Oct. 4, 2007
BULLDOGS END LONG ROAD SOJOURN: There is light at the end of the tunnel for Gonzaga University's men's soccer team which hasn't played a home match since Sept. 7. The Bulldogs finish their month-long hiatus from Martin Field with two more West Coast Conference road matches this week - Friday at Saint Mary's College and Sunday at the University of San Francisco. Gonzaga will return home Oct. 12 for its WCC home debut against Loyola Marymount University, beginning a stretch where the Bulldogs will play 5-of-6 matches at home.
BULLDOGS, PILOTS KNOT IN OPENER: Gonzaga University and the University of Portland opened West Coast Conference play last weekend in the Rose City, the teams battling to a 1-1 double-overtime tie. The Bulldogs nearly pulled out the victory as Tye Perdido's shot from close in off the left wing hit the goal post in the 107th minute. The Bulldogs took an early 1-0 lead when Ben Funkhouser scored his second goal of the season at 5:59. The Pilots tied the match at 79:55 and the teams battled through two scoreless overtime sessions.
STILL RANKED: Gonzaga University's men's soccer team, unbeaten in its last four matches, remained ranked in two polls and is receiving votes in two others this week. The Bulldogs (5-2-1) slipped from 21st to 24th in the Soccer America Top 25 and fell from 28th to 30th in the College Soccer News Top 30. Gonzaga is also receiving votes in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas and SoccerTimes.com polls. The Bulldogs also climbed two spots in the NSCAA/adidas Far West Regional rankings to No. 6 this week.
WCC HONORS BULLDOGS: Gonzaga University defender Daniel Scott of Maui, Hawai'i, earned West Coast Conference Co-Player of the Month honors, and keeper Vito Higgins of Kailua, Hawai'i, shared the WCC Player of the Week accolades. The Hawaiian duo helped the Bulldogs to a 5-1-1 record in the month of September. Included in the wins was a 1-0 victory over defending national champion and top-ranked UC Santa Barbara. Scott was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week for his efforts in Gonzaga winning the Stephen Hensor/Joe Zaher Classic at Oregon State University, and Higgins recorded one of his two shutouts in the month with a 1-0 win over Northern Illinois University. Higgins and the Bulldogs had a 0.69 GAA for the month. Higgins also had eight saves against the University of Portland last week in the 1-1 tie, one shy of his career high.
BULLDOGS VS. GAELS: Gonzaga University holds a 9-7-1 lead in the series with Saint Mary's College after sweeping the Gaels last season. The Bulldogs took a 4-0 home victory and a 3-0 road win over the Gaels in 2006. Gonzaga has won the last three matches in the series.
BULLDOGS VS. DONS: Gonzaga University snapped a seven-match winless streak against the University of San Francisco with last year's 2-1 double-overtime victory over the Dons in Spokane. Tye Perdido scored 56 seconds into the second OT last year to give the Bulldogs the win over the 16th-ranked Dons. USF still leads the overall series 9-7-1.
JOSTEN LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS NOMINEE: Gonzaga University senior forward George Josten is among the nominees for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award that was first established in basketball to honor seniors who decided to return to school for their final year. This season the sports of men's and women's soccer were added to the program. Finalists, to be announced Oct. 16, will be selected based on personal qualities that define a complete student athlete. These areas of excellence are identified under the categories of classroom, character and community, as well as the candidate's performance and team loy¬alty on the field. The greater emphasis on the off-field achievements of the candidate reflects Lowe's commitment to helping young people build successful careers and encouraging students to use their skills to make an impact in life.
FIRE AWAY: The 18 shots by Gonzaga University against the University of Portland were the most since launching 23 against the University of Maryland-Baltimore County last season in the Anders Navy Classic. Gonzaga had 17 shots earlier this season against Washington. Only five of the shots, however, were on goal. At the other end of the field, senior keeper Vito Higgins had eight saves, one shy of his career high against the University of New Mexico as a freshman in 2003. It was the third 8-ave match of his career. He is Gonzaga's all-time saves leader with 249.
THE THORARINSSON TALE OF THE TAPE: Gonzaga University head coach Einar Thorarinsson is 106-97-17 in his 13th season with the Bulldogs. His overall record is 225-149-30 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.