Sept. 12, 2007
BULLDOGS GET NATIONAL RANKINGS: For the first time since 2001 Gonzaga University finds itself back in the national rankings this week, the Bulldogs ranked in all four major polls as well as the regional rankings. The Bulldogs are ranked 12th by Soccer America, 19th by SoccerTimes.com, 20th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas poll and 21st by College Soccer News. Gonzaga is also fifth in the NSCAA/adidas Far West Regional rankings this week. Gonzaga returned to the national rankings for the first time since Oct. 21, 2001, when the Bulldogs were ranked 16th by Soccer America. The Bulldogs returned to the regional rankings for the first time since Nov. 21, 2001, when the Bulldogs were ranked eighth. Gonzaga was in the regional rankings for six weeks in 2001, reaching as high as fifth.
HUSKIES LOSE BITE AT LAST: History was made last Friday as Gonzaga University finally got the monkey - or should that be Husky - off its back in a 2-1 win over cross-state nemesis University of Washington. It was the inaugural win for the Bulldogs over the Huskies in 20 tries in the series UW now leads 18-1-1. The tie was a 2-2 affair in Spokane in 1999.
FUNKHOUSER WCC'S TOP DOG: Sophomore Ben Funkhouser, a product of Spokane's East Valley High, had the shot heard around the Gonzaga University campus last week, his goal at 84:42 breaking a 1-1 tie and giving the Bulldogs their initial win over the University of Washington. It was Funkhouser's second career goal and his first match winner. For his efforts he was named the West Coast Conference Co-Player of the Week.
JOSTEN GETS FIRST GOAL: Gonzaga University senior forward George Josten, a Hermann Trophy Watch List candidate, scored his first goal of the season last Friday against the University of Washington to bring the Bulldogs even at 1-1. It was the 30th goal of his career and gives him 71 career points, both fourth on the Gonzaga single-season list. He assisted on the only goal of the match in the Bulldogs 1-0 win over defending College Cup champion and top-ranked UC Santa Barbara the opening weekend of the season.
VETERANS DOING THE SCORING: Veterans have accounted for every point for Gonzaga University this season. Seniors George Josten and Grant Lundberg, and sophomore Ben Funkhouser have the goals. Josten and fellow senior John Palladino, and sophomore Tye Perdido have collected the assists through the first three matches.
ANOTHER UW: There's another UW on the Gonzaga University schedule this week - the University of Wisconsin variety. The Badgers are ranked 20th by Soccer America, but facing ranked teams is nothing new for the 12th-ranked (Soccer America) Bulldogs. This will be the third straight match the Bulldogs have faced a ranked team, having defeated defending College Cup champion and top-ranked UC Santa Barbara and No. 15 University of Washington in their last two outings. Gonzaga's only setback was 1-0 in the season opener at unranked UC Irvine, although the Anteaters were ranked 16th in one final 2006 poll.
PANTHER INVITATIONAL: Friday's match between No. 12 Gonzaga University and No. 20 University of Wisconsin will be the early match of the 34th annual Panther Invitational hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Panthers (0-4-0) will meet Drake University (2-2-0) in Friday's late game. Sunday's schedule has Wisconsin facing Drake followed by UWM meeting Gonzaga at 12:30 p.m. PDT. Wisconsin (3-1-0) is the defending Panther Invitational champion.
BULLDOGS VS. BADGERS: Gonzaga University is winless in two meetings with the University of Wisconsin. The first meeting came in 2000, the Badgers taking a 3-1 win in the Rocky Rococo-UW Classic in the season opener for the Bulldogs. Wisconsin returned the visit in 2002 and claimed a 2-0 verdict in the Gonzaga/Nike Soccer Classic on their way to the title, the Badgers defeating Oregon State University 2-1 to go 2-0-0.
BULLDOGS VS. PANTHERS: This weekend is payback for Gonzaga University as the Bulldogs participate in the Panther Invitational after the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee competed in the Gonzaga/Nike Soccer Classic in 2005. The Bulldogs and Panthers battled to a 1-1 tie in the tourney finale that season, UWM scoring in the 82nd minute to salvage the tie after Gonzaga had scored in the 78th minute on a penalty kick. UWM finished third in the tourney with a 1-0-1 mark while Gonzaga went 0-1-1.
THE THORARINSSON TALE OF THE TAPE: Gonzaga University head coach Einar Thorarinsson is 103-96-16 in his 13th season with the Bulldogs. His overall record is 226-147-29 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.