Nov. 5, 2006
Ardalan Attar scored on a header from close range with 6:30 remaining in the second overtime as USF (12-6-1, 7-5 WCC) earned second place in the West Coast Conference by defeating visiting Loyola Marymount (9-8-2, 5-5-2) Sunday afternoon at Negoesco Stadium.
The Dons now await notification of their third consecutive NCAA berth on Monday afternoon (ESPNNEWS, 1:00 Pacific). It would be USF's 30th bid to the NCAA postseason.
In a game that would decide second place in the West Coast Conference, the Dons prevailed in the end. It was a game that despite going into overtime tied at one, was full of offensive chances and brilliant saves. The Dons fired 21 shots and LMU 15, while USF's Geremy Uhl (8) and LMU's Robert Flores (7) combined for 15 saves.
The Lions would get on the board first when Joe Stoakley scored on a full volley at 8:18 after taking a pass from Trini Gomez.
Again the chances continued with Flores and Uhl each keeping their team in the game. Finally, USF got the goal they needed at 103:30. After LMU played the ball out of bounds on the near sideline, Tyler Ruthven made a long throw into the penalty area which was nodded backward by Rob Valentino to Attar. Attar jumped high and nodded the ball into the back of the net from four yards.
"I am very proud of what this team has accomplished and I am sure we will be rewarded with a high seed in the NCAA tournament," said Dons head coach Erik Visser. "To get 12 wins despite playing one of the top 10 schedules in the country is quite an accomplishment. We played 19 games, with just seven at home where we were 6-1.
"We did not quit when we lost three midfielders to injury, we played harder and got the job done. This was a very good Loyola Marymount team we beat today."