Tag Archives: men’s soccer

Men’s Soccer: Miguel Aguilar’s Late Goal Carries Dons to Victory Over San Diego

The Dons wrapped up their two-game homestand with a 1-0 loss to the Loyola Marymount Lions after defeating the San Diego Toreros 1-0 two days earlier on an overtime goal by junior forward Miguel Aguilar. USF (6-8-2, 3-4-1 WCC) has three road games and one home game left this season.

On Sunday afternoon, the Dons put forth an admirable effort against Loyola Marymount, the top team in the West Coast Conference. The score remained tied at 0-0 throughout the first half and well into the second. In the first 45 minutes, the Dons emphasized defense and strong goalkeeping from freshman Connor Gaal to keep the Lions (10-3-2, 6-1-1) at bay.

“I thought it was a terrific first half,” head coach Erik Visser told USFDons.com. “LMU is a very good team. They are very athletic, played with urgency, they have a lot of dynamic players in the final third but I thought we really shut them down in the first half.”

The Dons continued their impressive play coming out of halftime, but were dealt a blow in the 66th minute when Aguilar suffered an injury. Sensing a chance to tilt the game in their favor, the Lions finally broke through in the 80th minute, when Jack McCracken sent a shot on the ground into the left side of the goal. Gaal had four saves on the night, but McCracken’s nicely placed kick went just past his outstretched hands.

Dons senior forward Michael Shaddock nearly evened the score four minutes later, but his long range shot was just high, sailing over the goal post as USF fans’ momentary hope turned to disappointment. From then on, Loyola Marymount was able to maintain its slim advantage, and Dons ended the game scoreless.

On Friday, the Dons were on the victorious side of a 1-0 match, beating San Diego on a game-ending goal by Aguilar. It was a satisfying win for the Dons, who stifled the Toreros offense for the second time this season, having defeated them 2-0 on Oct. 18.

The Dons, who have lost six games by only one goal each so far this year, almost experienced another heartbreaking loss at the hands of San Diego. In the 88th minute, the Toreros’ Keegan Smith had a good look at the goal, but his shot’s path was interrupted by Gaal, who recorded six saves on the evening.

After 90 minutes of play, the score was deadlocked at 0-0, and both teams entered overtime desperate to score the elusive winning goal. Just three minutes into the first ten-minute period, the Dons struck gold, as Aguilar’s shot bounced off of the Toreros goalkeeper and found its place in the back of the net as the crowd erupted. Aguilar was hoisted onto the shoulders of his fellow teammates, and the celebration ensued as San Diego players looked on in shock.

The 93rd-minute goal provided an exhilarating finish to a game where USF was not always in top form. The Dons took just five shots all game, but still willed themselves to a win in a display of grittiness and persistence.

“I’m proud of the guys,” Visser told USFDons.com. “We got a good shutout, a great goal by Miguel [Aguilar]. Sometimes you don’t play pretty or effective and today was a good win for us.”

The final score for USF’s match at Saint Mary’s on Wednesday, Nov. 6 was not available at press time. San Francisco now returns home for their final game at Negoesco Stadium, which comes against rival Santa Clara on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1:00 p.m.

Jesus Del Toro scored a crucial goal in the 78th minute against Stanford, but it was not enough to lift the Dons over the Cardinal in what was a suspenseful, hard-fought match. (Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics)

Men’s Soccer: Dons Hang Tight, Stumble Late in Overtime Loss at Stanford

Zach Batteer netted a 97th-minute goal, and the Stanford Cardinal put their stamp on a gripping 2-1 win over the University of San Francisco on Friday night at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium. It was a game that saw two teams that have had mixed success go head to head and try to claim a much-needed win. Taking control early on, Stanford (7-4-2) dictated the flow of the game as they had the majority of possession and were able to get into Don territory early and often. Stanford’s Ty Thompson lead this charge, and was able to get a large share of the touches as the offense ran through him in the first half. Thompson even initiated the offense that saw Stanford take a 1-0 lead in the 64th minute, as a feed to Stanford’s Jordan Morris created a shot attempt that was cleaned up by Batteer, his first of two goals on the game.

Even as the Cardinals were able to maintain control of possession following Batteer’s goal, all it took was a loose ball for sophomore midfielder Jesus Del Toro to tie the game in the 78th minute, putting the Cardinals on their heels and Dons in a comfortable position.

“After Jesus scored we had more possession and we were pushing to score another goal,” sophomore defender Joshua Smith said.

After that, the home crowd became increasingly nervous as the Dons (5-7-2) began to start banging on the door, pushing farther and farther into Cardinal territory. Although regulation ended with a 1-1 tie, the break in play did not seem to stifle any momentum the Dons had acquired in the last few minutes of play, and their captivating performance continued as both teams got quality looks at the goal. Stanford keeper Drew Hutchins made a spectacular save that kept the Cardinals in the game, and USF goalkeeper Chase Hauser saved a one-timer from Cardinal JJ Koval. But Stanford’s relentless attack in the second half eventually paid off, as Batteer would get his foot on the ball off of a rebound in the seventh minute of overtime, sending it into the goal to give Stanford the victory.

Friday’s game marked the end of four-game road trip that saw the Dons go 2-2, and also represented their final inter-conference game. Despite the loss, the Dons looked sharp and ready to play out the remainder of their WCC stretch, as they seemed to have rebounded from their midseason sluggish play and have picked it up on both sides of the ball.

“Since our home game against Saint Mary’s, our guys have responded terrific,” Visser told USFDons.com. “They played well, organized, created some good opportunities late in the game. We told the guys, ‘Let’s get back to the basics and compete.’”

With 6 games remaining, beginning with their Nov. 3 matchup at home against San Diego, the Dons will soon be able to see how far they’ve come.

M. Diaz de Leon

Men’s Soccer: Dons Lose Heartbreaker to Portland, Shut Out Gonzaga in 0-0 Tie

University of San Francisco, now 3-4-2 overall and  0-1-1 in West Coast Conference play, earned their first shutout since their opening weekend on Sunday, Oct. 6 against WCC rival Gonzaga at Negoesco Stadium. After 110 minutes of aggressive play from both sides, the game ended with a score of 0-0.

San Francisco’s goal heading into this game was to play with high energy, and to put pressure on Gonzaga’s defense. The Dons came out flat in the first half, but became more aggressive as the game continued.

The Dons had one opportunity to score in the first half when senior midfielder Mauricio Diaz de Leon split two Gonzaga defenders, but placed the ball above the goal. The Dons’ offense remained active after the missed opportunity while their solid defense kept Gonzaga scoreless.

In the second half, the Dons came out looking to put the ball in the back of Gonzaga’s net. In the 61st minute, senior midfielder Vegard Karlsen fought his way through the Gonzaga defenders and shot the ball from 15 yards out, but his shot was knocked away by the fingertips of Gonzaga’s goalkeeper.

USF’s defense suddenly came under attack as the game neared the end of regulation time. Gonzaga had an opportunity to score in 75th minute, but the ball soared over the crossbar. Soon after, in the 86th minute, San Francisco fans, players, and coaches let out a sigh of relief when a Gonzaga player’s shot attempt bounced off the crossbar and was cleared successfully by the Dons’ junior goalkeeper, Chase Hauser.

As the game entered overtime, USF’s offense increased its energy. The Dons were able to put three shots on goal during the two ten-minute periods, including one by junior forward Miguel Aguilar that bounced off the goal post. At the end of the overtime period, the Dons were unable to put the ball in the back of the net, and their defense had kept Gonzaga (5-2-2, 0-0-2 WCC) from doing the same, resulting in the 0-0 tie.

Last Friday, USF lost its West Coast Conference home opener against the Portland Pilots. The Dons fell 3-2 after coming back from a 2-0 first-half deficit.

“I’m very disappointed that we lacked the energy and intensity especially on the defensive side in the first half and we really allowed Portland to set the tone and to dictate the tone of the game,” Head Coach Erik Visser said to USFdons.com.

Any momentum that the Dons were able to gain was diffused by the Pilots, who picked apart the Dons’ defense. Portland scored in the 36th minute and the 48th minute of the first half. USF tied the game in the second half, as goals from junior defender David Romney and Aguilar evened the score at 2-2. In the 86th minute, however, the Pilots scored again, breaking the tie and winning the game 3-2.

The score from USF’s home game against the St. Mary’s Gaels on Wednesday, October 9th was not available at press time. The Dons play next at Santa Clara on Friday, October 11th at 7 p.m., a game that marks the first of four consecutive road games for the team.

Junior forward Miguel Aguilar attempted two shots against Cal Poly, but neither resulted in goals as the Dons were defeated 2-0.
(Photo: Dons Athletics)

Men’s Soccer: Dons Give Up Two Goals to Cal Poly, Fail to Come Back From Deficit

In their final match before beginning regular season play, the Dons fell to the Cal Poly Mustangs 2-0 on Friday in San Luis Obispo.

The Dons’ defense held the score at 0-0 throughout much of the first half. Cal Poly was able to place many shots near the Dons’ goal, forcing San Francisco to stay on defense for a majority of the first half and creating a limited number of chances for them to score.

One of the Dons’ opportunities to score came in 36th minute of the game, when sophomore midfielder Joshua Smith attempted to head in the ball off a pass from junior forward Sixto Porras. To the Dons’ dismay, the shot missed wide right.

San Francisco’s defense struggled with the Cal Poly offense as the game went on, and in the 45th minute the Mustangs were able to score on the Dons. The Mustangs drove the ball down the left side of the field, making a series of passes leading to a shot that found the back of the net. The Dons were down 0-1 going into halftime.

Right off the bat in the second half, the Mustangs made quick work of the Dons’ defense, and scored a second goal in the 50th minute of the game. The Dons tried to recover, but they could not get the ball away from their net as they tried to build momentum for a comeback.

There would be no such comeback, and the game concluded with Cal Poly up two goals and the Dons scoreless. The Mustangs outshot the Dons 25-9, and six different Mustang players were able to put shots on the goal. Cal Poly commanded the game.

This was the second game in a row that San Francisco has been shut out. They also did not have more than ten shots in either of those games. The Dons’ record now stands at 3-3-1.

This was the final game of a three-game road trip, and the Dons now have two weeks to prepare for West Coast Conference play. Their next game is against University of Portland on Oct. 4 at Negoesco Stadium at 7:00 p.m.

Junior midfielder Kyle MacLeod made an attempt at a goal for the Dons against UC Davis, but just missed the shot to the left of the goal. 
(Photo: Dons Athletics)

Men’s Soccer: Freshman David Garrett Scores Dons’ Only Goal in Two Games

In their first two games of the season away from home, the Dons had a difficult time capturing a victory. On Sunday, USF struggled against the aggressive play of the UC Davis Aggies and dropped the match 1-0 in Davis, California.

Setting the tone early on, UC Davis fired a goal into the center of the net in only the fifth minute of the game. San Francisco struggled for the rest of the first half, and found themselves defending their goal much of the time. The Aggies’ solid play limited the Dons’ attempts at scoring.

In the second half, USF was able to get the ball near the Aggies’ net. Sophomore midfielder Jesus Del Toro attempted to head the ball into the goal, but was thwarted by UC Davis goalie Omar Zeenni, who deflected the ball away from the net.

The Dons continued to scramble, trying to erase the 1-0 deficit. They made another attempt on goal in the 85th minute, when junior midfielder Kyle MacLeod tried to turn a corner kick into a scoring opportunity, but shot the ball wide left. As the game wound down, the Dons remained scoreless.

On Thursday, coming off their victory at home versus San Jose State, the Dons played on the road against the Sacramento State Hornets in a match that ended in a 1-1 tie.

The Hornets scored first in the 22nd minute of the game. Similar to the UC Davis game, San Francisco was forced to play from behind early on, but the Dons had a difficult time against the strong defense of the Hornets.

In the opening minutes of the second half, Sacramento State held a sizable 12-1 shot advantage over the Dons. At that point, USF began to turn up the heat, becoming more aggressive and pushing the ball down the field towards the Hornets’ goal as the second half continued.

San Francisco finally broke through in the 84th minute, when freshman forward David Garrett kicked the ball into the net off of his own rebound, after missing a previous shot. The match remained tied until the end of regulation, and the Dons forced the game into overtime.

In overtime, both teams played stellar defense and did not allow any goals. The pressure increased on USF as the game entered a second overtime, with fatigue playing a major role. The Dons were unable to notch another point on the scoreboard, but played tough enough defense to keep the Hornets from scoring again. When the final buzzer sounded, the score remained 1-1.

The Dons finished this weekend with a tie and a loss, changing their record to 3-2-1. USF has one more opportunity to sharpen their game before West Coast Conference play begins, with a final preseason game set for this Friday at 7 p.m. against Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.

Men’s Soccer: Dons Down San Jose 2-1 on Goals by Kirkland and Del Toro

Junior forward Miguel Aguilar fights off Cal defenders at Negoesco Stadium last Thursday. Aguilar had two shots on goal in the 1-0 loss to the No. 10 ranked Golden Bears.

Junior forward Miguel Aguilar fights off Cal defenders at Negoesco Stadium last Thursday. Aguilar had two shots on goal in the 1-0 loss to the No. 10 ranked Golden Bears. (Photo: Nicholas Welsh)

The Dons defeated the San Jose State Spartans on their home turf on Sunday, Sept. 8 in a game that proved to test the nerves. The Dons managed to pull ahead in the final minutes with a 2-1 win at Negoesco Stadium.

San Jose State struck first, scoring in the 16th minute, but the Dons quickly retaliated when junior midfielder Danny Kirkland scored on a free kick in the 20th minute.  The physical aspect of soccer was on full display all game, as the six yellow cards and one red card often brought the game to a grinding halt and made scoring opportunities more difficult. On multiple occasions, Dons players were knocked to the ground following blows to the head, but they seemed to brush it off and come back stronger each time. Ultimately, sophomore midfielder Jesus del Toro finished off the Spartans  in the 83rd minute of the game when he sent a header past the Spartan goalkeeper off of a free kick delivered by senior midfielder Vegard  Karlsen. 

“(San Jose State) played rough and fouled a lot, but (we) played well and it will be a good test for the season– similar to what we face with WCC (West Coast Conference) teams,” del Toro said. “We knew we had to take care of business and beat this team and just move forward.”

The Dons were coming off a bitter loss to No. 10 University of California, Berkeley Golden Bears last Thursday, Sept. 5 in a game that kept everybody on the edge of their seats. In the minutes leading up to the 1-0 loss that seemed to appear out of nowhere, Cal and USF were deadlocked in a 0-0 tie.  It was a big night for Dons junior goalkeeper Chase Hauser, who had a total of six saves for a USF team that was feeling the heat from the Bears. Unfortunately, Hauser was unable to notch another save when met with Cal forward Christian Thierjung, who got the ball past Hauser in the last 20 seconds to beat the Dons 1-0. Cal has been playing extremely well in the beginning of the season, beating No. 2 Maryland and No. 3 Georgetown in Berkeley. After tying Cal 0-0 last year, the Dons were intent on proving their legitimacy to their opponents, and succeeded in doing so until the agonizing finish.

The Dons now embark on a three-game road trip that begins in Sacramento against Sacramento State on Thursday, Sept. 12. USF’s next home game finds them matched up against the University of Portland on Friday, Oct. 4 in the WCC opener.