No. 20 Zags Edged 2-1 By UC Riverside
Sept. 18, 2016
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The No. 20 Gonzaga Bulldogs were unable to overcome two second-half goals and fell on the road to UC Riverside, 2-1, on Sunday morning.
Austin Giftopoulos scored his third goal of the year at the 85:21 mark as Ben White set him up and he finished the header into the corner just over the goalkeeper’s reach, and grabbed the team lead in goals on the year. The Zags had 10 shots on the game, just one short of the Highlanders mark of 11.
Eduadro Sanchez stole a ball near the box and beat the Zags keeper one-on-one for the 1-0 lead. Just four minutes later the Highlanders jumped ahead 2-0 when Raul Guerrero finished a one-timer on a cross from the right side.
“We had chances in both halves and it was a very even game overall,” head coach Einar Thorarinsson said. “I thought we should have scored a goal in the first half and probably another in addition to our goal in the second half. I think the biggest difference was the conditions, as it was our first time on a turf field and the temperature almost reached 100 degrees, and they were used to those conditions at home. Ben Willis had a great game, as he made multiple saves in one-on-one opportunities. We never quit and were hungry for goals the whole match, even after their second goal.”
Brayden Sullivan had a shot blocked at 65:04 and Jalen Crisler’s header was saved at 72:30, but other than the goal for Giftopoulos, the Zags were unable to threaten the equalizer. Crisler led the team with three shots, and Michaelson, Cavey, and Sullivan each had two, with Sullivan setting his career high. GU put four shots on goal and led 7-4 in corner kick opportunities. Ben Willis made five saves in goal for GU to keep the match close, his second-best mark on the year.
Gonzaga fell to 5-2-1 on the year and UC Riverside improved to 4-3.
After an unbeaten start and first national ranking since 2007, the Zags have dropped two straight on the road and will look to get right back under the lights at Luger Field. GU will host UNLV on Friday, September 23, at 6 pm. Live video and live stats will be available at gozags.com.
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