Sept. 29, 2007
PORTLAND, Ore. - Gonzaga University sophomore Tye Perdido hit the post in the 107th minute, and the Bulldogs and Pacific Northwest rival University of Portland battled to a 1-1 double-overtime tie Saturday night in the West Coast Conference opener for both teams at Merlo Field at the Clive Charles Soccer Complex.
Perdido's shot came from close range off the left wing.
The Bulldogs (5-2-1; 0-0-1) have not lost in their last four outings, bringing a three-match winning streak into the match. Gonzaga, ranked 21st by Soccer America this week, is now 3-0-2 in its last five meetings with the Pilots (3-3-2; 0-0-1), none of the three Bulldog wins in that stretch by more than one goal. Gonzaga took a pair of 2-1 victories over the Pilots last season, including an overtime home victory.
It didn't take the Bulldogs long to get on the scoreboard Saturday. Ben Funkhouser, whose first goal of the season was the match-winner at home against 15th-ranked University of Washington in Gonzaga's last home match Sept. 7, got his second tally of the season at 5:59. He took a pass from John Reha and buried the Bulldogs first shot of the night - and their only first-half shot-on-goal - into the top of the net from 6 yards. It was Reha's second assist of the season and his 12th career helper as he moved into a tie for seventh on the Gonzaga charts.
The Pilots had half of their six first-half shots on goal, but Gonzaga keeper Vito Higgins kept the home team off the board with three saves. The Bulldogs had four first-half shots but the only one on net resulted in a goal.
It looked like the one goal might stand up for the victory until Portland got the equalizer late in the match, Michael Gavin scoring his first goal of the season off a 25-yard direct kick at 79:55. The Pilots applied offensive pressure for most of the second half, launching 10 shots with five of them on goal. The Bulldogs had five second-half shots but only one on goal, Grant Lundberg getting a close-range shot from the left wing that Pilot keeper Austin Guerrero handled.
Gonzaga controlled the play in the first overtime, getting six shots away and forcing Guerrero to make a pair of saves. The Bulldogs had one possession late in the first overtime where they got five rapid fire shots - the first three blocked before Funkhouser got one on goal that Guerrero saved and then Lundberg's shot from the far left wing went wide right to end the possession.
The Bulldogs held a 3-2 edge in shots in the second extra session, Perdido also having a shot early in the OT that was saved by Guerrero. Both of Portland's shots in the final period were blocked.
Both teams finished with 18 shots, Higgins called on for 8 saves, one shy of his career high against the University of New Mexico his freshman campaign of 2003. It was the third 8-save match of his career. Guerrero had 4 saves. The 18 shots for the Bulldogs were the most since launching 23 against the University of Maryland-Baltimore County last season in the Anders Navy Classic. Gonzaga had 17 shots earlier this season against Washington.
The Bulldogs will remain on the road next week, heading to Saint Mary's College on Friday and the University of San Francisco on Sunday for a pair of WCC contests. Gonzaga will return home for the first time since the Washington match when the Bulldogs face Loyola Marymount University Oct. 12, a string of seven straight matches away from home.