Dons Go 1-1 on the Weekend With Win Over LMU, Loss to USD

The San Francisco Dons used a balanced offensive attack to defeat the Loyola Marymount Lions 2-0 for their third shutout of the season last Friday night at Negoesco Stadium. 

Redshirt freshman forward Jacob Talarman and freshman midfielder Jesus Del Toro each scored their first goals of the season and propelled the Dons to victory on Dia de los Dons Hispanic Heritage night.

Talarman’s goal came in the 41st minute after he sent a strong shot into the goal following a one-on-one showdown with Loyola Marymount goalkeeper Paul Blanchette. The score remained 1-0 heading into halftime, and USF held a 6-3 shot advantage over LMU (3-9-2, 1-4-1 WCC).

San Francisco maintained their narrow lead for most of the second 45-minute period, until Del Toro struck in the 84th minute. His improbable goal came off of a mistake from Blanchette, who was unable to clear the ball and found himself out of position. The ball careened toward Del Toro, who blasted the ball into the net from 40 yards out and gave the Dons a 2-0 lead that they would not relinquish.

The shutout was preserved for the Dons by senior goalkeeper Brendan Roslund, who benefitted from strong defensive play and boosted his saves total to 38 on the season. By the game’s end, USF had outshot LMU 14-6, with Talarman boasting four shots, three of them on target.

On Sunday afternoon at Negoesco Stadium, San Francisco was bested 2-0 by the San Diego Toreros.

The Dons fell to 5-5-2 (3-3-0 WCC) on the year, and the Toreros improved to 7-6-0 (5-1-0 WCC) and are now tied with Santa Clara for the number one spot in the standings.

“I don’t think we played our best,” junior midfielder Mauricio Diaz de Leon said. “This was tough coming back from that battle on Friday, and we just didn’t have that same energy today.”

Patrick Wallen gave USD a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute following a frenetic sequence which ended unfortunately for the Dons. After San Diego’s Dan Delgado had his penalty kick knocked away by Roslund, the ball bounced back to him and he attempted a second shot, which Roslund again thwarted. However, the ball caromed towards Wallen who sent the ball into the net for the Toreros. 

In the 36th minutes the Dons were awarded a penalty kick of their own, but Diaz de Leon’s well-placed strike was expertly saved by USD goalkeeper Drew Ilijevski. 

The match was evenly played, with the Dons getting multiple opportunities to equalize the score until the 73rd minute, when Sergio Lopez scored for the Toreros off of a corner kick. 

San Francisco took 11 shots in the game to San Diego’s 14, and sophomore forward Miguel Aguilar led the Dons with three attempts on goal.

“Personally, I just have to go back to fundamentals,” Diaz de Leon said. “And as a team, I wish we had brought the same chemistry that we had on Friday, because every game counts.”

USF now has some time to reflect and recuperate, as they do not play their next game until Oct. 26. Coincidentally, this game is another matchup against the Toreros, this time in San Diego. The Dons will no doubt be well prepared following their frustrating loss on Sunday.

“We had a couple of open opportunities that we should have taken advantage of, and I think these 12 days of rest will help us get better on that,” Diaz de Leon said.

*Written by Staff Writer Hayden Gehr; Heidi Patton is the Sports Editor

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