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Men's Soccer Title Hopes Suffer A Jolt

Nov. 9, 2007

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Gonzaga University's West Coast Conference men's soccer title hopes suffered a jolt Friday when Loyola Marymount University picked up its first WCC win in nine tries this season with a 1-0 victory over the Bulldogs at Sullivan Field.

Garrett Maloney scored the only goal the Lions would need at 11:52, heading Rafael Baca's cross to the far post past Bulldog keeper Vito Higgins. It was Maloney's first goal of the season.

The loss dropped Gonzaga to 4-2-4 in the WCC with two matches remaining against two of the top teams in the league. Gonzaga (9-4-4) entered the weekend in a three-way tie for second with the University of San Diego and the University of Portland, all with 16 points. The Bulldogs visit USD Sunday. Third-ranked Santa Clara University (6-0-2) sits atop the WCC standings with 20 points entering the weekend.

Portland was to visit USD and SCU was at the University of San Francisco in Friday night contests. An SCU win over USF would eliminate the Bulldogs from the WCC title chase as SCU would have 23 points while the most Gonzaga can accrue is 22 by winning its last two matches. Gonzaga ends the regular season next Friday at home against SCU.

While their WCC title hopes are shakey, the Bulldogs are still much in the hunt for an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament . Gonzaga has wins over top-ranked and defending College Cup champion UC Santa Barbara and No. 15 University of Washington, and the Bulldogs tied No. 3 SCU the first time the teams met this season.

LMU (3-13-1; 1-8-0) defeated Gonzaga for the fourth time in the last six meetings, Gonzaga snapping a two-match losing streak in the series with a 3-1 victory at home in the first meeting this year.

The Lions held a 12-7 edge in shots, and the Bulldogs had just two shots on goal with the first shot on goal not coming until 83:38 for the only save by LMU keeper Patrick Lane. The other LMU save was a team save at 89:49 when there was a scramble in front of the goal following a Grant Lundberg header and the Lions' Josh Carroll slid in to knock the ball away and preserve LMU's upset.