Oct. 28, 2007
Moraga, CA - USF men's soccer avenged a shutout loss Friday with a 2-1 victory at Saint Mary's Sunday in West Coast Conference action at Saint Mary's Stadium. The Dons (6-7-1, 2-4-1 WCC) trailed 1-0 after the first minute, but bounced back for a pair of unanswered strikes to dispatch the Gaels (6-6-1, 2-4-1 WCC) less than 48 hours after dropping a 1-0 decision at Negoesco Stadium.
Junior defender Ben Dessard earned his first start since 2005 and promptly scored his first goal of the season at the 24:52 mark to knot the contest at 1-1. Dessard, who missed more than 16 months with two serious knee injuries, was activated prior to the Dons match at No. 3 Santa Clara October 12. It is the third career goal for Dessard, a 2005 WCC Freshman Team selection.
Senior defender Brandon McDonald recorded his first goal of the season with the game-winner on a header at 86:07 off a corner kick by senior defender Daniel DeGeer. It was the second assist of the match for DeGeer, who owns the team lead with six. The scoring strike is the 10th in McDonald's Green and Gold career.
"I thought we played quality soccer in both matches and I am pleased with the win today," USF head coach Erik Visser said. "Saint Mary's was a very tough opponent and I am pleased with the way we bounced back after a very tough loss on Friday. We have been very careful with Ben Dessard to not bring him back too early, but we are definitely a better team with him on the pitch."
USF held a 10-7 shot advantage, 6-2 in the first half and attempted five corner kicks, compared to a pair for the Gaels. Dessard led the Dons with a match-high five shots.
Saint Mary's opened the scoring just 44 seconds into the match as junior defender Corey Heldreth scored his first goal of the season off a throw in from the right sideline.
Junior goalkeeper Eric Conner collected the win for USF, making four saves on seven shots, while sophomore Gaels keeper Keenan Flynn suffered the loss, making five saves.
San Francisco returns to action when it travels to the Pacific Northwest for matches at Gonzaga and Portland, beginning Friday, November 2 in Spokane. Match time against the Bulldogs is set for 2:00 PM at Martin Field.