for his first career goal.
The Toreros tacked on another goal in the 81st minute when J.T. Howlin scored on a one-timer from eight yards out.
The Gaels out-shot the potent Torero attack 13-10 and held USD to just two first half shots. Leslie led SMC with six shots, putting four on goal. The Toreros were led by Howlin and Michael Caso, who rallied off two shots a piece.
Friesz allowed four goals and made a game-high five saves while Mason earned the victory after allowing two goals and making three stops.
Saint Mary's will continue WCC action on Sunday, October 1 against Loyola Marymount. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. from Saint Mary's Stadium.