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Men's Soccer Back In WCC Title Chase

Oct. 18, 2006

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Men's Soccer Match Facts
Fri., Oct. 20 - vs. San Diego, 1 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 22 - vs. Loyola Marymount, 1 p.m.

BULLDOGS IN THE CHASE: Gonzaga University, seemingly out of the West Coast Conference title chase after an 0-3-0 start on the road, have found the home cooking to be just what the doctor ordered. The Bulldogs swept the University of Portland in a home-and-home series by identical 2-1 scores last weekend, including an overtime home victory Sunday. The makes the Bulldogs 3-0-1 in WCC action since returning home for what will be 6-of-8 matches in the month of October, all six home matches WCC outings. The sweep last weekend left the Bulldogs in fourth place with 10 points, four points behind league-leading Santa Clara University, two behind second place University of San Francisco and one behind third place Loyola Marymount University.

BIG HOMESTAND THIS WEEKEND: Perhaps the biggest home stand of the season awaits Gonzaga University this week when the University of San Diego visits Friday and Loyola Marymount University comes to town Sunday, both matches at 1 p.m. The Bulldogs can't get caught looking ahead at LMU, the Lions one spot and one point ahead of Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference standings. USD snapped a three-match losing streak with a tie against LMU last weekend, then lost the rematch to conclude the weekend home-and-home series. The Toreros are winless in their last five matches after putting together a five-match winning streak.

REHA "ASSISTS" IN WINS: Gonzaga University junior midfielder John Reha of Tacoma, Wash., has been named the West Coast Conference men's soccer Player of the Week. He had three assists in the two wins over the University of Portland, including assists on both match-winning goals as Gonzaga posted a pair of 2-1 victories. He assisted on both goals Friday at Portland as Gonzaga came from 1-0 halftime deficit to score two second-half goals, including the match-winner in the 88th minute. Sunday he assisted on Gonzaga's match winner in overtime in another 2-1 victory as again the Bulldogs came from a 1-0 halftime deficit. Reha's seven assists this season rank tied for second with Brian Ching on the GU single-season list, one behind co-leaders Jeff McAllister and current assistant coach Mike Thompson. After getting just one assist in each of his first two seasons - he redshirted last season with an injury - he now has nine career assists to tie for 10th on the all-time GU assists list.

"HOME" FIELD ADVANTAGE: Corvallis, Ore., native Tim Muravez returned to his home state and scored his first career goal at 88:23 to give Gonzaga University a 2-1 West Coast Conference soccer victory over the University of Portland last Friday. Muravez, a freshman defender, scored from 10 yards out off a corner kick to give the Bulldogs the victory.

STREAK SNAPPED: When the University of Portland got on the scoreboard at 39:43 last Friday it snapped Gonzaga University keeper Vito Higgins' scoreless streak at 286:23. Higgins had blanked Santa Clara University and Saint Mary's College in his last two outings - the SCU match a scoreless double-overtime outing - and went the final 46:40 at the University of San Francisco without allowing a goal prior to the two whitewashes.

JOSTEN SCORES AGAIN: Junior forward George Josten upped his Gonzaga University and West Coast Conference goals lead to 8 and his points lead to 20 with a goal last Sunday, his tally at 83:49 sending the match to OT.

BULLDOGS VS. TOREROS: Gonzaga University will be out to avenge a 4-0 blanking at the University of San Diego on the opening weekend of the season when the team battle Friday. Last season Gonzaga and USD played back-to-back matches in San Diego, the result of the match in Spokane being postponed due to inclement weather resulting in an unplayable field. The Bulldogs lost the first match 2-1 to see their losing streak extended to four against USD, but Gonzaga came back the next day to score three goals in a span of 17:58 late in the match to take a 3-2 victory. Current junior George Josten scored twice - at 68:57 and 74:41 - to tie the match, and then-freshman Chris Hoyd scored his first collegiate goal at 86:55 to complete the comeback. San Diego leads the all-time series 11-3-1.

BULLDOGS VS. LIONS: Gonzaga University fell at Loyola Marymount University 1-0 in the West Coast Conference opener this season, but the Bulldogs still lead the series 9-5-1. The teams traded road victories a year ago, LMU taking a 2-1 win in Spokane and the Bulldogs returning the favor with a 3-2 victory in Los Angeles.

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 98-92-16 in his 12th season with the Bulldogs. His overall record is 221-143-29 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.