woMen’s Soccer: dons blow lead in loss to gonzaga, tie portland

Nicholas Welsh
Staff Writer

After consecutive losses, the Dons came close to taking a pair of victories over Halloween weekend. The Dons dropped a 3-2 match against the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Sunday, Nov. 2 in a game they let slip away, and settled for a 2-2 tie against the Portland Pilots two days earlier.

The Dons (6-10-3, 2-5-1 West Coast Conference) were looking for a bit of Halloween luck to help them conclude their season on a high note, but the weekend did not go exactly as planned. Against Gonzaga, the Dons seemed to be in complete control after establishing a 2-0 first-half lead. The first goal of the game was scored on a header from junior forward Sydnie Telson. Later, in the 19th minute, the Dons extended their lead, and this time it was junior forward Alex Alugas who made the aggressive play to knock the ball in off the bottom of the crossbar.

Gonzaga showed resilience, though, and cut the deficit in half before intermission, scoring a goal in the 36th minute.

Coming out of the break, Gonzaga seemed to have taken the momentum from the Dons. In the 64th and 66th minutes, the Bulldogs scored two goals off of corner kicks to stun USF and take a sudden 3-2 lead. The Dons had a golden opportunity to tie the game when they took three consecutive corner kicks in the final minute of the match, but came up empty handed in what was a painful finish for the unlucky USF squad.

Unlike the game against Gonzaga, the Dons were the ones who were forced to make the comeback against Portland last Friday. The Pilots scored quickly, lofting the ball into San Francisco’s net in the eighth minute of the game, but the Dons responded in the 40th minute of the match, when Telson, just as she would do against Gonzaga, headed the ball into the Pilots’ goal.

In the opening minutes of the second half, Portland caught the USF defense sleeping and took the lead on a goal from Emily Sippel. San Francisco, once again, stayed poised, and freshman midfielder Sonja Giraud was able to convert a shot in the 56 minute to tie the game.

The game wound up going into overtime, and while the Dons outshot the Pilots eight to three in the two extra periods, the game-winning goal never came. The game concluded in a 2-2 tie.

USF’s final game of the season will be played at Negoesco Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 1:00 p.m. against the Pacific Tigers. Saturday is Senior Day for the Dons, and the athletes playing their last collegiate soccer game will be honored.

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