The Dons opened WCC play this weekend in matches against the Lions of Loyola Marymount and the Toreros of University of San Diego. On Friday the Dons lost 1-0 to the Lions on a cold night at Negoesco Field. The visiting Lions were a strong team full of experienced seniors including two WCC Preseason All-Conference selections Rafael Baca and Vincent Ocampo. The Lions were chosen to win the WCC in the 2010 WCC Men’s Soccer Coaches Poll.
San Francisco came out strong and motivated against the highly touted Lions, playing great soccer until seconds before the half. In the 44th minute Dons midfielder Karl Kraft played a soft pass back and to the goalie that was intercepted by Lions midfielder Christian Alvarado. After stealing the ball Alvarado had one defender to beat and then went one-on-one with USF goalkeeper Brendan Roslund to score his first career goal.
In the second half Dons midfielder Victor Cortez had a standout performance making several combination plays with forward Bryan Burke down the right flank. Burke had two shots on the day and was sent off in the 79th minute for going into a dangerous tackle with an opponent. The call was questionable especially because the LMU player got up immediately after the card was shown and played the rest of the game. USF midfielder Vinny Caloiaro came close to providing an equalizer but his shot drifted just inches wide of the post.
On Sunday the defending champion Toreros conquered the struggling Dons 3-1. The Toreros maintained possession through the majority of the first half and had multiple shots on goal, scoring two of them. In the 35th minute the Torero winger Marcello Carminatti settled a pass from Connor McFadden, rolled the ball to his right and smashed a shot into the side of the net. The goalkeeper’s view was blocked by his own defenders preventing him from getting a good read on the shot from close range. By the end of the first half the Toreros were out hustling and outplaying the Dons and held a huge 13-5 shot advantage.
The second half started with the Toreros scoring a goal 4 minutes in, when sophomore forward Patrick Wallen received a beautiful through ball and fired a shot past Roslund. The pass came from teammate Stephen Posa who intercepted the ball at midfield and streaked past the Dons’ defense on a counter attack finding Wallen at the top of the 18-yard box. At 2-0 down the Dons finally woke up and junior striker Felipe Cabrera scored his first goal of the season. The goal, a point blank volley, came off of a cross and feed from Victor Cortez and Vinny Caloiaro from the right flank. The Dons continued to apply offensive pressure and seemed to be competing for a tie when in the 73rd minute San Diego’s Sergio Carranza scored a volley to the far post. The ball was thrown in and flicked on by a Torero midfielder to the middle of the 18-yard box, the Don’s defense failed to clear the ball and Carranza took advantage immediately.
The Dons having a grueling stretch ahead playing two more games, against St. Mary’s at home on Wednesday and Santa Clara away on Friday, for a total of four games in eight days.
Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy
Chief Copy-Editor: Burke McSwain
Scene Editor: Tamar Kuyumjian