The Lady Dons were selected to run in the Pre-National Invitational and earned an incredible sixth place finish. The Dons, ranked seventh in the West Region, toppled high ranked opponents such as Michigan (19th in the nation) as well as Arizona State (fifth in the West), Harvard and Toledo. Eva Krchova, a sophomore from the Czech Republic, led the way for the Dons, finishing the course in 21:05.8 and placed 39th. Finishing 42nd overall and a second place finish with Dons freshman Jana Stolting with a time of 21.10.9.
Freshman runner Jose Madera set the USF 8K record this Saturday in the Bronco Invitational with a time of 24:17.3 passing up his previous record by 13 seconds. With this amazing feat he took home 11th place overall proving his standing as a freshman in a big group of talented runners. Overall the Dons finished fourth out of 19, but even more encouraging was that all USF’s top seven finishers crushed their personal best times.
On Friday the Lady Dons struggled right from the opening whistle, giving up three goals in the first six minutes of the match to the visiting Toreros. San Francisco really put themselves into a deep hole but managed to settle into the game as time went on. During the second half the Lady Dons silenced the Toreros until the 68th minute when USD scored on a rebound from a great save by freshman goalkeeper Heather Haney. Continuing to fight from behind, the Lady Dons’ senior striker Keonna Robinson cracked a shot in the 80th minute to put the USF on the scoreboard and avoid the shutout. Had the Lady Dons come out to play from the beginning the result would have been very different as USF held San Diego to only six shots on goal, many of which were in the first half.
On Sunday the Lady Dons faced the number 12 ranked Broncos of Santa Clara. Once again the Don’s were vulnerable early on in the game and surrendered two goals in the first seven minutes. The Dons were able to hold out for the rest of the game but Santa Clara held much of the possession and had a 17-6 shots advantage. Without All-Region defender Ashley O’Brien, who had to sit out after receiving too many yellow cards, the coaches and the team had to make some big adjustments. With this loss USF is still hoping to find their first WCC win and continues a brutal 12 game losing streak.
Senior Victor Cortez scored his third goal in two games as the Dons fell to Gonzaga 3-1 in Spokane, Washington. The deadly Cortez struck in the 14th minute to give the Dons an important equalizer. Unfortunately the Bulldogs proceeded to dominate the Dons scoring two more goals in the 28th and 85th minutes. Sophomore goalkeeper Brendan Roslund played aggressively and matched a season high eight saves for the Dons.
Looking to turn the season around and secure their first WCC win the Don’s faced the highly touted Portland Pilots on Sunday in Portland, Oregon. San Francisco went down 1-0 in the 27th minute after a Dons defender failed to successfully clear the ball. In the 41st minute freshman standout Mauricio Diaz de Leon fancied a shot from just outside the 18-yard box, beautifully placing the ball into the upper left corner of the net. With a game-changing switch of the momentum USF and UP fought back and forth until the 75th minute when the Pilots’ striker Jared van Shaik released a shot from nine yards out. Barely two minutes later, after a rebound in the San Francisco Box van Shaik smashed home an insurance goal to make the score 3-1. Van Shaik received WCC Co-Player of the Week accolades for his performance.
Students came out excitedly this Friday night to kick off the Men’s Basketball season with Midnight Madness. Featuring numerous performances and a live band as well as free food, the event was a chance to see the Dons hold their first practice at midnight. With only three upperclassmen returning, the young Dons team will have to rely on their talent as opposed to experience this season.
But the Dons do have talent boasting a recruiting class full of prep all-stars, some with international basketball experience. Freshman center Justin Raffington, from Bad Krotzingen, Germany, competed in eight games for Germany in the Under-18 European Championships averaging 4.5 rebounds per game. Another freshman expected to compete for the Dons is Cody Doolin a guard out of Austin, Texas. A highly decorated prep career placed Doolin in the top-20 players of the 2009 Class according to Texas Hoops. Hopefully he will be able to continue his great numbers (averaged 19.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 6.3 assists) in the highly competitive WCC.
San Francisco will miss All –WCC forward Dior Lowhorn who graduated last year. Fortunately, junior forward Angelo Coloairo had a great season last year and looks to lead a young team of inexperienced underclass. Shooting 8.9 points per game and .491 from the three point arc Coloairo will need to continue to put up good numbers for the Dons to be succesfull. San Francisco plays their first game on Nov. 7th at home against Menlo College.
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