Nov. 2, 2007
Portland, OR - Portland junior Alex Elliott buried the game-winner in the first overtime to send the Pilots to a 1-0 victory over the Saint Mary's Gaels in a West Coast Conference men's soccer game Friday night at Merlo Field. Elliott's goal, his team-high fifth of the season, came in the 97th minute on a feed from senior Michael Gavin.
Portland improves to 6-4-5 (3-1-4 WCC) with the win, while the Gaels drop to 6-7-1 and 2-5-1 in the WCC.
After 90 minutes of scoreless soccer, both teams played at a furious pace during the extra period. Portland's Leland Wright initiated the final play with a throw in from the left side of the field, 10 yards up from SMC's endline. Wright found Gavin, who made a move up the endline towards the middle of the 18-yard box. Gavin then whipped a cross in front of the goal, where Elliott finished from three yards out.
The game-winner came just moments after SMC freshman forward Nick Cashmere nearly ended it twice. In the 95th minute, Cashmere made a run down route one in a one-v-one opportunity with a Portland defender. The UP defender fell, allowing Cashmere a quality look. He ripped a shot that drilled the left post and out of the box. A minute later, Cashmere had another great opportunity, this time his shot from almost the exact same spot was wide left.
Both teams had their chances during regulation as Saint Mary's attempted 11 shots in the first 90 minutes, while Portland countered with 13. UP finished with a 15-14 edge in total shots and a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks.
Portland's best look before the extra time came in the 62nd minute. Redshirt freshman Alex Kraus fed sophomore Collen Warner with a perfectly placed through ball just inside the 18-yard box. Warner, who appeared to have an open look at the left corner of the net, sent a shot that rolled wide of the left post by a mere six inches.
Portland's freshman keeper Austin Guerrero made five saves for his sixth shutout of the season. SMC's goalie Keenan Flynn also had a solid performance with six saves.
Saint Mary's will return to action on Sunday with a 1 p.m. against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Martin Field in Spokane, WA.