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WCC Men's Soccer Weekly Notes - 11/21

Nov. 21, 2007

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Three WCC Men's Soccer Teams Selected For NCAA Tournament

Santa Clara, Portland, and Gonzaga all received bids to the 2007 NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament, as announced by the NCAA selection committee on Monday. The three selections mark the most for the WCC since 2004, when the league received four bids for the second straight year. It also marks the 19th time in conference history that multiple men's soccer teams have earned postseason selection.

Santa Clara, which has spent the majority of the season ranked in the top-10 in the country, finished the regular season with a 15-1-4 overall record and a 10-0-2 mark in WCC play. The Broncos, who are in the midst of a 17-game unbeaten run, received a bye into the second round and will face the winner of the UCLA vs. New Mexico first round match on November 28 at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Portland finished the regular season with a 10-5-5 overall record, and placed third in the WCC with a 6-2-4 league mark. The Pilots earned the postseason nod by going 6-1-2 in their final nine matches, and will be making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2004. They will take on Washington in Seattle on Friday in first round action at 6:00 PM, with the winner advancing to meet No. 12 seed UC Santa Barbara in the second round.

Gonzaga closed out the regular season with a 9-6-4 overall record, and a 4-4-4 mark in WCC play. The Zags will be making the program's second NCAA Tournament appearance, and the first since the 2001 season. GU will travel to Dallas, TX to meet SMU, with the winner moving on to face No. 8 seed Creighton in second round play.

NCAA Tournament Schedule
49th Annual Division I Men's Soccer Championship

Nov. 23
Portland at Washington - 6:00 PM

Nov. 24
Gonzaga at SMU - 7:00 PM (CT)/5:00 (PT)

Nov. 28
Portland/Washington at No. 12 UCSB- 7:00 PM
Gonzaga/SMU at No. 8 Creighton - 7:00 PM (CT)/5:00 (PT)
UCLA/New Mexico at No. 7 Santa Clara - 7:00 PM

Around The WCC

WCC Announces All-Conference Honors
The Santa Clara men's soccer team swept the West Coast Conference yearly awards, capping a regular season that saw the Broncos win their second straight WCC title after posting an undefeated 10-0-2 mark in league play. Senior Peter Lowry was tabbed for WCC Player of the Year honors, marking the second time in three years that an SCU player has received the league's top honor, while Head Coach Cameron Rast was named WCC Coach of the Year for the second straight season, and the third time in his career. Senior defender Jamil Roberts was named WCC Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first Bronco since 2001 to receive the honor, and newcomer Jalil Anibaba received Freshman of the Year accolades.

Gonzaga's Josten And Santa Clara's Hatzke Named Academic All-American
Gonzaga senior George Josten and Santa Clara senior Matt Hatzke were each named Academic All-American, as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) last week. Josten was tabbed for first team ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American recognition for the second straight year after posting a 3.83 GPA in civil engineering. Hatzke was named to the second team after helping the Broncos to a 15-1-4 overall record, and their second straight conference title.

WCC Tradition In The NCAA Tournament
For the seventh straight season and the 19th time in conference history, multiple WCC teams have earned bids to the NCAA Tournament. Santa Clara will be playing in its fifth straight NCAA Tournament and the 18th in program history, while Portland will be making its 13th appearance, and Gonzaga earned postseason selection for the second time. WCC teams have made 78 NCAA Tournament appearances since the NCAA competition began, and have claimed five national championships. USF leads all conference teams with four national championships, while SCU earned a share of the Division I crown in 1989 after battling Virginia to a draw in the title game. Santa Clara is the last WCC team to have appeared in a College Cup, advancing to college soccer's "Final Four" in 2003.

WCC Team Notes

Gonzaga Bulldogs (9-6-4 / 4-4-4 WCC)
- Gonzaga received a bid to the NCAA Tournament after posting a 9-6-4 overall record this year. The Zags will be making the second postseason appearance in program history, and their first since 2001.

- Vito Higgins finished the regular season ranked second among conference goalkeepers in both saves (71) and goals against average (0.70).

- George Josten, who was named All-WCC first team for the third straight season, leads the team with five goals and seven assists for 17 points on the season. The senior garnered his third straight Academic All-American honor for last week, and enters the postseason tied with current MLS standout Brian Ching for third place in the GU record book with 34 career goals.

- The Bulldogs open NCAA Tournament play at SMU on Saturday, with the winner slated to meet No. 8 seed Creighton in the second round. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:00 PM (PT).

Loyola Marymount Lions (3-16-1 / 1-11-0 WCC)
- Loyola Marymount finished out the regular season with setbacks at San Francisco and Saint Mary's last weekend. The Lions closed out the year with a 3-16-1 overall mark, and a 1-11-0 record in conference play.

- Rafael Baca led LMU in scoring as a freshman, tallying two goals and five assists for a total of nine points. Baca made 19 starts for the Lions en route to garnering All-WCC second team and All-Freshman team honors.

- Patrick Lane made 16 starts in between the pipes for the Lions this season, collecting 58 saves and recording three shutouts.

- All three of Loyola Marymount's victories this season came against nationally ranked opponents. The Lions recorded wins over then-No. 17 New Mexico, then-No. 6 Harvard, and then-No. 23 Gonzaga this year.

Portland Pilots (10-5-5 / 6-2-4 WCC)
- Portland earned its first postseason bid since the 2004 season after winning five of its last six regular season matches to post a 10-5-5 overall record.

- Alex Elliott scored a goal and assisted on two more strikes as Portland knocked off Cal Poly last Friday, 4-3. The junior has scored a team-high seven goals this season and has dished out 10 assists, which is tied for the seventh-highest single-season total in Pilot program history.

- Austin Guerrero has enjoyed an outstanding freshman campaign in the Pilot net, leading the conference with 81 saves and eight shutouts. Guerrero was tabbed for first team All-WCC honors, and was named to the WCC All-Freshman team.

- Portland travels to Seattle to meet Washington in first round play on Friday. It marks the eighth postseason meeting between the two teams, with UP holding a 4-3 advantage in the series.

Saint Mary's Gaels (7-9-2 / 3-7-2 WCC)
- Saint Mary's closed out the season with a 2-1 victory over Loyola Marymount on Sunday to finish the regular season with a 7-9-2 overall record, and a 3-7-2 mark in conference play.

- Eric Robert scored the game-winning goal in his last game as a Gael, tallying an unassisted strike with just five seconds remaining in regulation during Sunday's win over the Lions.

- Dylan Leslie headlined the Saint Mary's All-WCC honorees, garnering first team recognition. Leslie scored one goal and collected two assists during his sophomore season, with his lone goal providing the difference in a victory over San Francisco.

- The Gaels surrendered just 21 goals during the regular season, breaking the previous program-low of 25 set in 1981 and repeated in 1994 and 2004.

San Diego Toreros (11-8-1 / 8-3-1 WCC)
- San Diego finished the season on a hot streak, winning eight of its last 10 games to post an 11-8-1 overall record and a second place mark of 8-3-1 in conference play.

- JT Howlan and Colin Jennings finished the regular season tied for second place in the conference with three game-winning goals apiece. Howlan, who tallied the game-winner in Sunday's 2-1 victory at San Francisco, was San Diego's top goal scorer with seven strikes on the season.

- Tannen Wels garnered All-WCC first team honors after scoring four goals and adding two assists in his final season at San Diego.

- San Diego's second place finish in the WCC standings was its highest since 2003, and USD's eight wins in conference play marks a program-best.

San Francisco Dons (7-11-1 / 3-8-1 WCC)
- San Francisco closed out the 2007 season with a split at home, as the Dons shut out Loyola Marymount on Friday, 4-0, before suffering a 2-1 defeat against San Diego in Sunday's season finale.

- Conor Chinn assisted on three of San Francisco's four goals in Friday's win over the Lions, bringing his season assist total to a team-high five. The sophomore also led the Dons with five goals and 15 points on the season.

- Daniel DeGeer capped an outstanding season by earning All-WCC first team honors along with fellow USF senior Chris Rodd. DeGeer, who entered his senior season with zero career goals and four assists, finished the year ranked second on the team with 11 points (3g, 5a).

- Eric Conner collected 54 saves in the San Francisco goal during conference play to lead the WCC.

Santa Clara Broncos (15-1-4 / 10-0-2 WCC)
- Santa Clara received the No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and will have a first round bye before meeting the winner of the New Mexico vs. UCLA match at Buck Shaw Stadium on November 28.

- Peter Lowry, who finished the season with a conference-best eight goals on the season, became the second Bronco in three years to be named WCC Player of the Year.

- Kevin Klasila recorded his seventh shutout of the season in Friday's 1-0 double-overtime win at Gonzaga. Klasila, who has surrendered just seven goals in 15 games in net, leads the conference with a 0.47 goals against average. Klasila looks to become the fourth different Bronco keeper in the last five years to lead the WCC in GAA.

- The Broncos enter the postseason on a 17-game unbeaten run, having last suffered defeat over two months ago at Brown (September 7).

Games To Watch

Portland at Washington - Friday, November 23 at 6:00 PM (PT)
Portland looks to extend its recent hot streak into the NCAA Tournament, as the Pilots have lost just once in their last nine matches. Portland will meet a familiar foe in Washington, as the two squads met earlier this season in Seattle, and the two programs have squared off seven times in postseason competition. UP holds a 4-3 advantage in the all-time postseason series, winning their last meeting by a 5-3 margin in the first round play of the 2004 NCAA Tournament.

Gonzaga at SMU - Saturday, November 24 at 7:00 PM (CT)/5:00 PM (PT)
Gonzaga will travel to Dallas to meet Conference USA regular season champion SMU in first round play on Saturday evening. The Bulldogs are making the program's second trip to the NCAA Tournament, and received a bid for the first time since 2001. The Mustangs will be making their 14th straight trip to the postseason after posting a 13-4-2 overall record. Saturday's match will mark the first-ever meeting between the two programs.