No. 20 Gonzaga Heads To Inland Empire For Sunday Matinee
Sept. 16, 2016
UC Riverside Game Notes (9/16)
No. 20 Gonzaga (5-1-1) vs. UC Riverside (3-3-0)
11:00 a.m. | Sunday, Sept. 18 | UCR Soccer Stadium
ENTER THE RANKINGS
- For the first time since 2007, Gonzaga entered the NSCAA NCAA Division I Poll, coming in at #20 this week. GU was unranked the week prior and received 110 points in the poll, and are one of only six teams from the West in the top-20 (UCLA (7), Denver (8), San Diego State (11), UC Santa Barbara (13), Utah Valley (19).
LIGHT UP LUGER
- Gonzaga's season opener against Bradley was the first-ever soccer match under the new lights at Luger Field. The Zags played the Braves to a 1-1 draw in front of a crowd of 506.
LAST TIME OUT
- The No. 20 Gonzaga Bulldogs suffered their first defeat of the season and were shutout for the first time, as they fell to No. 19 Utah Valley in Orem, Utah on Thursday evening, September 15.
- Gonzaga moved to 5-1-1 through seven games and it is the best start in school history since 1980, as the Zags were unbeaten through eight matches in the 1980 campaign.
AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS
- Gonzaga defeated #16 Seattle U at home on September 4th and traveled to Washington, D.C. to down #20 American on September 9th. It is already only the sixth time GU has beaten two ranked opponents in a season.
WCC NEWS AND NOTES
- Gonzaga is the lone one-loss team left in the West Coast Conference.
- Gonzaga leads the WCC in goals (15) and assists (14), and is second in shots (14.71 per game) and third in goals-against average (0.97) and corner kicks (31).
- Head coach Einar Thorarinsson's squad is led in goals by Jakob Granlund and Denis Kalamar at two, which ranks fourth in the West Coast Conference. Colton Cavey, Granlund, Ben White, and Austin Giftopoulos all have recorded two assists, good for second in the WCC. In goal, Ben Willis is fourth in the conference with 21 saves
ABOUT THE SERIES
- Gonzaga is winless all-time against the Highlanders, falling most recently 2-3 in Las Vegas, Nev. in 2008 as part of the UNLV Nike Invitational. Tim Muravez scored the first two goals on assists from Ben Funkhouser in the match before UCR came storming back with three-straight goals in the second half. In the other meeting, UCR shutout the Zags, 0-3, in 2002 in Corvallis, Ore. as part of the OSU/Diadora Classic. Mike McCarthy made five saves in goal for the Bulldogs, but the Zags could not find the net with any of their 10 shots.
DEFENSE STILL HOLDING
- Only Seattle U scored more than one goal against Gonzaga's defense this year, giving the WCC-leading offense plenty of room to work with. GU shutout Oral Roberts and has held their opponent to one goal in the other five matches.
CAVEY, GIFTOPOULOS SWEEP FIRST TWO WCC AWARDS
- Junior midfielder Colton Cavey won the second week's WCC Player of the Week award following in teammate Austin Giftopoulos' footsteps from a week prior. Cavey scored two goals and added an assist in weekend victories over No. 16 Seattle and an Oral Roberts team receiving votes in the latest NSCAA rankings. Against the Redhawks, Cavey hit the game-winner to break a 2-2 tie in the 71st minute after 16th-ranked Seattle came back from a 0-2 deficit to tie the game. He also assisted on Gonzaga's first goal of the game, sending a long ball ahead to teammate Denis Kalamar, who found Graison Le for the goal. In Friday's win against Oral Roberts, the midfielder played a crucial role in preserving the 1-0 win with his play on the pitch.
- Redshirt sophomore defender Austin Giftopoulos was named the WCC Player of the Week after playing all 200 minutes and notching a goal and an assist in Gonzaga's 1-0-1 opening weekend. He helped the defense hold both Bradley and UIC to one goal apiece. Against Bradley, he played all 200 minutes of an overtime draw, and then was instrumental on both ends of the field while playing all 90 minutes in a 4-1 win over UIC. He scored his first career goal and notched his first career assist against the Flames. It was the first WCC Player of the Week honor of the season, and also was Giftopoulos' first-career weekly award.
- Former Gonzaga men's soccer player Zach Scott, who played for GU from 1998-2001, recently announced he will retire from the Seattle Sounders at the end of the season after a 15-year run with the club. The defender played in 48 matches for Gonzaga in his career and scored five goals with two assists as a defender. Scott, or "Mr. Sounder", is the only remaining player on the Sounders dating back to their USL-1 days before they jumped to the MLS in 2009.