Nov. 3, 2006
MORAGA, Calif. - Junior George Josten scored a pair of goals and senior midfielder Steve Owens collected his first career goal as Gonzaga University downed Saint Mary's College 3-0 Friday in a West Coast Conference men's soccer match.
The win was the second straight for the Bulldogs (8-8-2; 5-5-1) as well as their second straight over the Gaels (4-10-5; 2-7-2).
The win was the 100th in the Gonzaga career of 12th-year head coach Einar Thorarinsson who is now 100-95-16.
Josten, who entered the weekend tied for the WCC goals lead at nine with the University of Portland's Alex Elliott, scored his 10th and 11th goals of the season to give him 28 career goals. He was also knotted with the University of San Diego's Ryan Guy for the points lead with 22, Josten's two goals moving him to 26 points on the strength of his 11 goals and four assists. Josten was the WCC goals (12) and scoring (29 points) leader last season.
Friday's match was his third two-goal outing of the season, the sixth of his career and his first this year in WCC play.
Josten gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead at 37:33 when he got possession of a loose ball and scored from 20 yards. That was all the Bulldogs would need as junior keeper Vito Higgins notched his fourth shutout of the season, two of them coming against Saint Mary's as Gonzaga prevailed 4-0 on Oct. 8 in Spokane. Higgins had six saves in recording his eighth career shutout. The native of Kailua, Hawai'i, tied fellow Hawaiian Mike McCarthy for fourth on the single-season school shutout list. Higgins entered the 2006 season third on the career list and has crept closer to McCarthy and second place, the latter with 13 career shutouts.
Owens, who sat out last season with an injury and returned for a fifth year, gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead at 79:31, John Reha picking up his team-leading eighth assist of the season. Reha dribbled into the box and slipped a pass to Owens who buried a shot to the near post from 8 yards for his first career goal. Reha moved into a tie for first on the single-season assists list with Jeff McAllister and current Gonzaga assistant coach Mike Thompson. His 10th career assist moved him into a tie for eighth with Chris LaRochelle (1995-97) and Matt Blasdel (1996-99).
Josten wrapped up the match with his second marker at 86:09, intercepting an errant clearing pass and scoring from 18 yards.
The Bulldogs kept their hopes alive for a second-place tie in the WCC, but it will be an uphill climb. Gonzaga will end the regular season against newly crowned champion and seventh-ranked Santa Clara University on Sunday at 1 p.m. in a match that will be video streamed on the WCC website at www.WCCsports.com. In order to gain the second-place tie the Bulldogs must have the University of San Diego defeat the University of San Francisco in a late match Friday, the Bulldogs must topple SCU and USF must defeat Loyola Marymount University on Sunday.