Oct. 23, 2006
WCC Player of the Week
Michael Caso, San Diego
Michael Caso led the Toreros back into the WCC title hunt last week, scoring a pair of goals and assisting on two additional scores as San Diego posted wins over Gonzaga and Portland on the road. The senior started the weekend off with a bang in Spokane, netting both of San Diego's goals in a 2-1 victory, including the game-winner on a free kick from 22 yards out. In Sunday's 3-2 win at Portland, Caso assisted on scoring strikes by JT Howlan and Mike Barbeito to lift USD to its second win of the weekend. Caso currently leads San Diego with seven goals and six assists on the season.
Saint Mary's at Loyola Marymount* - 3:00 PM
Gonzaga at Washington - 7:00 PM
San Francisco at Portland* - 7:00 PM
Santa Clara at San Diego* - 7:00 PM
Washington at Portland - 12:00 PM
San Francisco at Gonzaga* - 2:00 PM
Santa Clara at Loyola Marymount* - 2:00 PM
Saint Mary's at San Diego* - 2:30 PM
* Denotes Conference Game
Around The WCC
WCC Regular Season Race Heats Up
The race for the WCC regular season crown and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament is heating up with only two weekends remaining in WCC play. Just four points separate first place Santa Clara from fourth place San Diego, while San Francisco and LMU sit just two and three points behind the Broncos, respectively. Six crucial conference matches will serve to further separate the league leaders this weekend.
San Francisco's Uhl Breaks WCC Shutout Record
San Francisco goalkeeper Geremy Uhl broke former Portland and current United States National Team goalkeeper Kasey Keller's conference record for shutouts in WCC matches with his 14th career clean sheet in Sunday's 1-0 win over Saint Mary's. Keller posted 13 shutouts in just 20 WCC matches for UP between 1988-91, while Uhl has been available for 38 WCC matches during his time on The Hilltop due to double round-robin play implemented in 2004. Uhl's 24 overall career shutouts currently ranks fifth on the WCC chart.
WCC Team Notes
Gonzaga Bulldogs (6-7-2 / 3-5-1 WCC)
- Gonzaga suffered a pair of defeats at home over the weekend, falling to San Diego on Friday, 2-1, before dropping a 4-1 decision to LMU on Sunday.
- Tye Perdido scored in his second straight game during Friday's loss to the Toreros, bringing his season goal total to three.
- George Josten tallied his ninth goal of the season against the Lions on Sunday. The junior is currently tied for the WCC lead with nine goals, and aims to become the first Zag since Jeff McAllister in 1996 and 1997 to pace the conference in goals in back-to-back years.
- Ben Funkhouser picked up his first career assist on Perdido's goal against San Diego.
- Gonzaga travels to Washington (10/27) before returning home to host USF (10/29).
Loyola Marymount Lions (8-6-2 / 4-3-2 WCC)
- Loyola Marymount earned a split in the Northwest, rebounding from a 2-1 loss to Portland on Friday to knock off Gonzaga on Sunday, 4-1.
- The Lions scored three goals in the first seven minutes of Sunday's win over the Zags, marking the second time in three games that LMU has opened a match with a scoring flurry. The Lions scored three times in the first eight minutes en route to a 3-2 win over USD on October 15.
- Brad Stisser doubled his season scoring output with a pair of goals in Sunday's victory. Stisser is now tied with Bobby Burling for the team lead with four goals on the season.
- Nick Blanco tied an LMU single-game record by assisting on three goals in Sunday's win over Gonzaga. Blanco also scored a goal in Friday's loss at Portland.
- LMU returns home for crucial matches with Saint Mary's (10/27) and Santa Clara (10/29).
Portland Pilots (6-7-2 / 3-6-0 WCC)
- Portland snapped a three-match skid with a 2-1 victory over LMU on Friday, before falling to San Diego at Merlo Field on Sunday, 3-2.
- Alex Elliott moved into a tie for the WCC goals lead after netting four times over the weekend. Elliott brought his season goal total to nine, which is the most by a Pilot since Alejandro Salazar scored 10 times in 2003.
- Christopher Sanders assisted on both of Portland's goals during Friday's win over LMU.
- Luis Robles made 10 saves against San Diego on Sunday to set a WCC single-game high for the 2006 season. Robles currently leads the WCC with 73 saves, which is 24 more than the next highest save total in the conference.
- UP hosts USF (10/27) before facing non-conference foe Washington (10/29) this week.
Saint Mary's Gaels (4-7-5 / 2-4-2 WCC)
- Saint Mary's dropped to the bottom of the conference standings after falling to San Francisco on the road on Sunday, 1-0.
- Six of Saint Mary's seven losses this season have come by a single goal. The Gaels have also recorded five ties on the season, which matches a program record established in 1989 and duplicated in 2004.
- Dylan Leslie led the Gaels with five shot attempts against the Dons on Sunday. The freshman, who leads the team with four goals on the season, currently ranks second on the squad with 32 shots. Carlos Diaz leads the team and is tied for the conference lead with 47 shots so far this season.
- The Gaels hit the road for matches at LMU (10/27) and San Diego (10/29) this weekend.
San Diego Toreros (9-5-1 / 4-4-1 WCC)
- San Diego moved up the conference standings after posting the team's first road wins of the season, defeating Gonzaga and Portland over the weekend.
- Michael Caso provided the scoring punch for the Toreros, netting both USD goals in Friday's win over Portland and assisting on two scores in Sunday's victory at Gonzaga. Caso moved into a tie with Ryan Guy for the team lead with seven goals on the season, and currently leads the squad with six assists.
- The Toreros have scored 41 goals as a team this season, the program's highest scoring output since tallying 46 times during the 2002 season.
- San Diego enters the week just four points behind league-leading Santa Clara with three WCC matches remaining. USD hosts the Broncos (10/27) and Saint Mary's (10/29) this week.
San Francisco Dons (10-4-1 / 5-3-0 WCC)
- San Francisco rebounded from a 1-0 loss at Santa Clara on Friday to record a 1-0 victory over Saint Mary's at home on Sunday night. The Dons held on to second place in the conference standings with 15 points, just two behind the first place Broncos.
- Geremy Uhl notched his 14th career shutout in conference play on Sunday, breaking the record of 13 set by former Portland and current U.S. National Team goalkeeper Kasey Keller.
- Neil Stewart provided the difference in Sunday's win, scoring his second goal of the season to lift the Dons to the 1-0 win.
- Ardalan Attar and Jesse Henderson assisted on Stewart's goal against Saint Mary's.
- USF heads to the Northwest for matches at Portland (10/27) and Gonzaga (10/29).
Santa Clara Broncos (9-3-4 / 5-1-2 WCC)
- Santa Clara remained at the top of the WCC standings after notching a 1-0 victory over second place San Francisco on Friday.
- Amaechi Igwe scored the game-winning goal against the Dons, tallying in the 73rd minute to put the Broncos up 1-0. It marked the second straight game in which an SCU freshman tallied the game-winner, as Jeff Cosgriff provided the difference in the Broncos' overtime win at Saint Mary's on October 15.
- Sean Danzeiser assisted on Igwe's game-winning goal, marking the freshman's first career assist.
- Joseph Buttitta made three saves to keep his WCC-leading sixth clean sheet on Friday.
- Santa Clara travels to face San Diego (10/27) and LMU (10/29) this weekend.
Games To Watch
Santa Clara at San Diego - Friday, October 27 at 7:00 PM (PT)
Santa Clara and San Diego will meet at Torero Stadium on Friday night in a key WCC match up. The Broncos sit atop the WCC standings with 17 points, while the Toreros are just four points back of the leader in fourth place with three games remaining on their conference slate. SCU is coming off of an impressive 1-0 victory over second place USF at home, while USD jumped back into the title hunt with wins at Gonzaga and Portland over the weekend.
San Francisco at Gonzaga - Sunday, October 29 at 2:00 PM (PT)
San Francisco heads to the Northwest for a crucial road swing, as the Dons sit just two points behind WCC-leading Santa Clara in the conference standings. USF will take on a Gonzaga squad that reeled off three straight wins in league play before being defeated twice at home last weekend. The Dons are led by goalkeeper Geremy Uhl, who is tied for the conference lead with six shutouts, while the Zags feature the WCC's top goal scorer in George Josten, who has tallied nine times so far this season.