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WCC Men's Soccer Weekly Notes - 9/25

Sept. 25, 2006

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WCC Co-Players of the Week
Alex Christlieb, Saint Mary's & Ciaran O'Brien, San Diego

Saint Mary's Alex Christlieb and San Diego's Ciaran O'Brien share WCC Player of the Week honors after leading their respective squads to big wins on the opening weekend of conference play. Christlieb netted the game-winning goal as Saint Mary's knocked off then-No. 11 ranked San Francisco on Friday. The defender also helped the Gaels shut out the Dons, marking SMC's first win over a ranked opponent since the 2003 season. O'Brien scored two goals and added an assist as the Toreros improved to 7-1-0 with wins over Portland and Gonzaga at home. The freshman provided the game-winner in Friday's win over the Pilots before adding a goal and an assist as USD handed Gonzaga a 4-0 defeat on Sunday.

Upcoming Games

Sept. 29
San Diego at Saint Mary's* - 4:00 PM
Seattle at Portland - 4:30 PM
Gonzaga at San Francisco* - 7:00 PM
Loyola Marymount at Santa Clara* - 7:00 PM

Oct. 1
Loyola Marymount at Saint Mary's* - 2:00 PM
Portland at San Francisco* - 2:00 PM
San Diego at Santa Clara* - 2:00 PM

* Denotes Conference Game

Around The WCC

Tight Games Highlight First Week of WCC Play
Close games marked the opening weekend of conference play, as five of the six WCC matches were decided by a single goal. All three conference matches ended with a 1-0 score on Friday, with Saint Mary's upsetting then-No. 11 San Francisco, LMU edging Gonzaga on a penalty kick, and San Diego defeating Portland. On Sunday, an own goal propelled the Pilots to a 1-0 victory over LMU, and Santa Clara handed USF a 2-1 defeat. In the only match that was not decided by a single goal over the weekend, San Diego defeated visiting Gonzaga, 4-0.

Climbing The Shutout List
Portland's Luis Robles (20), San Diego's Lance Friesz (21), and San Francisco's Geremy Uhl (22) have all eclipsed the 20 career shutouts mark this season. Only five other goalkeepers in the history of WCC have posted more career clean sheets than the veteran trio.

Live Men's Soccer Video Streaming at WCCsports.com
The WCC, in conjunction with CSTV Online, will webcast select men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball, women's basketball, and baseball games for the 2006-07 season. The video streaming package, which can only be viewed on the WCC's official website WCCsports.com, will be made available for free throughout the year. The package kicked off on September 24 with the Santa Clara at USF men's soccer match, and will feature four more WCC men's soccer matches this season. Below is a list of upcoming men's soccer games that will be webcast live this season.

September 24, 2006 - Santa Clara at San Francisco - 7:00 PM (PST)
September 29, 2006 - Loyola Marymount at Santa Clara - 7:00 PM (PST)
October 22, 2006 - Saint Mary's at San Francisco - 7:00 PM (PST)
November 3, 2006 - San Diego at San Francisco - 7:00 PM (PST)
November 11, 2006 - Gonzaga at Santa Clara - 1:00 PM (PST)

WCC Team Notes

Gonzaga Bulldogs (3-4-1 / 0-2-0 WCC)
- Gonzaga endured a tough opening weekend of WCC play, dropping a pair of contests to LMU and San Diego on the road.

- Vito Higgins collected five saves against LMU, and picked up another four saves against the Toreros to bring his season saves total to 23. The junior currently ranks fourth on the Gonzaga career saves list with 175.

- George Josten attempted his 21st shot of the season in Sunday's loss to San Diego. Josten has attempted 104 shots during his career in Spokane, and became just the fifth player in program history to break the century mark for shots earlier this year.

- The Zags will finally wrap up a seven-match road stint this weekend, as they travel to face San Francisco (9/29) in WCC action. Gonzaga will return to Martin Field for the first time since August 27 the following week to host Santa Clara (10/6) and Saint Mary's (10/8).

Loyola Marymount Lions (5-4-0 / 1-1-0 WCC)
- Loyola Marymount began conference play with a split at home, edging Gonzaga on Friday, 1-0, before falling to Portland by the same margin on Sunday.

- Brad Stisser netted the lone LMU goal on the weekend, scoring for the second time this season on a penalty kick against the Bulldogs. Both of Stisser's goals this season have been game-winners.

- Robert Flores did not have to make a save to record the clean sheet in Friday's win over Gonzaga. It marked the 12th career shutout for the senior, who needs just two more shutouts to move into a tie with Jerad Bailey (1997-00) for first place on the LMU all-time list.

- The Lions head to the Bay Area this weekend, where they will meet Santa Clara (9/29) and Saint Mary's (10/1) in conference action.

Portland Pilots (3-2-2 / 1-1-0 WCC)
- Portland split a pair of games in Southern California over the weekend, rebounding from a 1-0 loss at San Diego to edge Loyola Marymount on Sunday, 1-0.

- The Pilots topped the Lions in exciting fashion on Sunday, as an LMU own goal from a UP free kick with just 30 seconds remaining in regulation led to the Portland victory. The goal snapped a scoreless streak of over 270 minutes for the Pilots.

- Luis Robles collected six saves in recording his 20th career shutout on Sunday. Robles leads a Portland defense that has surrendered just three goals through seven games so far this season.

- Portland returns to Merlo Field this weekend to host Division II power Seattle (9/29) on Friday. The Pilots will then hit the road for a conference tilt at San Francisco (10/1) on Sunday.

Saint Mary's Gaels (3-3-3 / 1-0-0 WCC)
- The Gaels got conference play off to a good start, defeating then-No. 11 ranked San Francisco to open conference play on Friday, 1-0.

- The victory over the Dons marked SMC's first win over a ranked opponent since the 2003 season when the Gaels knocked off No. 14 LMU and No. 11 Rutgers.

- Alex Christlieb provided the game-winning goal on Friday, earning selection to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week for his efforts.

- Mark Araujo and Ryan Corriveau each picked up their first career assists on Christlieb's goal.

- SMC remains at home to face San Diego (9/29) and LMU (10/1) this weekend.

San Diego Toreros (7-1-0 / 2-0-0 WCC)
- San Diego enjoyed another big weekend, recording a 1-0 win over Portland and a 4-0 win over Gonzaga to improve to 7-1-0 on the season, and garner national rankings for the first time this season.

- Four different players provided USD's five goals over the weekend, with Ciaran O'Brien netting the game-winner on Friday and another goal on Sunday. The freshman moved into a tie with Ryan Guy and Adam Mariani for the team lead with four goals on the season.

- Goalkeeper Lance Friesz and the San Diego defense extended its shutout streak to four straight games with the win over Gonzaga. The Toreros have posted six shutouts in eight games, and currently rank second in the nation with a 0.75 shutout percentage.

- San Diego takes its five-match winning streak on the road this weekend, as USD heads to the Bay Area for matches at Saint Mary's (9/29) and Santa Clara (10/1).

San Francisco Dons (5-3-1 / 0-2-0 WCC)
- San Francisco struggled on the opening weekend of WCC play, dropping a 1-0 decision at Saint Mary's on Friday before falling to Bay Area rival Santa Clara at home on Sunday night, 2-1.

- Matt Languis scored his first goal of the season in Sunday's loss to the Broncos, tallying on a free kick to pull USF within one goal in the second half. It marked the 10th goal of the senior's career on The Hilltop.

- Geremy Uhl collected seven saves on the weekend, including four in Sunday's loss, to bring his career saves total to 149.

- The Dons, who have surrendered five goals during their current three-match slide, will continue a season-high three-match homestand against Gonzaga (9/29) and Portland (10/1) this weekend.

Santa Clara Broncos (5-2-2 / 1-0-0 WCC)
- Santa Clara battled San Jose State to a scoreless draw on Friday night before getting conference play off to a good start with a 2-1 win over San Francisco on the road on Sunday.

- Joseph Buttitta was forced to make just one save in Friday's tie with the Spartans. It marked the third clean sheet of the season for Buttitta, and marks the first Bronco shutout since September 2.

- Sean Danzeiser's second goal of the season proved to the be the game-winner in Sunday's victory over USF.

- Keith DeVey netted his 17th career goal to open the scoring in Sunday's match.

- Santa Clara hosts LMU (9/29) and San Diego (10/1) at Buck Shaw Stadium this weekend.

Games To Watch

Gonzaga at #23 San Francisco - Friday, September 29 at 7:00 PM (PT)
Both Gonzaga and San Francisco will be looking for their first wins in conference play when the Bulldogs visit Negoesco Stadium on Friday night. George Josten leads a GU attack that will be seeking its first goal since September 9, while the Dons will be looking to end a three-match skid after going undefeated through the first six contests of the season. The Zags will also be searching for the team's first victory over USF since the 2001 season.

#20 San Diego at #15 Santa Clara - Sunday, October 1 at 2:00 PM (PT)
San Diego wraps up its Bay Area road trip at Buck Shaw Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Toreros enter the weekend on a five-match winning streak, and have posted shutouts in six of their eight contests so far this season. Santa Clara has been shutout just once this season, and has gotten goals from seven different players through nine games. USD jumped into the rankings at No. 20 this week, and currently leads the nation with a 3.63 goals per game average, while Santa Clara is coming off of a big 2-1 win over USF on Sunday.