Men's Soccer Hosts Gonzaga Nike Classic This Weekend
SPOKANE, Wash. - The fifth Gonzaga Nike Soccer Classic will be held this weekend at the Gonzaga Soccer Field. Joining the Bulldogs will be 2005 champion Oregon State University, fourth-ranked UC Santa Barbara and Manhattan College.
The inaugural event was held in 2002 with subsequent tournaments held in 2005, 2008 and 2009. The Bulldogs have won the last two titles, while the University of Wisconsin captured the 2002 crown.
UC Santa Barbara is ranked fourth by Soccer America and ninth by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). The Gauchos opened the season with a 2-1 victory at Loyola Marymount University this past weekend.
Sunday will be the first ranked opponent the Bulldogs have played at home since Nov. 16, 2007, when third-ranked Santa Clara University visited and handed Gonzaga a hard-fought 1-0 overtime defeat. The Zags earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament that season.
Gonzaga has played one other ranked UCSB team in its history, taking a 1-0 road victory over the then-No. 1 ranked and defending College Cup champion Gauchos Sept. 2, 2007. Current Gonzaga assistant coach Vito Higgins was a senior on that Bulldog squad, making five saves.
Sunday will mark the 21st time Gonzaga University has faced a ranked team in Spokane, the Zags posting a 10-7-3 mark in the 20 previous home matches against ranked teams.