Aug. 30, 2006
BULLDOGS SPLIT OPENERS: Gonzaga University split its first two matches of the season, downing UNLV 4-1 and getting blanked by UC Davis 4-0. Four different Bulldogs scored in the win over the Rebels that ruined the debut of first-year head coach Mario Sanchez. Gonzaga fell behind 2-0 at halftime to UC Davis and was unable to recover in the second half. John Palladino had a couple of solid free kicks that were on the mark but failed to find the net, and George Josten was denied on a late penalty kick.
OFF TO NAVY: Gonzaga University makes a cross-country trek this weekend to compete in the Anders Navy Classic in Annapolis, Md. It will be the second time the Bulldogs have competed in a tournament hosted by a military academy, the first in 2003 when Gonzaga participated in the Parent's Weekend Classic hosted by the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. Gonzaga will play the University of Maryland-Baltimore County on Friday and the host Midshipmen on Sunday.
BLANKED AT HOME: Sunday's 4-0 loss to UC Davis was somewhat of a rarity for Gonzaga University. Last season the Bulldogs were blanked at home just once, and that on the final day of the regular season by West Coast Conference champion University of San Francisco 2-0. Sunday was just the 13th home shutout in head coach Einar Thorarinsson's 12 years on the bench. The most times the Bulldogs have been shutout at home under Thorarinsson's watch was three each in 2002 and 2004.
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: While Gonzaga University opened the 2006 season with back-to-back home matches for the first time since 2002, hopefully the Bulldogs scattered a few bread crumbs so they can find their way back to Martin Field the next time they at home. Gonzaga won't play at home again until Oct. 6 when Santa Clara University visits for the West Coast Conference home opener for the Bulldogs. By that time Gonzaga will have traveled approximately 8,950 miles round trip with stops in Annapolis, Md., Corvallis, Ore. and San Diego, Calif.
BACK IN ACTION: Two players made memorable returns to the Gonzaga University lineup in the season opener. John Palladino, who missed last season with a knee injury suffered during the summer, scored the first goal of 2006 for the Bulldogs in their 4-1 victory over UNLV. John Reha, who sat out the 2005 campaign with a non-soccer ankle injury, had a goal and an assists for the Bulldogs in the season opener.
ROOKIE FINDS THE NET: Nick Barclay, a freshman defender from Centennial High in Boise, Idaho, won't soon forget his collegiate debut. He scored the fourth and final goal for Gonzaga University in their season-opening victory over UNLV. He connected on a header from the top of the box at 83:09.
GONZAGA VS. UMBC: Friday's match between Gonzaga University and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County will be the first meeting between the schools. The Retrievers opened the season by splitting a pair of matches at the adidas Kick Off Classic hosted by UMBC at refurbished UMBC Soccer Stadium. UMBC scored four late second-half goals to defeat Saint Joseph's University 5-1 in the season opener, then fell to 19th-ranked Virginia Tech 3-2 in the title match of the tournament. The retrievers return eight letterwinners and five starters from the 2005 squad that went 9-7-3 overall and 6-2-0 in the America East Conference. Seniors Kevin Mezzadra (6 goals, 2 assists) and David Feazell (5 goals, 2 assists) return to lead the offense. America East All-Rookie keeper Steve King (0.93 GAA and 8.5 shutouts) also returns.
GONZAGA VS. NAVY: Gonzaga University and Navy will be meeting for the first time on Sunday. Navy also competed in the University of Maryland-Baltimore County Soccer Classic last weekend, falling to 19th-ranked Virginia Tech 3-0 in the season opener and defeating Saint Joseph's University 3-1 on Sunday. The Midshipmen return nine starters and 14 letterwinners from a year ago off a team that finished 8-6-2 and fifth in the Patriot League. Seniors Addy Strasdas (4 goals, 2 assists), Carter Stapleton (3 goals, 3 assists) and McKenzie Plank (2 goals, 2 assists) return to lead the offense. Junior Thomas Jenkins (1.22 GAA, 4-2-1 record in '05) will start in goal. Four returnees also bolster the Navy defense - Tom Shelly, Kris Huff, Zach Pleis and Will Riordon. The foursome has appeared in 165 career matches with 149 career starts among them.
THE THORARINSSON TALE OF THE TAPE: Gonzaga University head coach Einar Thorarinsson is 93-88-14 in his 12th season with the Bulldogs. His overall record is 216-139-27 that includes nine seasons across town at Whitworth College. After going 3-10-2 in his first season of 1995, the Bulldogs have had winning seasons in six of the last 10 seasons under Thorarinsson. His teams led the West Coast Conference in wins with a 14-4-0 record in 1997 and 12-4-2 mark in 1998, capturing WCC co-championships in each of those seasons. The Bulldogs were 9-5-2 in 2001, making their inaugural College Cup appearance. In 2005 Gonzaga went to the final match of the season with a chance to win the WCC title. He was accorded his third WCC Coach of the Year honor in 2005 to go with similar honors won in 1996-97 as he was the first coach in Gonzaga history to receive back-to-back WCC Coach of the Year accolades.