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WCC Men's Soccer Recaps - 10/20

Oct. 20, 2006

Portland - 2
LMU - 1

PORTLAND, Ore. - Sophomore forward Alex Elliott scored twice in the first half to propel the Portland Pilots past the Loyola Marymount Lions 2-1 in a West Coast Conference men's soccer game Friday night at the Clive Charles Soccer complex. Both of Elliott's goals were assisted by junior forward Christopher Sanders, who has scored or assisted on Portland's last seven goals.

The Pilots even their overall record at 6-6-2 overall and improve their league mark to 3-5-0. LMU drops to 7-6-2 and 3-3-2.

The Pilots opened the scoring with their fastest goal of the season. Not even two minutes in, junior midfielder Ryan Oakes fed Sanders with a pass at the top of the box. Sanders took a couple of touches to the right and sent a nifty pass to Elliott in the middle of the box. Elliott took a touch before punching it past LMU keeper Miguel Benitez, who had come out to defend the play. Elliott found the bottom left corner of the net.

The Lions equalized ten minutes later. Garrett Maloney made a run down the left sideline and sent a perfect cross into the box. Nick Blanco made a move to the inside of a UP defender to receive the pass. Blanco one-touched a shot into the top of the net from eight yards out in the 12th minute.

It took just ten minutes for Portland to regain the advantage. Sanders made a run towards the top of LMU's 18-yard box and was able to draw three defenders. He fed Elliott, who took a few touches in the box to bring Benitez off his line. Elliott went near post with a low shot from a tough angle left of the goal. It's Elliott's team-high seventh goal of the season and his third game-winner. It's the third assist this fall for Sanders.

The second half turned physical as five yellow cards were issued. Loyola Marymount received three, while Portland was shown two. Each team was issued a caution in the first half as well.

UP junior midfielder Matthew Dallman nearly gave Portland a 3-1 lead at the 71:00 mark. Elliott was on the endline with possession left of the goal. He found Dallman with a long pass towards the top right corner of the 18-yard box. Dallman collected and ripped a shot towards the top left corner of the frame. The ball drilled the cross bar and out.

Both teams attempted 15 shots, with each team recording nine shots in the first half and six after the break. Each team had six corner kicks.

Portland senior keeper Luis Robles went the distance in goal and made three saves. That brings his career saves total to 316, second most in school history and just 22 shy of Joe Garaventa (1977, 1979-81), UP's all-time saves leader with 338.

Sanders' streak began with a pair of goals during Portland's 2-1 win over Saint Mary's on Oct. 6. Sanders then assisted on freshman midfielder Collen Warner's strike against Santa Clara on Oct. 8, before netting both of Portland's goals in its two games against Gonzaga last weekend.

The Pilots are one game into a four-game homestand to close out October. On Sunday, Portland hosts the San Diego Toreros for a 2:00 p.m. conference match.

San Diego - 2
Gonzaga - 1

Spokane, Wash. - The University of San Diego men's soccer team (8-5-1, 3-4-1 WCC) captured their first win in five matches as the Toreros defeated the Gonzaga University Bulldogs (6-6-2, 3-4-1 WCC) 2-1 Friday afternoon at Martin Field.

In what seemed to be a battle of defense, both teams recorded only eight total shots, and both teams recorded four shots on goal each.

San Diego struck first in the 28th minute when midfielder Kevin Meissner won a free ball at midfield. Meissner played the ball through into Bulldog territory and found forward Michael Caso inside the penalty box on the left side. Caso took one touch and fired off a shot which hit the far post and bounced back into the net for a 1-0 lead going in at halftime.

In the 53rd minute, the Toreros took a hard foul outside of the penalty box just off center from the goal. From 22 yards out, Caso lined up the shot with a wall of Bulldogs in front of him. His kick sailed over the wall and past Gonzaga goalkeeper Vito Higgins into the net for a 2-0 lead.

Gonzaga mounted a comeback attempt in the 64th minute when Ben Funkhouser passed from the left wing to Tye Perdido who took a shot past Torero goalkeeper Lance Friesz hitting the far post and into the net cutting San Diego's lead 2-1. However, the Torero defense held on for the remainder of the match taking the victory.

For the Bulldogs, Tye Perdido recorded two shots, two shots on goal, and one goal. Higgins recorded two saves and two goals against for the Bulldogs.

For San Diego, Caso recorded a team high four shots, two shots on goal, and two goals. Friesz allowed one goal against and recorded two saves on the day.

San Diego continues their Pacific Northwest road swing as they travel to Portland, Oregon to take on the University of Portland Pilots on Sunday, October 22 at 2:00 p.m. from Clive Charles Soccer Complex. The match will be broadcast live on the internet and will have live stats available to view which can be accessed from the Portland Pilots Website.

Santa Clara - 1
San Francisco - 0

Santa Clara, Calif. - Once again a freshman stepped into the spotlight to lead the Santa Clara Broncos men's soccer team to a big win. Five days after freshman Jeff Cosgriff scored in overtime to beat Saint Mary's, freshman Amaechi Igwe scored the game-winner to lead Santa Clara to a key 1-0 victory over the University of San Francisco Dons at Buck Shaw Stadium. With the win, the Broncos are now five points up in the race for the West Coast Conference crown with just four games to play. SCU also stretched its unbeaten streak to six games with the win (4-0-2). Overall, the Broncos are now 9-3-4 and 5-1-2 in the WCC.

With first place on the line in the conference, both teams came out looking to score early and the Dons nearly broke through off the foot of Neil Stuart. The Dons forward broke into the box all alone on the right and fired a shot to far post. However, as he has done all season, Broncos goalkeeper Joseph Buttitta came up big with a diving save. The rebound fell to Aaron Chandler, who shot over the net to keep the game scoreless.

SCU's best chance of the first half came from senior Keith DeVey. Igwe started the play with a corner kick to the back post, where Stephen McCarthy beat his defender to head the ball back across the goalmouth. DeVey then headed a ball to the corner, but the Dons defense recovered to block the shot and keep the Broncos off the board.

After a slow start to the second half, the Broncos began to assert themselves with Igwe leading the charge. In the 67th minute, a great combination play led to a chance for Igwe. Cosgriff found Peter Lowry at midfield and Lowry sent Sean Danzeiser through with a deft touch. Danzeiser put the ball out wide to DeVey and he drove a low cross into the six-yard box for Igwe, who got a touch on the ball, but Dons goalkeeper Geremy Uhl made a great reaction save to prevent the goal. Minutes later, Igwe fired high from a tough angle after a give-and-go with Lowry.

However, the freshman from Belmont would break through in the 73rd minute. Igwe and Danzeiser played a give-and-go to set Igwe up at the top of the box. He spun and froze his defender before unleashing a low shot to the corner past a stunned Uhl to give SCU a 1-0 lead. The goal was Igwe's third of the year.

Buttitta preserved his shutout and the lead two minutes later by diving to his left to save a Matt Languis free kick. Despite some pressure by the Dons at the end of the match, the Broncos remained solid at the back to earn the three points and their sixth shutout of the year.

Santa Clara travels to Southern California for the third time this year to face two conference rivals next weekend. On Friday, Oct. 27, the Broncos will look for the sweep of San Diego at 7:00 p.m. PT at Torero Stadium. SCU won the first meeting 2-1 on Oct. 1 to start its current six-game unbeaten streak. Then on Sunday, Oct. 29, Santa Clara takes on Loyola Marymount at 2:00 p.m. PT. The Lions defeated Santa Clara 2-1 on Sept. 29 at Buck Shaw Stadium.