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WCC Men's Soccer Recaps

Nov. 4, 2007

Gonzaga - 0
Saint Mary's - 0

Spokane, Wash. - Gonzaga University and Saint Mary's College each had their scoring opportunities Sunday at Martin Field, but neither team could dent the net in a 0-0 West Coast Conference men's soccer tie.

The tie gives the Bulldogs (9-3-4; 4-1-4) 16 points in the WCC title chase and moved Gonzaga into a tied for second place with idle University of San Diego. USD fell out of the league lead with a 2-1 loss to Santa Clara University on Friday, the league-leading Broncos with 17 points heading into Sunday afternoon's match with Loyola Marymount University.

The Bulldogs probably had the better of the chances Sunday against the Gaels (6-7-2; 2-5-2).

Saint Mary's had to play the final five minutes of the second overtime when Jared Medina was red carded for a hard tackle. Following the ejection the Bulldogs got a header from Nick Barclay that sailed high and a lob shot by Philippe Garre from 16 yards on the right wing that just sailed high over keeper Keenan Flynn and the cross bar.

Flynn kept the match scoreless heading to overtime with a pair of diving saves late in the first half. The first came in the 38th minute when John Palladino's hard free kick from 22 yards hooked and forced Flynn to make a diving save to his right. In the 40th minute Bryan Mullaney took a shot that deflected off a defender, changed directions and forced Flynn to make another diving stop to his right. He finished with six saves.

Gonzaga had another chance in the 58th minute, Daniel Scott's header near the right post off a free kick stopped Flynn. The best chance might have been in the 80th minute when Josten's shot from near the right post got behind Flynn and a defender kicked the ball out of harms way at the goal line.

Most of the Gaels shots on goal were from long range. Bulldog keeper Vito Higgins had just one of his four saves for the match in the first half, that a shot from 20 yards on the right wing, a low hard shot that Higgins stopped. His three second-half saves were on shots from 18, 25 and 15 yards, the latter perhaps his toughest save as he knocked down Dylan Leslie's shot before corralling the ball.

Higgins recorded his second shutout of the weekend and sixth of the season after blanking the University of San Francisco 1-0 on Friday. Higgins moved past Mike McCarthy and into second place on the career shutout list with 14, Josh Fouts the all-time leader with 19. Higgins' six shutouts this season rank fourth on the single-season charts.

Gonzaga held a 15-9 edge in shots and the Bulldogs had 11 corner kicks to just three for the Gaels.

Portland - 3
San Francisco - 0

Portland, Ore. - Portland junior Alex Elliott assisted on both goals by freshman Frankie Lopez including the game-winner as the Pilots blanked the San Francisco Dons 3-0 on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon at Merlo Field. The win moves the Pilots, who improve to 7-4-5 and 4-1-4 in the West Coast Conference, into a second-place tie with Gonzaga and San Diego.

Santa Clara holds down first place with 22 points.

All of UP's scoring came after a scoreless first half. In the 53rd minute, Elliott and Lopez hooked up on the game's first goal. Elliott took a perfect feed from sophomore Collen Warner, settled it and ripped a shot from 10 yards that was knocked down by San Francisco keeper Eric Conner. The ball bounced right to Lopez, who buried a shot into the right corner from 15 yards out.

With the score still at 1-nil, Lopez and Elliott connected again to push Portland's lead to 2-0 in the 79th minute. On a give-and-go play, Lopez fed Elliott in open space on the right wing. Elliott then gave it right back to Lopez, who one-timed a shot just inside the right post. It's the fourth goal this season for Lopez, while Elliott picks up his league-high ninth assist. Elliott increases his season points total to 19, also a conference-high.

Portland then made it a 3-0 advantage in the 82nd minute. Warner found sophomore Logan Emory with a pass just outside the 18-yard box. Emory made a couple of touches before cracking a shot inside the right post from 18 yards out. It's the third goal this season for Emory and the third assist for Warner.

UP freshman goalie Austin Guerrero turned in another solid performance for his seventh shutout of the fall. Guerrero followed Friday's five-save, 1-0 shutout of Saint Mary's with seven saves against the Dons. Guerrero has not allowed a goal in the last 190 minutes played.

Conner finished with fives saves for San Francisco, which drops to 6-9-1 overall and 2-6-1 in the WCC.

Santa Clara - 3
Loyola Marymount - 1

Santa Clara, Calif. - Goals from unlikely heroes Scott Sweeney and Matt Marquess led No. 3 Santa Clara University to a 3-1 win over Loyola Marymount at Buck Shaw Stadium. Sweeney and Marquess each scored for the first time in their career to turn a 1-1 game into a 3-1 Bronco victory in the second half. Peter Lowry scored his seventh goal of the season in the first half for SCU. The Broncos are now 11-1-4 (6-0-2 WCC) on the season.

The Broncos had their first chance just minutes into the game. Lowry sent a corner kick to Matt Hatzke at the top of the box and Hatzke took a touch before curling a cross into the center. Aaron Clubb attempted to find Jide Ogunbiyi with a pass, but Lions goalkeeper Patrick Lane came off his line to intercept the pass.

Ogunbiyi had a long-range effort saved by Lane in the 17th minute. He received a pass at the right corner of the box and got just enough space to rip a right-footer to the lower corner, but Lane dove to make the stop.

SCU took the lead with 21 minutes remaining in the half on a Lowry penalty kick. Ogunbiyi was pulled down inside the box after receiving a pass from Hatzke. Lowry drove the penalty into the upper corner past a diving Lane for a 1-0 advantage.

Kellen Wantulok tested Lane with another shot from distance with under 15 minutes to go in the half. He picked up a pass on the left wing and volleyed a shot that forced Lane into an uncomfortable save.

Kevin Klasila came off his line early in the second half to thwart a possible chance by the Lions. A through ball found its way behind the Bronco defense, but Klasila charged off his line to scoop up the ball before a Lions played could get to it.

LMU evened the score four minutes into the half after a scramble in front of the net. Trini Gomez whipped a cross into the box and the Broncos were unable to clear the ball out of danger. The Lions Wilkie Johnson out-muscled his defender to gather in the loose ball and blast it into the goal for his second of the year.

Sweeney put SCU back on top with his first career goal in the 61st minute. Lowry sent a corner kick into the box that was cleared out. Sweeney unloaded a one-timed shot from 35 yards out that slammed into the lower corner past Lane.

Marquess capped off the win with his first career goal with six seconds remaining. Ricky Character dribbled past two LMU defenders on the endline and found Aaron Clubb at the near post. Clubb dropped a pass back to Marquess and he drilled a shot to the near post to make the final score 3-1.