Over the past weekend USF (8-3-3) played two home games at Negoesco Stadium against Pepperdine (6-6-2) and Loyola Marymount University (9-4-1). LMU bounced back from an overtime loss to Santa Clara and kept the Dons scoreless en route to a 2-0 victory. San Francisco pulled out a 1-0 win against their other WCC rival Pepperdine.
Although the Dons lost to the Lions there was no shortage of offensive chances. Within the first seven minutes USF had fired off three shots and earned one corner kick but LMU held strong to make sure no shots found the net. Loyola goalkeeper Charlee Pruitt saved the two early on target shots to preserve the 0-0 tie. Even with all the pressure LMU was up against early they found their way to the offensive third of the field and converted their first shot of the game. LMU’s Sarah Sanger volleyed home a cross from Shannon Kent for her second goal of the season. By the end of the first half San Francisco had fired eight shots, three of which were on frame, compared to Loyola’s four, three on target. In addition to the one goal, Loyola’s Melissa Lewis threatened in the 37th minute as her attempt bounced off the post but luckily ricocheted away.
Even after a multitude of attempts and corner kicks leading up to the one hour mark, San Francisco still couldn’t find an equalizer. In a 10 minute span four of USF shots were saved or blocked by LMU and five corner kicks went to waste as none found players that could make something happen on the receiving end. In the 67th minute Melissa Lewis who hit the post earlier in the first half, found her second goal of the season and LMU’s second goal of the game thanks to an assist by Morgan Hilby. With San Francisco spirits down the Lions cruised to a 2-0 victory. By game’s end USF had taken 14 shots, five on goal, in comparison to LMU’s 9, five also on goal. USF dominated in earning corner kicks, eight to Loyola’s three.
Friday’s game against Pepperdine was a much better display. Although USF had less shots and less corner kicks than the Waves, 11-15 and 4-7 respectively, the defense never cracked. Goalkeeper Madalyn Schiffel’s spectacular six save effort kept Pepperdine scoreless. Schiffel had help from her teammates who worked up three blocks. The difference in the game was a goal by Sonja Giraud who picked up a loose ball and beat the keeper in a 1v1. San Francisco ran into a scare in the 84th minute when Pepperdine earned a penalty kick via a handball in the box by a USF defender. With suspense raising ever higher as Waves player Hailey Harbison stepping up to the spot, relief swept over as Harbison’s attempt bounced wide left. The Dons preserved the 1-0 lead to the final whistle.
Next up for San Francisco is another WCC matchup, Gonzaga, on Saturday, Oct. 17 in Spokane, WA. Be sure to keep up with live updates on usfdons.com