Oct. 2, 2007
WCC Co-Players of the Week
Vito Higgins, Gonzaga & Michael Gavin, Portland
Gonzaga's Vito Higgins and Portland's Michael Gavin share WCC Player of the Week honors after leading their respective teams to a 1-1 double overtime tie in the conference opener for both squads. Higgins collected eight saves in between the pipes for the Zags, falling one short of his career-high. The senior, who is Gonzaga's all-time leader in with 249 career saves, enters the week ranked second in the WCC with 29 saves on the season. Michael Gavin tallied his first goal of the year in the tie with the Bulldogs, netting the equalizer in the 80th minute to help the Pilots earn a point. The senior scored on a free kick from 25 yards out, bouncing a low shot past the Gonzaga `keeper to knot the game at one. It marked just the third career goal for the defender.
San Diego at UCLA - 7:00 PM
Gonzaga at Saint Mary's* - 4:00 PM
Santa Clara at Loyola Marymount* - 4:00 PM
Portland at San Francisco* - 7:00 PM
Gonzaga at San Francisco* - 2:00 PM
Portland at Saint Mary's* - 2:00 PM
Santa Clara at San Diego* - 2:00 PM
* Denotes Conference Game
Around the WCC
Full Conference Slate This Weekend
Gonzaga and Portland got the WCC season underway on Saturday, and the other five league teams will get in on the action this week. Saint Mary's and San Francisco will host the Bulldogs and Pilots, while Santa Clara will make a Southern California swing to take on Loyola Marymount and San Diego this weekend.
WCC Enjoys Non-Conference Success
WCC teams have had great success against non-conference opponents, posting a 26-19-4 (.571) overall record so far this season. Included in that mark is an outstanding 12-6-3 (.643) record against teams from west region circuits, encompassing the Big West, Pac-10, and MPSF conferences.
WCC Team Notes
Gonzaga Bulldogs (5-2-1 / 0-0-1 WCC)
- Gonzaga opened conference play with a 1-1 tie at Portland on Saturday.
- Ben Funkhouser put the Zags ahead with his second goal of the season on Saturday, scoring in the sixth minute.
- John Reha assisted on Funkhouser's goal, giving the senior a pair of assists so far this season. Reha, who led the WCC with eight assists last year, moved into a tie for sixth place on the GU career assists chart with 12.
- Vito Higgins collected a game-high eight saves in net on Saturday.
- The No. 24 ranked Zags continue conference play on the road this week, traveling to the Bay Area for matches with Saint Mary's (10/5) and San Francisco (10/7).
Loyola Marymount Lions (2-4-1 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- After managing just a single goal through the first five games of the 2007 season, LMU exploded for three strikes in a 3-2 win over then-No. 6 ranked Harvard on September 21.
- Jawaan Delaney made his first career start at forward against the Crimson, and tallied his fifth career goal to open the scoring in the win.
- Goalkeeper Patrick Lane was named to the LMU Invitational All-Tournament Team after collecting seven saves against Harvard and Columbia. Lane enters conference play ranked third in the WCC with 24 saves on the season.
- Brad Stisser has attempted a team-high 22 shots so far this year.
- The Lions open WCC play at home against No. 4 ranked Santa Clara (10/5) this week.
Portland Pilots (3-3-2 / 0-0-1 WCC)
- Portland began conference play with a 1-1 draw against Gonzaga at Merlo Field on Saturday.
- Michael Gavin tallied the equalizer on a 25-yard free kick in the 80th minute of the tie with Gonzaga. It marked the first goal of the season for the senior, who has scored three goals during his career on The Bluff.
- Austin Guerrero made four saves in between the pipes on Saturday to bring his season saves total to a conference-leading 32. The freshman has started every game so far this year, and has played every minute in net for the Pilots.
- After playing their first home game since September 2 against the Zags, the Pilots will head out on the road once again this week for conference contests at San Francisco (10/5) and Saint Mary's (10/7).
Saint Mary's Gaels (4-2-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- Saint Mary's had the week off after stretching its winning streak to three games with victories over Sacramento State on the road and San Jose State at home.
- David Blanchard notched the game-winning goal in each of Saint Mary's wins last week, scoring on headers from set pieces in both matches. The senior moved into the team lead with three goals on the season, matching a career-high that was set last season.
- Brian Mason recorded his 19th career clean sheet in the win over Sacramento State to move into a tie with former Gael Mike Reis (1988-91) for third place on the Saint Mary's all-time shutouts list.
- The Gaels will remain at home, facing Gonzaga (10/5) and Portland (10/7) to begin league play.
San Diego Toreros (3-4-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- The Toreros enter the week with a 3-4-0 overall record after dropping a pair of matches at the adidas/San Diego Classic.
- Tannen Wels and Fabrice Gautrat both converted penalty kicks to provide the Torero scoring in a 3-2 loss to then-No. 9 ranked Brown on September 21. It marked the second goal of the season for each player.
- San Diego has attempted 91 shots as a team so far this season, while limiting opponents to just 48 shot attempts.
- Eight different players have combined to score USD's 11 team goals so far this season.
- San Diego will make the short trip to face No. 18 ranked UCLA (10/2) in a non-conference clash before returning home for a WCC match up with No. 4 ranked Santa Clara (10/7).
San Francisco Dons (4-3-0 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- San Francisco had the week off after sputtering at home, as the Dons were edged by then-No. 5 ranked UCLA, 1-0, before dropping a 2-0 decision to then-No. 28 ranked New Mexico.
- The USF defense has been led by the goalkeeping platoon of Eric Conner and Jeremy Coupe. The two netminders have combined to make 28 saves, and Coupe currently leads the WCC with an average of 5.33 saves per contest.
- Conor Chinn enters conference play with a team-leading four goals and 18 shot attempts so far this season. The sophomore has also assisted on a score, and has netted a game-winning goal on the year.
- San Francisco remains at home to begin WCC play, as the Dons welcome Portland (10/5) and Gonzaga (10/7) to Negoesco Stadium this week.
Santa Clara Broncos (5-1-2 / 0-0-0 WCC)
- Santa Clara closed out its non-conference schedule with a pair of impressive wins, as the Broncos blanked San Jose State, 2-0, before handing then-No. 5 ranked UCLA a 2-1 overtime defeat at Buck Shaw Stadium.
- Peter Lowry provided the goal-scoring fireworks for the Broncos, netting twice against the Spartans and tallying the equalizer against the Bruins. Lowry was named College Soccer News National Player of the Week for his efforts.
- Kevin Klasila has been outstanding in his first three starts in goal, posting back-to-back shutouts against California and San Jose State before making a pair of saves in the win over UCLA. The freshman enters the week tied for the WCC lead with two shutouts.
- The Broncos begin their conference slate on the road, traveling to Loyola Marymout (10/5) and San Diego (10/7) this week.
Games To Watch
#4 Santa Clara at Loyola Marymount - Friday, October 5 at 4:00 PM
Santa Clara visits Loyola Marymount on Friday in the WCC opener for both squads. The Broncos hope to keep the ball rolling after a big win over then-No. 5 ranked UCLA, while the Lions will look to continue a recent run of success against ranked opponents following a win over then-No. 6 ranked Harvard. LMU has won three of the last four contests between the two programs, and the two squads split a pair of games in WCC play last season.
#24 Gonzaga at San Francisco - Sunday, October 7 at 2:00 PM
San Francisco will host Gonzaga on Sunday in a match up of two teams that have seen time in the national rankings this season. GU enters the week ranked No. 24 after opening WCC play with a 1-1 tie at Portland last week, while the Dons were ranked No. 12 in the Soccer America poll before tough losses to UCLA and New Mexico. The Zags topped the Dons in double overtime last season, snapping a seven-game unbeaten streak for USF against GU.