Sept. 5, 2007
BULLDOGS SPLIT CALIFORNIA TRIP: Gonzaga University split its season-opening trip to southern California, but what a split it was. After a disappointing 1-0 loss at UC Irvine on Friday, the Bulldogs bounced back to toppled defending College Cup champion and top-ranked UC Santa Barbara 1-0 on Sunday. It was just the second time in program history the Bulldogs had played a defending national champion, falling 1-0 at UCLA on Sept. 17, 1998. It was the third time the Bulldogs have faced the top-ranked team in the country. Gonzaga won at No. 1 Creighton University 1-0 on Sept. 26, 1999, at the Blue Jays Diadora Classic, and then fell 1-0 two weeks later at top-ranked Santa Clara University.
FLAIR FOR THE DRAMATIC: Senior midfielder Grant Lundberg has quite the flair for the dramatic. He got the game-winning goal Sunday against top-ranked UC Santa Barbara at 81:35, the third match-winning goal of his career. The first was just as memorable, coming Nov. 10, 2005, at home against 11th-ranked and West Coast Conference leading Santa Clara University, an overtime goal at 6:49 to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 victory. His first match winner was in the 2006 season opener against UNLV, his tally giving the Bulldogs a 2-1 halftime lead in a 4-1 victory. The product of Spokane's Lewis and Clark High now has 10 career goals, second among active players.
GOOSE EGGS FOR HIGGINS: Vito Higgins continues to be a force in the nets for Gonzaga University. He recorded his ninth career shutout in Sunday's 1-0 win over No. 1 UC Santa Barbara. Already third on the school career shutouts list entering the season, the senior from Kailua, Hawai'i trails fellow Hawaiians Josh Fouts (19 from 1996-98) and Mike McCarthey (13 from 1999-02). His current career goals-against-average of 1.56 is tied for third with Sean Sosnovec. Fouts (0.83) and McCarthey (1.16) also hold the top two spots, respectively.
JOSTEN NOTCHES ASSIST: Senior forward George Josten picked up his first point of the season when he got the assist on Grant Lundberg's goal Sunday against UC Santa Barbara. The Hermann Trophy Watch List candidate has 11 career assists to move into a tie for seventh with Shaun Flanigan (1993-96). Jeff McAllister, the 1997 West Coast Conference Player of the Year, is in sixth with 12. Josten's 69 career points rank fourth, McAllister the leader with 102.
DOG FIGHT: Gonzaga University and the University of Washington hook up in a dog fight Friday at 4 p.m. at Martin Field when the Bulldogs host the Huskies. It will be the lone home appearance the month of September for the Bulldogs, who will play their next seven contests away from home. Gonzaga's next home match will be Oct. 12 when Loyola Marymount University visits to begin a stretch that will see the Bulldogs play 5-of-6 at matches at home.
LOOKING FOR A "W" AGAINST HUSKIES: Friday's match between Gonzaga University and the University of Washington will be the 20th meeting, and the Bulldogs are still looking for their first win the series that dates back to 1981. The Huskies lead the series 18-0-1, the tie a 2-2 overtime affair in Spokane in 1999. Washington has won five straight since that 1999 contest, including last year's 2-1 win in Seattle. Perhaps the most memorable match was 1997 when Jeff McAllister's penalty shot in the waning seconds hit the crossbar/post and UW escaped with a 1-0 win in front of a crowd estimated at more than 1,000.
ANOTHER RANKED FOE: After dispensing of No. 1 UC Santa Barbara on Sunday, Gonzaga University faces another ranked foe when the University of Washington visits Friday. The Huskies are ranked in all four major polls - 15th in both the Soccer America and SoccerTImes.com rankings, 16th in the NSCAA/adidas poll and 21st in the College Soccer News balloting.
BULLDOGS GET VOTES: Gonzaga University received votes and helped shake up the first weekly SoccerTimes.com rankings by virtue of the Bulldogs 1-0 victory Sunday over defending College Cup champion UC Santa Barbara. The Bulldogs garnered 9 votes from the panel of coaches to appear in the others receiving votes category. UCSB, which had tied Stanford University 2-2 in its season opener Friday prior to Sunday's upset to Gonzaga, fell from first in the pre-season rankings to 12th this week. Gonzaga has not been ranked in the Top 25 since Oct. 16, 2001, when the Bulldogs were 16th in the Soccer America balloting.
THE THORARINSSON TALE OF THE TAPE: Gonzaga University head coach Einar Thorarinsson is 102-96-16 in his 13th season with the Bulldogs. His overall record is 225-147-29 that includes nine seasons across town at Whitworth College. He picked up his 100th Gonzaga win last season with a 3-0 home win at Saint Mary's 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. He is the fourth winningest coach overall in WCC contests with 41 wins and is second among active coaches, Seamus McFadden of the University of San Diego atop both lists with 66 wins.