Young Bulldogs Can't Match Experienced Huskies In 4-0 Loss
SPOKANE, Wash. – One match does not a season make, and Gonzaga University head men’s soccer coach Einar Thorarinsson knows there are better days ahead following a 4-0 season-opening setback to fourth-ranked University of Washington Friday at Luger Field.
“They were good today. They have a very special player we had no answer for,” Thorarinsson said of the Huskies and Darwin Jones.
Jones, a member of the Sounders Academy who turned down a professional offer from the hometown Sounders to continue his collegiate career, scored on a pair of penalty kicks to help propel Washington.
“They played the ball behind. We were pushing up defensively and they dumped it behind us,” Thorarinsson said of Washington’s strategy. “This is one of the better Washington teams I’ve seen and they have one special player.”
Jones got the attention of the Bulldogs early when he rocketed a free kick from 25 yards off and over the crossbar.
The Huskies got on the board first on an own goal at 19:35, then Jones made the first of his two penalty kicks at 30:12 after Gonzaga keeper Chris Lowrimore was called for tripping him up in the box. His PK went high to the upper left to be Lowrimore who had seven saves.
The match stayed that way until the 75th minute when James Moberg’s free kick from deep near the sideline and Josh Heard was in the box for an easy one-timer at 74:43. Jones got his second PK when a Gonzaga defender was called for pulling the jersey from behind at 89:05.
The best chance for the Bulldogs came in the 89th minute when Clark Phillips rifled a shot from 20 yards, hitting the crossbar and the ball deflecting well back into the field of play.
Gonzaga’s youth was not able to match Washington’s experience.
“We started three freshmen and at times had six freshmen on the field,” Thorarinsson said. “It was a very experienced team against a very young team. But those young players have been winning those spots.”
Thorarinsson knows better days are ahead.
“We will get better and this team won’t fold,” Thorarinsson promised.
Washington held a wide 17-5 advantage in shots and UW keeper Spencer Richey was called on for just two saves.
Gonzaga will return to action Sept. 5 at Marquette University and Sept. 7 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.