Nov. 7, 2007
UP NEXT FOR THE DONS: San Francisco returns home to host ancient Bay Area and West Coast Conference rival No. 3 Santa Clara Friday, November 9 in a 7:00 PM contest at Negoesco Stadium. It is the lone match for the Dons as the West Coast Conference and regular season winds to a close. San Francisco closes 2007 with three straight matches on its home pitch, starting with the Broncos. The Dons dropped a tough 2-1 decision at Santa Clara October 12 in a match televised nationally by Fox Soccer Channel. USF looks to bounce back after suffering back-to-back road shutouts in the Pacific Northwest against Gonzaga and Portland.
DONS & BRONCOS - THE SERIES: While USF owns a 28-18-7 record in the all-time series, dating back to 1967, Santa Clara has enjoyed the better of the rivalry of late. Since 2000, the Broncos have compiled a 9-1-1 record against the Dons. USF's last win came in a 1-0 decision against the No. 12 Broncos (10/29/04).
USF IN THE WEST COAST CONFERENCE DOUBLE ROUND ROBIN: One of the NCAA's most storied programs, San Francisco has posted three straight NCAA Tournament appearances and five straight upper echelon West Coast Conference finishes with back-to-back titles (2004-05) and a runner-up showing (2006). Since the WCC adopted the double round-robin format for the 2004 campaign, USF owns a 24-17-4 league ledger.
DONS LOOK TO REBOUND FROM ANOTHER SLOW WCC START: San Francisco will not be accused of getting off to a fast start to West Coast Conference play once again this season. Since the start of double round robin play in 2004, USF has started the league slate 0-2 three times (2004, 2006-07). While it remains to be seen how the Green and Gold responds this year, San Francisco bounced back to capture the WCC title in 2004 and secured its third straight NCAA berth last season. USF opened league with a 1-1-0 mark in 2005.
SAN FRANCISCO VS. THE NATIONAL ELITE: USF will never be accused of playing a soft schedule and this season is no exception. The Dons match at No. 3 Santa Clara was the fourth top-25 opponent they have faced this season. USF owns a 1-3-0 record against the national elite this season, with a satisfying 2-0 blanking of No. 11 Cal (9/14) the lone victory so far. The Dons fought No. 5 UCLA (9/20) to a standstill, before falling 1-0 in the 88th minute and suffered a 2-1 loss at No. 3 Santa Clara (10/12). Since the start of the 2004 campaign, San Francisco owns a 6-10-2 record against top-25 foes.
USF VS. SANTA CLARA LIVE ON THE INTERNET: USF's West Coast Conference Week Six match against No. 3 Santa Clara will feature live video and audio courtesy of Yahoo Broadcast along with CSTV's GameTracker live scoring. Simply log on to USFDons.com and click on the GameTracker link under the event menu on the main page. To access the streaming audio/video broadcast, click on the audio/video button on the main page and select the Santa Clara match on the Yahoo Broadcast menu.
USF HEAD COACH Erik Visser: Now in his seventh successful year as head coach at his Alma mater, Erik Visser has propelled USF to three consecutive NCAA Tournament berths and is committed to taking the Green and Gold into the postseason once again in 2007. The Dons posted a 12-7-1 overall record during the 2006 season, while playing a schedule rated in the top-10 nationally. After guiding San Francisco to consecutive West Coast Conference titles (2004-05), the Dons secured a runner-up finish in 2006 in an ever-improving league. From 2004-06, USF recorded a 37-17-6 record and recorded the most league victories (22) during the span. A two-time WCC Coach of the Year (2004-05), Visser owns deep ties to the soccer program at the University of San Francisco. A defender on two USF NCAA Championship teams (1978, 1980), Visser spent 19 seasons as an assistant coach under soccer legend Steve Negoesco before taking the reigns as head coach for the 2001 campaign. Along the way, Visser also started the women's soccer program on the Hilltop in 1985 and served as head coach for six years. Visser is active in the USA National Team program and served as the top assistant for the U-20 team that finished 13th in the 2001 Youth World Cup in Argentina. Visser recorded his 50th career victory at Portland (11/10/05) and owns an overall mark of 69-53-9. Former Dons standout Josh McKay is in his fifth season as top assistant coach and second as an associate head coach, while Tyler Gottschalk is in his fourth campaign as an assistant coach. Former UCLA All-American goalkeeper Eric Reed enters his first season as the Dons keepers coach.
PLENTY OF BONUS SOCCER: USF posted its second overtime win of the season with a 2-1 double overtime decision at Stanford (9/16) and then fought to a scoreless draw at San Diego (10/21), continuing a trend of extra session success. San Francisco played four matches requiring an additional period in 2006 and posted a 2-1-1 overall record and went 1-1-1 in matches needing both overtime sessions. This was in sharp contrast to the 2005 season when the Dons played a remarkable seven matches that reached double overtime and registered a 2-1-4 overall record, 1-1-3 during West Coast Conference play. Since the start of the 2004 season, USF owns a 7-4-7 slate during "bonus soccer" matches.
WINNING THE CLOSE ONES: Closing out the second half of the West Coast Conference schedule USF has been involved in extremely close matches with all but three contests decided by one goal and the Dons own a 6-6-0 record in these contests after seizing a 2-1 win at Saint Mary's (10/28). San Francisco played a remarkable 13 matches in 2006 decided by one goal, posting an 8-5 record in those contests. This shows the strength of the Dons defense, who as a unit allowed a maximum of two goals only five times last year. Dating back to October of the 2003 campaign, USF owns a 33-21 ledger in one goal matches, including a 5-4-0 mark during the 2005 campaign.
CHINN AMONG WCC SCORING LEADERS: Sophomore forward Conor Chinn enters the sixth week of the West Coast Conference campaign ranked among the top-five among league leaders in three offensive categories. Chinn shares second place in goals (5), fourth place in points (12) and rates third in shots (36). Chinn scored two goals to lead the Dons to a 2-1 victory against No. 111 Cal (9/14).
Daniel DeGeer CONTRIBUTING OFFENSIVELY: Senior defender Daniel DeGeer assisted on both goals in USF's 2-1 victory at ancient Bay Area and West Coast Conference rival Saint Mary's (10/28) and enters the sixth week of league play with a team-high four assists on the year, good for a share of fifth place among WCC leaders. With eight points this season DeGeer has doubled his career totals entering the 2007 season. DeGeer scored two goals in the Dons 3-2 victory against San Jose State (9/9).
THE RETURN OF FRENCHIE: Junior midfielder Ben Dessard earned his first start since 2005 last Sunday at Saint Mary's (10/28) and promptly scored his first goal of the season at the 24:52 mark to knot the contest at 1-1. Dessard, who missed more than 16 months with two serious knee injuries, was activated prior to the Dons match at No. 3 Santa Clara October 12. It is the third career goal for Dessard, a 2005 WCC Freshman Team selection.
CONNER RECORDS ANOTHER SAVE: Junior goalkeeper Eric Conner enters the sixth week of the West Coast Conference slate ranked among league leaders in a pair of significant categories. Conner ranks second the WCC in saves per game (4.31) and is third in overall saves (56) in 13 starts between the pipes this season. Conner collected his first career shutout in the Green and Gold in a scoreless double overtime deadlock at San Diego (10/21).
GAME DAY GREEN: The University of San Francisco Athletic Department in conjunction with the USF Bookstore and the USF Residence Life Office encourages all Dons supporters to wear "Game Day Green". The USF Residence Life Office also is in full support of the initiative and staff members will wear "Game Day Green" on game days throughout the Fall Season.
A LOOK AT SANTA CLARA: The Broncos enter Friday night on a truly impressive roll and carry a remarkable 13-match unbeaten streak into week six of West Coast Conference play after posting back-to-back home wins against San Diego (2-1) and Loyola Marymount (3-1). During the unbeaten streak, Santa Clara has out-scored its opponents 21-6. The Broncos lone loss of the season came in a 2-1 setback at Brown (9/7). SCU owns a 27-10 goals advantage and out-shoots opponents 252-130 on the year. Senior midfielder Peter Lowry leads the way offensively with seven goals, including a pair of game-winners, while junior forward Jide Ogunbiyi is second on the team with five scoring strikes, two game-winning goals and 12 points. Freshman goalkeeper Kevin Klasila has been strong between the pipes, allowing just five goals in 1,055:05 minutes, for a miniscule 0.43 GAA and he has made just 25 saves on the year.
LAST TIME AGAINST THE DONS: USF men's soccer battled ancient Bay Area rival No. 3 Santa Clara to a 1-1 draw for the first 89:57, but a last second score sent the Broncos to a 2-1 West Coast Conference victory Friday night at a waterlogged Buck Shaw Stadium, in a match televised live by Fox Soccer Channel. The Dons scored first, but the Broncos won their fifth consecutive match. Sophomore forward Conor Chinn got USF on the scoreboard first at 19:15, sending a shot off the post into the back of the net. It was the team-leading fifth goal of the season for Chinn and ninth of his brief career on the Hilltop. San Francisco held an 8-3 shots advantage in the first half on the soggy pitch. Santa Clara's Stephen McCarthey scored his third goal on the equalizer at 22:17, connecting on a chip shot into the upper corner. San Francisco fought the Broncos to a standstill from there before the final sequence of the match. Jalil Anibaba tallied his first scoring strike of the season at 89:58 lifting Santa Clara to its fourth straight win in the series against San Francisco. Santa Clara held a 13-11 shots edge, 10-3 in the second half. The Broncos also attempted nine corner kicks to two from the Dons. Chinn led the Dons with three shots, while freshman Jonathan McMullen recorded two.
DONS PLAYING ROAD WARRIORS: After playing eight of its first nine matches at home, USF just concluded a streak of six of seven matches on the road - all of them West Coast Conference contests. The Dons posted a 3-3-1 slate on the road, with the only setbacks coming in a last second 2-1 loss at No. 4 Santa Clara (10/12) and back-to-back losses in the Pacific Northwest last week. In 2006, USF posted a winning record on the road for the third straight season (6-5-0), while playing one of the most challenging schedules in Division I soccer. The Dons took a 1-0 victory at No. 11 Cal to open the season and added wins at Penn State, Cal State Northridge, San Diego and Loyola Marymount. In the last three seasons, the Dons own a 18-14-1 record in true away matches (3-1-2 at neutral sites) while posting a 12-11-1 slate in WCC road tilts. USF is 23-11-4 at Negoesco Stadium since the start of the 2004 season. San Francisco won its first road match of the season in a 2-1 double overtime thriller at Stanford (9/16).