Nov. 4, 2007
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University and Saint Mary's College each had their scoring opportunities Sunday at Martin Field, but neither team could dent the net in a 0-0 West Coast Conference men's soccer tie.
The tie gives the Bulldogs (9-3-4; 4-1-4) 16 points in the WCC title chase and moved Gonzaga into a tied for second place with idle University of San Diego. USD fell out of the league lead with a 2-1 loss to Santa Clara University on Friday, the league-leading Broncos with 17 points heading into Sunday afternoon's match with Loyola Marymount University.
The Bulldogs probably had the better of the chances Sunday against the Gaels (6-7-2; 2-5-2).
Saint Mary's had to play the final five minutes of the second overtime when Jared Medina was red carded for a hard tackle. Following the ejection the Bulldogs got a header from Nick Barclay that sailed high and a lob shot by Philippe Garre from 16 yards on the right wing that just sailed high over keeper Keenan Flynn and the cross bar.
Flynn kept the match scoreless heading to overtime with a pair of diving saves late in the first half. The first came in the 38th minute when John Palladino's hard free kick from 22 yards hooked and forced Flynn to make a diving save to his right. In the 40th minute Bryan Mullaney took a shot that deflected off a defender, changed directions and forced Flynn to make another diving stop to his right. He finished with six saves.
Gonzaga had another chance in the 58th minute, Daniel Scott's header near the right post off a free kick stopped Flynn. The best chance might have been in the 80th minute when Josten's shot from near the right post got behind Flynn and a defender kicked the ball out of harms way at the goal line.
Most of the Gaels shots on goal were from long range. Bulldog keeper Vito Higgins had just one of his four saves for the match in the first half, that a shot from 20 yards on the right wing, a low hard shot that Higgins stopped. His three second-half saves were on shots from 18, 25 and 15 yards, the latter perhaps his toughest save as he knocked down Dylan Leslie's shot before corralling the ball.
Higgins recorded his second shutout of the weekend and sixth of the season after blanking the University of San Francisco 1-0 on Friday. Higgins moved past Mike McCarthy and into second place on the career shutout list with 14, Josh Fouts the all-time leader with 19. Higgins' six shutouts this season rank fourth on the single-season charts.
Gonzaga held a 15-9 edge in shots and the Bulldogs had 11 corner kicks to just three for the Gaels.
Gonzaga will go on the road for the final time in the regular season when they visit Loyola Marymount University on Friday and USD on Sunday. The Bulldogs end the regular season Nov. 16 at home against SCU.