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WCC Men's Soccer Recaps

Nov. 3, 2007

Gonzaga - 1
San Francisco - 0

Spokane, Wash. - John Reha's first goal of the season was all Gonzaga University needed as the Bulldogs stayed in the thick of the West Coast Conference men's soccer chase with a 1-0 win over the University of San Francisco Friday at Martin Field.

The Bulldogs (9-3-3, 4-1-3) now have 15 points in the WCC chase. The University of San Diego (16 points) and Santa Clara (14 points) were scheduled to meet Friday night at SCU.

Reha's goal came at 31:03 and was assisted by George Josten, who recorded his team-leading seventh assist. Josten dribbled down the right side and passed across the field to Reha to the far post. Reha hesitated, stutter-stepped a defender and scored from inside the 6-yard box as he beat USF keeper Eric Connor high to the left shoulder.

With the assist Josten moved ahead of current Gonzaga assistant coach Mike Thompson and into sole possession of third place with his 17th career assist. He also moved into a tie for fourth with Brian Ching on the single-season list with his seventh helper this season.

Gonzaga dominated the first half. Reha's goal was the seventh shot of the half for the Bulldogs, who held a 9-2 first-half edge and a 14-5 game edge in shots. Bulldog keeper Vito Higgins was called on for just one save in recording his fifth shutout of the season and the 13th of his career to move him into a tie for second with fellow Hawaiian Mike McCarthy. Josh Fouts, another Pacific Islander, heads the list with 19 career shutouts.

Both teams had some solid scoring chances they were unable to convert.

Josten took a thru ball for a breakaway in the 16th minute. Conner came out to make one of his four saves in the match, was unable to smother the ball and the rebound came to Josten on the right side of the 6-yard box. His rebound shot at the open net went high.

USF came close to getting the equalizer in the 35th minute, Conor Chinn's header from the right side bouncing off the post.

John Palladino nearly sent Gonzaga to halftime with a 2-0 lead, but Conner made a diving save to deflect a hard shot from 18 yards over the goal.

Gonzaga's Conor Baranski missed the open net from 10 yards off a feed from Palladino in the 83rd minute as Gonzaga pressured to get an insurance goal, the shot going high.

The Bulldogs return to action Sunday at noon on Martin Field to face Saint Mary's College. The Gaels were to meet the University of Portland in a late Friday match.

Santa Clara - 2
San Diego - 1

Santa Clara, Calif. - The No. 3 Santa Clara men's soccer team moved back into first place in the West Coast Conference with a 2-1 victory over San Diego at Buck Shaw Stadium. Brian Martin scored his first goal of the season in the 72nd minute to give SCU the key victory. With the win, the Broncos (10-1-4, 5-0-2 WCC) extended their unbeaten streak to 12 games. Stephen McCarthy scored his fourth goal of the season in the first half and Peter Lowry notched two assists in the win.

The game did not start off well for SCU, as the Toreros scored just four minutes into the game to take the early lead. USD's Colin Jennings found Tannen Wels in the box and Wels buried a shot in the upper corner past a stunned Kevin Klasila for a 1-0 lead.

The momentum would swing back in the Broncos' favor 13 minutes later after a red card to San Diego's Fabrice Gautrat. Gautrat went in late and hard on a tackle at midfield and was shown an immediate red card by the referee.

The Broncos got back into the game through a McCarthy blast in the 30th minute. Redshirt freshman Ricky Character got the play started with a great move on the wing. He then found Aaron Clubb in the box and he slid a pass to Lowry 15 yards from goal. The Bronco captain laid a ball back to McCarthy, who ripped a low shot that flew past San Diego goalkeeper Kelin Briones to knot the game at one goal apiece.

SCU continued to push forward in the second half looking for the equalizer, while the Toreros attempted to weather the storm and sneak a goal on the break.

Santa Clara broke through for the winner with 18 minutes remaining. After a foul at the top of the box, Lowry lined up a free kick for SCU. He sent a wicked shot over the wall and off the crossbar before Briones could react. The rebound fell right to the feet of Martin, who calmly put the ball into the net to set off another late-game celebration at Buck Shaw.

Lowry nearly increased the lead to two minutes later with another long-range effort. He received a pass on the left edge of the box and unloaded a shot that clanged off the crossbar.

Santa Clara completes its four-game home stand on Sunday, Nov. 4 against Loyola Marymount. The game kicks off at 2 p.m. PT at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Portland - 1
Saint Mary's - 0

Portland, Ore. - Portland junior Alex Elliott buried the game-winner in the first overtime to send the Pilots to a 1-0 victory over the Saint Mary's Gaels in a West Coast Conference men's soccer game Friday night at Merlo Field. Elliott's goal, his team-high fifth of the season, came in the 97th minute on a feed from senior Michael Gavin.

Portland improves to 6-4-5 (3-1-4 WCC) with the win, while the Gaels drop to 6-7-1 and 2-5-1 in the WCC.

"It was a good result," Portland Director of Soccer and head men's coach Bill Irwin said. "The guys worked hard and came through in the end."

After 90 minutes of scoreless soccer, both teams played at a furious pace during the extra period. Junior Leland Wright initiated the final play with a throw in from the left side of the field, 10 yards up from SMC's endline. Wright found Gavin, who made a move up the endline towards the middle of the 18-yard box. Gavin then whipped a cross in front of the goal, where Elliott finished from three yards out.

The game-winner came just moments after SMC's Nick Cashmere nearly ended it twice. In the 95th minute, Cashmere made a run down the middle of the field in a one-v-one opportunity with a Portland defender. The UP defender fell, allowing Cashmere a quality look. He ripped a shot that drilled the left post and out of the box. A minute later, Cashmere had another great opportunity. This time his shot from almost the exact same spot was wide left.

Both teams had their chances during regulation as Saint Mary's attempted 11 shots in the first 90 minutes, while Portland countered with 13. UP finished with a 15-14 edge in total shots and a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks.

Portland's best look before the extra time came in the 62nd minute. Redshirt freshman Alex Kraus fed sophomore Collen Warner with a perfectly placed through ball just inside the 18-yard box. Warner, who appeared to have an open look at the left corner of the net, sent a shot that rolled wide of the left post by a mere six inches.

Portland freshman keeper Austin Guerrero was spectacular in goal, making five saves for his sixth shutout of the season. SMC's goalie Keenan Flynn also had a solid performance with six saves.

"We had a lot of chances," Irwin said. "Saint Mary's came here for the tie and they got it for 90 minutes, so you have to give them credit. But we just kept at it and finally broke through."

The Pilots next host the San Francisco Dons at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday at Merlo Field.