Men's Soccer Drops West Coast Conference Opener To Pilots
PORTLAND, Ore. - The University of Portland scored early and late in the first half, then got the insurance tallies it would need in the second half to post a 4-1 West Coast Conference season-opening men's soccer victory over Gonzaga University Wednesday night.
The setback evened Gonzaga's overall mark at 4-4-0 while Portland improved to 3-4-1.
Gonzaga makes its first home appearance since Sept. 2 when the University of San Francisco visits Sunday at 2 p.m. for the WCC home opener for the Zags. The match will be the nightcap of a double-header as the Bulldog women entertain the University of Nevada beginning at 11 a.m.
The Pilots struck just 40 seconds into the match when Steven Evans' cross found Ricardo Cabrillo from 12 yards just inside the top of the box and he beat Bulldog keeper Chris Lowrimore to the near post.
Gonzaga got the equalizer when Clark Phillips was awarded a penalty kick after being brought down in the left side of the box at 12:11. His PK went to the left side of the frame and Portland keeper Justin Baarts, who guessed the right direction, was late covering and Phillips had his team-leading third goal of the season. Phillips had hit the left post just seconds prior to the PK foul.
The Bulldogs, who dominated much of the opening half of play, saw the Pilots take a 2-1 halftime lead at 42:47. Portland rushed the ball about 80 yards, and Jaime Velasco's soft cross was heel-touched from 11 yards by Evans with his right heel, the ball going behind Evans, past a Bulldog defender and into the left half of the net past a diving Lowrimore.
The second half saw the Bulldogs control the play early, but Portland's first shot of the half at 59:26 by Velasco from 10 yards gave the Pilots the 3-1 lead. Portland made no doubt about the outcome when it was Carrillo again with a bullet shot from the top of the 18 that just snuck in under the cross bar above a leaping Lowrimore at 82:34. The initial free kick was blocked by the Zag wall, but Carrillo made no doubt on the second shot.
Phillips nearly pulled the Bulldogs to within a goal in the 70th minute, his line-drive header hitting Baarts squarely in the chest for the save.
Gonzaga out-shot the Pilots 19-10 and had a slim edge in shots-on-goal at 7-6. Lowrimore, a redshirt freshman who started his third straight match, had a save in each half in suffering his first collegiate setback. Baarts had three saves in each half for the Pilots.
The Bulldogs lost for a second straight match to the Pilots, who won 2-0 at Portland in the second meeting last season. The teams battled to a 1-1 tie in the first meeting in Spokane last year, snapping a three-match Portland winning streak . Portland has won five of the last six meetings and leads the overall series 23-9-5 dating back to 1981. Since Gonzaga joined the West Coast Conference in 1993 the Pilots hold a 15-9-5 edge in the series.