Nov. 2, 2007
SPOKANE, Wash. - John Reha's first goal of the season was all Gonzaga University needed as the Bulldogs stayed in the thick of the West Coast Conference men's soccer chase with a 1-0 win over the University of San Francisco Friday at Martin Field.
The Bulldogs (9-3-3, 4-1-3) now have 15 points in the WCC chase. The University of San Diego (16 points) and Santa Clara (14 points) were scheduled to meet Friday night at SCU.
Reha's goal came at 31:03 and was assisted by George Josten, who recorded his team-leading seventh assist. Josten dribbled down the right side and passed across the field to Reha to the far post. Reha hesitated, stutter-stepped a defender and scored from inside the 6-yard box as he beat USF keeper Eric Connor high to the left shoulder.
With the assist Josten moved ahead of current Gonzaga assistant coach Mike Thompson and into sole possession of third place with his 17th career assist. He also moved into a tie for fourth with Brian Ching on the single-season list with his seventh helper this season.
Gonzaga dominated the first half. Reha's goal was the seventh shot of the half for the Bulldogs, who held a 9-2 first-half edge and a 14-5 game edge in shots. Bulldog keeper Vito Higgins was called on for just one save in recording his fifth shutout of the season and the 13th of his career to move him into a tie for second with fellow Hawaiian Mike McCarthy. Josh Fouts, another Pacific Islander, heads the list with 19 career shutouts.
Both teams had some solid scoring chances they were unable to convert.
Josten took a thru ball for a breakaway in the 16th minute. Conner came out to make one of his four saves in the match, was unable to smother the ball and the rebound came to Josten on the right side of the 6-yard box. His rebound shot at the open net went high.
USF came close to getting the equalizer in the 35th minute, Conor Chinn's header from the right side bouncing off the post.
John Palladino nearly sent Gonzaga to halftime with a 2-0 lead, but Conner made a diving save to deflect a hard shot from 18 yards over the goal.
Gonzaga's Conor Baranski missed the open net from 10 yards off a feed from Palladino in the 83rd minute as Gonzaga pressured to get an insurance goal, the shot going high.
The Bulldogs return to action Sunday at noon on Martin Field to face Saint Mary's College. The Gaels were to meet the University of Portland in a late Friday match.