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WCC Men's Soccer Recaps

Oct. 27, 2006

LMU - 2 (2OT)
Saint Mary's - 1

Los Angeles, CA - Nick Blanco scored the game-winning goal with 1:12 remaining in the second overtime period to help the LMU men's soccer team to a 2-1 win over Saint Mary's in West Coast Conference action this afternoon at Sullivan Field. Junior Ybarra gave the Lions a 1-0 lead with an unbelievable goal from 45 yards out in the 57th minute, but the Gaels forced extra time with a goal in the 89th minute. The Lion offense pressed for 18 minutes before scoring the game-winner. Bobby Burling assisted on both goals and now has 18 career goals, tied for second all-time in LMU men's soccer history. The Lions improve to 9-6-2 on the season, 5-3-2 in WCC play and will wrap up their home schedule with a contest against #10 Santa Clara on Sunday at 2:00pm.

The Gaels (4-8-5, 2-5-2) opened the game strong, taking several shots in the opening minutes. The Lions finally settled down in the middle of the first half and had several opportunities. The best opportunity came in the 22nd minute when Blanco's shot from 20 yards out bounced off the post and out of harm's way.

LMU finally got on the scoreboard in the 57th minute. After Burling settled a pass at the top of the box, he crossed the ball past several Lion players who distracted the Gael defenders. That set up Ybarra's blast from 45 yards out. SMC goalkeeper Brian Mason had no chance to get a hand on the ball, which dislodged the net with the force of the shot. The goal was Ybarra's first of the season.

Lion fans thought they saw LMU take a 2-0 lead when Trini Gomez recovered a Diego Barrera rebound off the post and sent it past Mason, but the Lions were called for offsides and the goal was taken off the scoreboard.

It appeared that LMU would walk away from the game with a 1-0 victory, but the Gaels spoiled those plans in the 89th minute. A foul in the SMC half of the field set up a free kick for goalkeeper Mason. He sent a long bouncing kick into traffic, and after several bounces, Matthew Fitzgerald got his head on the ball and touched it past LMU goalkeeper Robert Flores for the equalizer with 1:17 on the clock.

Burling nearly gave the Lions the win with 40 seconds on the clock in regulation with a soft shot right in front of the goal, but Mason used every inch of his body to push the ball out of the goal and force extra time.

The Lions continued to pressure the Gael defense in the first overtime period, forcing Mason to make three saves in the 10 minute period. Blanco and Diego Barrera had several shots roll just wide in the second overtime period, and finally the Lions were rewarded for their efforts with 1:12 on the clock. The ball was played into the box to Burling who headed it to Garrett Maloney. The sophomore defender redirected the ball to the feet of Blanco who stretched out to poke the ball past Mason to the far post for the golden goal win.

It's the second time in three years that Blanco delivered double overtime heroics against Saint Mary's. In 2004, the then-freshmen headed in a goal in the 104th minute to give the Lions a 2-1 win at Sullivan Field on Senior Day.

For the game, LMU outshot SMC 23-12, including a 12-8 shots on goal advantage. Blanco led all players with seven shots, and Barrera added six. Dylan Leslie led the Gaels with five shots. Flores finished the game with seven saves, and Mason made 10 stops for SMC.

LMU will wrap up its home schedule with Senior Day on Sunday, hosting Santa Clara at 2:00pm at Sullivan Field. The Lions will honor their eight member senior class in a ceremony before the game.

Portland - 2
San Francisco - 1

PORTLAND, Ore. - Freshman forward Collen Warner drilled the game-winner in the 82nd minute to give the Portland Pilots a 2-1 victory over the No. 16 San Francisco Dons in a West Coast Conference men's soccer game Friday night at the Clive Charles Soccer Complex. The strike came on a nifty give-and-go play between Warner and junior defender Jeff Griffin, who picked up the assist.

The win improves Portland's record to 7-7-2 overall and 4-6-0 in the conference. The Dons fall to 10-5-1 and 5-4-0 in the WCC.

Tied at 1-1, Griffin had possession as he entered the final third of the field. He passed to Warner, who gave it back to Griffin to the left of the goal, inside the 18-yard box. Griffin dished it back to Warner who one-touched a frozen rope inside in the right post for the score. It's Warner's third goal this season.

"That was a great goal," head coach Bill Irwin said. "It was well-worked. We had to match San Francisco tonight and we did. The guys played well and things just went our way."

Down 1-0 in the second half, the Pilots notched the equalizer in the 57th minute on a free kick from junior midfielder Matthew Dallman. From just outside the right corner of the box, Dallman ripped a low line drive that somehow made it untouched through a plethora of defenders, past USF goalkeeper Geremy Uhl and into the left corner of the net. It's the second goal this season for Dallman.

UP senior keeper Luis Robles denied a San Francisco attempt to take the lead in the 70th minute. Aaron Chandler had possession and was unmarked in the center of the box. He tried to blast one low inside the left post, but Robles made an acrobatic save to keep the game at 1-1.

San Francisco took a 1-nil advantage in the 19th minute. Chandler had possession to the right of the goal near the endline. Chandler's cross found the feet of Conor Chin in the middle of the box. Chin took a touch, turned to the left and ripped a shot inside the far post.

The Pilots nearly equalized just before the halftime buzzer. Dallman sent in a corner kick from the left corner with about 10 seconds left on the clock. The serve was perfectly placed to junior forward Christopher Sanders right in front of the goal. Uhl just got a hand on the header from Sanders. A San Francisco defender then cleared the ball out of bounds as the horn sounded.

The game was evenly played as San Francisco held a slim 17-16 advantage in shots. The Dons also had one more corner kick (5-4) than the Pilots.

Robles went the distance in the net for Portland and made one save. He now has 327 for his career, 12 shy of setting a new all-time UP saves record.

The Pilots next host the Washington Huskies for a non-conference match at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, the final home game this season. Portland will honor Robles, the lone senior on the UP roster, with a pre-game ceremony at Merlo Field. The game is part of a soccer doubleheader, as the Pilot women will host the Pepperdine Waves at 2:30 p.m.

Santa Clara - 3 (OT)
San Diego - 2

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of San Diego men's soccer team (9-6-1, 4-5-1 WCC) fell in a heartbreaking overtime match, 3-2 against the No. 14 Santa Clara University Broncos (10-3-4, 6-1-2 WCC) Friday evening at Torero Stadium.

San Diego set the tone early in the first half when midfielder Ciaran O'Brien sent a ball into the penalty box in the third minute to forward Eric Pohl who attempted a header which went high.

In the 15th minute, Bronco forward Brian Martin from the far side of the field sent a ball to Erik Ustruck on the opposite side in the penalty box where he put a ball into the net past Torero goalkeeper Lance Friesz.

Late in the first half, USD was fouled just outside of the penalty box. From 22 yards out O'Brien lined up the foul shot which blocked and out of bounds.

Early in the second half, Blaine Smith charged up field dishing the ball to Dustin Guerrero who passed it right back to Smith who took a shot from 10 yards out but was off target wide left.

In the 71st minute San Diego connected when forward Ryan Guy tapped a pass over to O'Brien 30 yards out. O'Brien rocketed a shot from 25 yards out which was blocked by Bronco goalkeeper Joseph Buttitta and appeared to go wide but rolled right into the net tying the match 1-1. Regulation ended in a 1-1 tie.

Two minutes into the first overtime period, Santa Clara's Peter Lowry sent a free kick from 40 yards out into Chris Sauter in the goalie box who headed the ball into the right corner of the net for the 2-1 victory.

The Toreros take the field again on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. at Walter J. Zable Field at Torero Stadium to take on the Saint Mary's College Gaels. Prior to the kickoff of Sunday's match will be a ceremony honoring the seniors in their final home match of the 2006 season.

Washington - 2
Gonzaga - 1

SEATTLE, Wash. - The University of Washington's mastery over Gonzaga University continued Friday night when the 23rd-ranked Huskies downed the Bulldogs 2-1 at Husky Soccer Stadium in a non-conference men's soccer match.

Gonzaga (6-8-2) has never defeated Washington (11-5-1) in 19 tries dating back to 1981, the Bulldogs with just a lone tie in 1999 to show in the series. Washington won its sixth straight since that 2-2 deadlock in Spokane.

The Huskies broke a scoreless tie late in the first half, Raphael Cox scoring his fourth goal of the season at 41:07 when he beat a Bulldog defender and shot to the far post to beat Gonzaga keeper Vito Higgins.

UW made it 2-0 early in the second half, Kevin Forrest's 18-yarder his 12th goal of the season at 56:48.

Gonzaga's lone goal came from John Palladino on a penalty kick at 77:33 as he ruined the shutout bid by the Huskies' Rylan Hawkins. It was the fourth goal of the season for Palladino to tie him for second on the team with Grant Lundberg. Lundberg, a junior midfielder, missed his third straight match with a leg injury.

The Bulldogs were also without the services of starting junior defender Daniel Scott who had to sit out the match after picking up a red card Sunday against Loyola Marymount University.

Washington held a slight 11-9 edge in shots, but the Huskies had six shots on goal to three for the Bulldogs. Higgins had four saves for the Bulldogs, Hawkins a pair for UW.

Gonzaga will return home for the final time in 2006 on Sunday when they host two-time defending West Coast Conference champion and 16th-ranked University of San Francisco in a 2 p.m. match. Gonzaga will say farewell to five seniors in pre-game ceremonies as Mike Babenko, Ben Sawyer, Peter Peterson, Steve Owens and Chris Ness make their final Martin Field appearance.

USF (10-5-1) dropped a 2-1 decision Friday at the University of Portland.