Tag Archives: LMU

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Baseball Dons Take Two From LMU

On Sunday, the Dons closed out a three-game series in Los Angeles against LMU on a low note, losing 5-4 on redshirt senior pitcher Houston Hibberd’s eighth-inning balk that sent home the game-winning run.

USF struck first in the third game of the series, building an early 4-0 lead thanks to clutch hitting by senior first baseman Zack Turner and junior center fielder Bradley Zimmer, who has now recorded a hit in 18 consecutive games. LMU, however, scored four runs in the fifth inning, turning a 4-0 deficit into a tie ballgame.

The game remained tied at four until the bottom of the eighth inning, when LMU’s David Edwards proceeded to hit a double, steal third, and then force Hibberd into a balk. Edwards was then awarded a run, putting the Lions up by one. USF had one more chance to respond in the ninth inning, but  was unable to convert. The loss puts the Dons (15-15) back at .500 on the season and 5-7 in West Coast Conference play.

On Saturday,  San Francisco took care of business against the Lions, winning handily 9-3. The Dons had a big day offensively, scoring eight runs in the first two innings while junior pitcher Christian Cecilio held LMU to just three total runs in a great outing that spanned 6.2 innings. The Dons’ offense took advantage of LMU pitcher Patrick McGrath early and often, as evidenced by Zimmer’s leadoff triple. Junior right fielder Derek Atkinson knocked in Zimmer two batters later with a single back up the middle, and from then on the runs began to pour in.

After the first inning, the Dons had tallied five runs. McGrath would end up surrendering eight runs in 1.2 innings, including six earned, along with nine hits and two walks. Combining Saturday’s win with their victory on Friday, the Dons notched a two-game winning streak for the first time since March 25.

In the series opener on Friday,   USF and LMU were locked in a tie ballgame until a three-run eighth inning from the Dons vaulted them ahead for good and helped them secure a 6-4 victory. Junior first baseman Brendan Hendriks broke the stalemate with an RBI single up the middle. An ensuing error by LMU second baseman David Edwards allowed two more to score and put the Dons up 6-3, a lead that would be held by Dons closer Hibberd, who fanned Edwards and forced a game-ending double play to seal LMU’s fate.

Atkinson had a productive day at the plate, accumulating three hits and an RBI. The Dons’ senior  right hander Abe Bobb shut down the LMU offense, allowing only three runs to come from 13 hits while not walking a single batter. Senior left hander Ben Graff   relieved Bobb, pitching 1.1 innings of perfect baseball to ensure that Hibberd had a chance at the save opportunity.

The result of the Dons’ game against San Jose State on Tuesday, April 8 was not available at press time. The Dons now turn their focus to the Pacific Tigers, whom they will host on Friday, April 11 at 3:00 p.m. in the first game of a three-game series. Pacific is tied with USF for 6th place in the WCC, and is 14-19 overall on the season.

Avry Homes drives past a Waves defender on his way to the basket. Holmes was named the WCC Player of the Week. 
Courtesy of Dons Athletics.

Men’s Basketball Lucky Number 20

Dons finish regular season 20-10 with wins over LMU and Pepperdine

    The Dons capped off their impressive 20-win regular season on a high note Saturday

night, edging Loyola Marymount 65-61. Backed by a career-high 25 points from sophomore guard Avry Holmes, who was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week, USF took down a short-handed Lions team that only had six players available due to injury.

It was a wire-to-wire victory for the Dons, who were in the lead for the entire duration of the game. USF held off various runs, including a last-minute surge that included a five-second inbounding violation on the Dons. Despite the miscue, a missed three-pointer by LMU’s C.J. Blackwell, and a subsequent rebound by sophomore guard Tim Derksen kept the lead at 64-61. A free throw by Derksen made it a two-possession game and ended the scoring for the night.

Junior forward Kruize Pinkins registered his sixth double-double of the season, scoring 12 points and gathering 11 rebounds. In all, four Dons scored in double figures on the night, including 14 from senior forward Cole Dickerson and 10 from Derksen. The win resulted from a complete team effort, but the hero of the night was clearly Holmes. He scored his last seven points in the final three minutes, including a three-pointer with 3:16 remaining and a circus shot with 33 seconds left. These clutch shots from Holmes were both big buckets that held off late LMU runs.

“When [Avry Holmes] shot it down the stretch, I knew it was going in,” head coach Rex Walters told usfdons.com. “That’s the kind of player he his and the kind of confidence he has in his abilities.”

On Thursday, the Dons played a close first half before outscoring Pepperdine 47-21 in the second half en route to a 77-53 victory. Dickerson led the way for USF in the contest, scoring 21 points on an efficient 7-13 shooting, including a 2-3 night beyond the three-point arc. He also recorded his eighth double-double (22nd in his career) of the year as well, garnering 10 rebounds for the Dons.

An evenly matched first half—Pepperdine held a two-point lead at halftime after clawing

their way back into the game—became ugly for the Waves, as the Dons gained separation at the 12-minute mark of the second half and never looked back. Holmes came on strong in the final 20-minute period, scoring 14 of his 17 points. Pinkins complemented the big games from Dickerson and Holmes, pitching in 12 points in 20 minutes.

USF led by as much as 24 in the game, while the largest lead held by Pepperdine was four, at the outset of the second half. The rebound battle was also uneven, as the Dons held a final advantage of 40-29. Obtaining an advantage in rebounds has proven to be crucial for the Dons, who are 15-4 in games where they outrebound an opponent. USF’s defense was also top-notch, causing Pepperdine to struggle offensively throughout the game. The Waves registered a subpar 33.3 percent shooting percentage on the night, including a 2-16 night from the three-point line (12.5 percent).

“I’m proud of our guys because it’s been about the team,” Walters told usfdons.com. “It’s been a difficult year emotionally for everyone but we’ve come a long way…It’s not over – we have a long ways to go.”

The Dons do have a long ways to go, and they can thank their record for that. A 20-10 final regular season record marks the Dons’ first 20-win regular season since the 1981-82 season, and the second 20-win season in three years under head coach Rex Walters. On Monday, it was announced that Walters had been named the WCC’s Coach of the Year, and Dickerson was also awarded first team All-WCC honors.

Even more admirable than the 20-win season is the Dons’ 13-5 conference record, which placed them in a tie with BYU for second in the conference. Due to the Cougars winning the season series against USF, BYU will be seeded second and the Dons third in the West Coast Conference (WCC) Tournament, which begins this weekend. San Francisco will take a five-game winning streak to Las Vegas for the tournament, where they are schedule to face off against San Diego on Saturday, Mar. 8 at 12:00 p.m.

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

Dons Baseball Discovers Offense Down South; Wins 2 of 3 Against LMU

Last weekend April 14-16 the USF men’s baseball team squared off in a three game series against the Lions at Loyola Marymount University. The Dons took two out of three games overall, finally jump starting their struggling offense in what turned out to be a grueling weekend for the Diamond Dons.

During the course of a competitive season, sports teams are often faced with a skid; a string of bad luck combined with poor play that sends a club into a tailspin. The losses begin to accumulate, causing players to second guess their abilities and play with tension rather than relaxed confidence. Such was the case when the Diamond Dons traveled to the state of Oregon over Easter. While children looked for chocolate eggs, the Dons were searching for a win, one that they would neither find in Eugene nor Portland, as both the Ducks and the Pilots swept the Dons. Tumbling down the West Coast and carrying a five game losing streak into a weekend series with LMU, the Dons needed runs to get back into the win column. While up North, USF could not generate any noteworthy offense, averaging a minuscule 1.6 runs per game. It seems, however, that USF simply left their bats in the Golden State.

After heavy rain and thunderstorms postponed Fridays contest, USF found their offensive stride in game-one of a Saturday doubleheader, beating LMU 13-9. After trading goose-egg for goose-egg with LMU for two innings, USF exploded for five runs on five hits and an error in the top-half of the third. Junior ace Kyle Zimmer (3-3, 2.79 ERA) then won the inning for USF by keeping LMU to a single run in their half of the third.

LMU, however, would not let USF pull away, despite senior Nik Balog going 3-6 from the dish with a big-fly and 5 RBIs. The Lions pulled to within two runs by a tally of 7-5 at the end of four innings. USF responded posting two more runs in the fifth to all but ice the game. The hit parade continued, with both teams amassing 22 runs on 28 hits, 11 of which were the extra base variety. While Balog lead the Dons’ attack, senior backstop Mason Morioka contributed with a homer for the third time this year. Zimmer collected his third win of the 2012 campaign by going seven innings for the Dons.

Tired from running the bases all morning, USF dropped a close contest in game two on Saturday, falling 4-2 to the Lions. The second game of the day started off well for the Dons, jumping out to an early 1-0 lead on an RBI single from senior Adam Clear in the first frame of play. Sophomore Alex Balog (1-3, 3.21 ERA) took the mound for USF, surrendering four runs through 6.2 innings. While Balog held the Lions to three singles during his tenure, he issued six walks enabling those singles to plate runs for LMU. Balogs’ opposite number, LMU rookie Trevor Megill, held the Dons to a single run until a double from Ted LeMasters sent him back to the dugout in the seventh inning. Jason Mahood laced a one-out double that, besides scoring LeMasters, nearly tied the game, were it not for a career relay by the LMU defense, effectively killing the USF rally.
The Lions were able to re-claim their two run lead in the tail end of the seventh inning after scoring their fourth run off Balog, before USF went to their bullpen to close out the contest. Despite dropping the game, USF had driven in 17 runs on 25 hits in two games against the Lions. By contrast, the Diamond Dons plated only eight runs total in five games during their Tour De Oregon. The USF offense was alive and well heading into game three of the weekend series.
Ted LeMasters and the Dons needed an extra inning to dispatch the Lions in game three of their weekend series. With the game tied in the final frame of regulation, LMU seemed to have won after a leadoff single and subsequent sac bunt gave LMU a runner on second with one out. LMU’s David Edwards drove a single into left field where LeMasters was stationed. Gathering the ball at a dead sprint, LeMasters delivered a strike to Morioka who tagged LMU’s game winning run out at home plate. With victory still achievable, the Dons grabbed their bats and promptly placed Morioka into scoring position to start the 10th inning. After saving the game defensively for the Dons, LeMasters nearly put one over the fences. Driving the ball to the warning track, LeMasters got his sac fly plenty deep for Morioka to score the go-ahead run from third. Jason Mahood (2-6, 4 RBIs), not wanting to play an 11th inning, laced a two-run double to left that put USF on top 8-5. Elliot Waterman (3-0, 1.35 ERA) blanked the Lions in the 10th, giving the lofty lefty his third win of the season.

The heroics displayed by LeMasters in the 9th and 10th innings were the product of a stressful game that saw the Dons blow a 5-0 lead. USF scored quickly once more, netting two runs in the top of the first inning on a solo shot by Justin Maffei and an RBI fielder’s choice by Matt Chavez. Abe Bobb took the hill for USF and recorded four punch-outs, but allowed three runs through 5.1 innings of work. Nik Balog had another clutch at-bat when he blasted a three-run triple in the fourth, seemingly crushing LMU’s chance at a comeback. Balog’s triple, however, had the opposite effect on the game. LMU scored once in the fourth and twice in the sixth before they tied the game in the 7th inning. Meanwhile the Dons’ bats went cold and USF was silent offensively until LeMasters stole the show in extras.

USF is home this weekend against Gonzaga, starting Friday April 20 at 3:00. The Dons will have to make up a lot of ground in the WCC race, as their record rests at 16-23 (3-6 WCC). With seven of their next eight games on Benedetti Diamond, USF is in prime position to climb above .500 and fight for the WCC crown in front of the home crowd.

Dons Fall to Lions Late

After a dominant first half, the University of San Francisco Dons men’s basketball team lost to Loyola Marymount University 90-88 on Saturday, February 4, 2012 in Los Angeles. The Dons (15-10, 5-6 WCC) came out with a vengeance but couldn’t hold on to win, giving up painful turnovers late in the game against the determined Lions (15-9, 8-3 WCC).

San Francisco’s Cole Dickerson started the scoring spree for the Dons with back-to-back jumpers that put the Dons up 9-7 early in the game. USF played tough defense on both sides of the court. They kept LMU’s offense at bay, only allowing them to shoot at a .367 percentage while also forcing nine turnovers. By the end of the first half, the entire USF team jumped on the scoring train with seven Dons players scoring at least three points. Junior guard Michael Williams led the first half scoring with thirteen points helping the Dons go into the intermission with a strong 43-30 lead.

Starting play in the second half the Lions had no intentions of giving up the game that easily. They used a 16-4 run, which ended with back-to-back three pointers from Drew Viney and Ashley Hamilton, to cut the lead to seven points only three minutes into the second half.

In response to the Lions offensive surge the Dons sunk three more three pointers, two from senior forward Angelo Caloiaro and one from senior guard Rashad Green, to keep the lead at sixteen with fifteen minutes to play.

The Lions, led by Viney, kept trading points with the Dons slowly but surely eating away at the deficit. With just under ten minutes to play, Viney hit another three that made the game 69-60.

Once again USF responded, as Green drew a foul that sent him to the free throw line where he went one for two. After a defensive stop by the Dons, Cody Doolin dished the ball to Green who drained the teams tenth three pointer of the game to make the score 73-60.

The hot three point shooting continued for the Lions, who sunk five three pointers in the final seven minutes. With just under two minutes to play, LMU’s Anthony Ireland drove hard down the middle, drawing two USF defenders. In the absence of his defender, Viney was left wide open near the baseline and nailed a three pointer to make the score 86-83.

USF took the ball down court but unfortunately wasn’t able to convert as Green missed a jump shot. The Lions took advantage of the mistake and made it a one-point game. A careless inbound play from Caloiaro, who accidently stepped over the line as he was passing the ball, led to a costly turnover for the Dons. LMU was able to draw a foul and took their second lead of the game, 87-86, with one minute and thirty seconds to play.

Green, who scored a game and career high twenty-four points, countered with a jump shot to put USF in the lead 88-87. Viney came back for LMU with the game winning lay-up at the fifty-four second mark and USF was forced to foul. This win over the Dons completed the season sweep for the Lions and keeps them tied for third place in the WCC with Brigham Young University.

The Dons next match is against Bay Area rival Santa Clara who will be looking for revenge after the Dons beat them last week. Tip off is set for 8 PM in War Memorial Gymnasium and the game will also be televised on ESPNU.

USF defeat Toreros in a Shutout and Lose in Overtime to the Lions

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It looks as if the Dons were putting in the extra effort to redeem
themselves from their prior losses to both teams they saw again this
past weekend. Just recently USF exhibited two losses on the road;
in San Diego they were shutout 1-0 and lost 2-1 at Loyola Marymount
University. With a bye weekend, the Dons had time to regain their
energy and prepare for revenge.

On October 30, 2011 at 7pm the University of San Francisco men’s soccer
team saw victory against the University of San Diego’s Toreros (7-6-1, 4-
2-1 WCC). Then on Sunday afternoon the Dons saw defeat against Loyola
Marymount University Lions (6-9-1, 4-3-1 WCC). San Francisco was able
to shutout the Toreros 4-0; however, the same could not be said in their
contest against the Lions who instead took the win in overtime. The result
tied San Francisco (6-7-2, 4-3-1 WCC) with LMU for first place in the West
Coast Conference and gave the Dons their first loss at home against a
WCC opponent this season.

The Dons came out strong both in defense and offense in Friday’s contest,
they controlled the game’s pace and were able to make 4 conversions
even though San Diego had a 18-10 edge in shots on goal that night. For
the second time this season sophomore goalkeeper Brendan Roslund
produced a career high of 11 saves. Roslund’s outstanding performance
prevented San Diego from taking advantage of any scoring opportunities.

The Dons got the game going in the 21st minute with a goal put in by
freshman David Romney on the assist headed to him by sophomore
Mauricio Diaz de Leon off a corner kick.

Late in the first half sophomore Vegard Karlsen scored from a penalty kick
giving USF a 2-0 lead going into the second half.

The Dons dominated in the second half scoring another two goals.
Freshman Taylor Krueger obtained his first goal of the season in the 57th
minute off a free kick from sophomore Benjkay Kajihara toward freshman
Miguel Aguilar who produced the assist to Kruegar.

In the 63rd minute it was then Kruegar with the assist to freshman Kyle
Macleod for the 4th and final goal for the Don’s shutout.

On this beautiful Sunday afternoon, the Dons came out strong dominating
the majority of the game, but they lacked the ability to make the conversion
before LMU. With the golden goal rule in effect, the Lions secured a win
just 36 seconds into the overtime period. The Dons play hard and this
made for a tough and disappointing loss only because the win was so
close, but as the Coach Visser said “there’s games that you dominate
and lose…obviously in overtime anything can happen.” This young
team dominated and played well so they will just need to bounce back
to prepare to take on their old rivals, Santa Clara, Wednesday night at
Negeosco Stadium.