Sept. 28, 2006
BULLDOGS END LONG ROAD STRETCH: Gonzaga University will be glad when September is over, and the end is in sight. The Bulldogs end a stretch of seven straight road matches Friday when they travel to two-time defending West Coast Conference champion University of San Francisco for a 7 p.m. contest at Negoesco Stadium.
LOOKING FOR WCC WIN: Gonzaga University and the University of San Francisco will each be looking for its first West Coast Conference victory of the season when the teams do battle on Friday. The Bulldogs (3-4-1; 0-2-0) dropped their WCC openers 1-0 at Loyola Marymount and 4-0 at the University of San Diego, while USF fell 1-0 at Saint Mary's College and 2-1 at home against Santa Clara University. Gonzaga had a two-match winning streak snapped with the WCC setbacks, while USF (5-3-1; 0-2-0) has suffered three straight setbacks since beginning the season 5-0-1.
RANKED FOES: The University of San Francisco is ranked 23rd this week in the College Soccer News poll, making the Dons the first ranked opponent on the Bulldogs schedule this season. USF is also the first team in the also receiving votes category of the Soccer Times rankings. Gonzaga played three ranked opponents last season - defeating No. 11 Santa Clara University 2-1 at home, losing to No. 9 Santa Clara 1-0 on the road and knotting No. 21 USF 1-1 in double overtime on the road. There are currently four teams on the Bulldogs schedule who are ranked. The University of Washington is currently fourth in the Soccer America, Soccer Times and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas polls, and sixth in the College Soccer News rankings. The University of San Diego is 10th in the NSCAA/adidas poll, 20th in Soccer America, 21st in Soccer Times and 28th in the College Soccer News. Santa Clara University is 15th (College Soccer News), 16th (SoccerTimes) and 18th (Soccer America) and NSCAA/adidas. 19th (NSCAA/adidas).
BULLDOGS BLANKED: Gonzaga University was blanked in its West Coast Conference openers last weekend, falling 1-0 to Loyola Marymount University and 4-0 to the University of San Diego. It marked the first time since 2004 the Bulldogs had suffered back-to-back shutouts, Gonzaga being shutout in its final three matches that season.
WEB CAST: Gonzaga University's match at Santa Clara University on Nov. 11 will be web cast on the West Coast Conference website. The WCC, in conjunction with CSTV Online, will web cast select contests throughout the year. The free streaming package is available at www.WCCsports.com.
JOSTEN STILL LEADS: Despite being held to just one shot in two matches last weekend, Gonzaga University junior George Josten continues to lead the West Coast Conference in several categories. He tops the league in goals with 6, in points with 15 and is tied for first in match-winning goals with two. His three assists tie him for fourth.
WHERE'S THE OFFENSE? In the two losses last weekend Gonzaga University generated just two shots on goal. The Bulldogs had three shots at Loyola Marymount University, but none on goal, then came back with nine shots at the University of San Diego with just two of them on goal.
BULLDOGS VS. DONS: After winning six straight matches against the University of San Francisco from 1996-01, Gonzaga University is 0-5-1 in the last six meetings with the Dons. The teams tied 1-1 in double overtime in the first meeting last year at USF, but the Dons came back to take a 2-0 victory in the regular-season finale at Gonzaga. The Bulldogs entered that match with a chance to win the West Coast Conference title with a victory, but the Dons wrapped up their second straight crown with the win. Gonzaga has won at USF since 2001, a 2-1 victory. USF leads the all-time series 6-7-1.
HOME SWEET HOME: Gonzaga University opened the season with back-to-back home matches Aug. 25-27, but the Bulldogs haven't played a match on Martin Field since. That will change next week when the Bulldogs host Santa Clara University on Oct. 6 and Saint Mary's College on Oct. 8. After playing seven straight matches away from home the Bulldogs will play 6-of-8 matches in the month of October at home. The only road matches for the Bulldogs in October at Oct. 13 at the University of Portland and Oct. 27 at the University of Washington.
ON THE INTERNET: All Gonzaga University home matches and most away matches can be followed via Gametracker on the internet at http://www.gozags.com. Gametracker is a feature of CSTV, the official web provider for Gonzaga. Go to the schedule at the bottom of the Gonzaga home page and look for the Gametracker link.
THE THORARINSSON TALE OF THE TAPE: Gonzaga University head coach Einar Thorarinsson is 95-91-15 in his 12th season with the Bulldogs. His overall record is 218-142-28 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 in any sport.