Nov. 8, 2007
BULLDOGS MAKE FINAL ROAD TRIP: It's the final regular-season road trip of the year, but Gonzaga University's men's soccer team is hoping it's not the final time they'll be on the road this season. The Bulldogs head to southern California for a pair of West Coast Conference matches Friday at Loyola Marymount University and Sunday at the University of San Diego. Gonzaga (9-3-4; 4-1-4) is in a three-way tie for third in the WCC with USD (8-7-1; 5-2-1) and the University of Portland (7-4-5; 4-1-4), all with 16 points. Santa Clara University (11-1-4; 6-0-2) sits atop the standings with 20 points. The Bulldogs are still in the regular-season hunt for the WCC title and are also trying to position themselves for an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament should they not overtake SCU for the crown. Gonzaga's lone WCC setback was at home to USD. The Bulldogs and Portland tied in both meetings this season, and the Bulldogs and SCU tied in their first meeting. Those two teams meet Nov. 16 in Spokane.
JOSTEN REPEATS: Gonzaga University senior forward George Josten has been named to the ESPN The Magazine/College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) District VIII All-Academic men's soccer team for a third straight year. Josten carries a 3.83 GPA in civil engineering. Josten, who will now go on the national ballot for Academic All-America honors, was a first-team Academic All-America selection last season after being a third-team pick as a sophomore. Josten has moved ahead of current Gonzaga assistant coach Mike Thompson and into sole possession of third place with his 17th career assist. He is tied for fourth with Brian Ching on the single-season list with his seventh helper this season. His 34 career goals also tie him for third with Ching.
HIGGINS MOVES UP: Senior keeper Vito Higgins recorded his second shutout of the weekend and sixth of the season as Gonzaga University blanked the University of San Francisco 1-0 and played Saint Mary's College to a 0-0 double-overtime tie last weekend. 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.
STILL RANKED: Gonzaga University jumped six spots to 23rd in the College Soccer News Top 30, and moved back into the SoccerTimes.com poll at No. 25 this week. The Bulldogs received 12 votes in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas poll, the third team listed in the "also receiving votes" category. The Bulldogs are fourth in the NSCAA/adidas Far West Regional rankings this week, up from sixth a week ago.
FIT TO BE TIED: Gonzaga University's four ties this year equal the school record of four set in 2005. The only other time the Bulldogs have had three or more ties was 1984 with three. GU's five OT games this season (0-1-4) also match the school mark of five in 2005 (1-0-4).
RPI LOOKS GOOD: The second of the national RPI rankings was released Oct. 30 and the Bulldogs remained solid in 17th. That bodes wells if GU needs to rely on an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
BULLDOGS VS. LIONS: Gonzaga University snapped a two-match losing streak to Loyola Marymount University with a 3-1 home win in the first meeting this season. The Bulldogs hold an 11-7-1 edge in the series.
BULLDOGS VS. TOREROS: If there is one team Gonzaga University has struggled with since joining the West Coast Conference in 1993 it's the University of San Diego. The Toreros lead the series 13-4-1, including a USD win in 1992 prior to the Bulldogs officially joining the WCC for the '93 season. The Toreros handed Gonzaga its lone WCC setback this season, a 1-0 overtime victory in Spokane.
THE THORARINSSON TALE OF THE TAPE: Gonzaga University head coach Einar Thorarinsson is 110-98-20 in his 13th season with the Bulldogs. His overall record is 229-150-33 that includes nine seasons across town at Whitworth College. He picked up his 100th Gonzaga win last season with a 3-0 home win at Saint Mary's 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. He is the fourth winningest coach overall in WCC contests with 46 wins and is second among active coaches, Seamus McFadden of the University of San Diego atop both lists with 70 wins.