Lions Win WCC Opener
Junior Ybarra scores game-winner early in second half.
Sept. 30, 2005
SPOKANE, Wash. - Loyola Marymount University scored early in each half Friday and made it stand up for a 2-1 victory over Gonzaga University in the West Coast Conference men's soccer opener at a soggy Martin Field. Bobby Burling gave LMU a 1-0 lead in the second minute of the game, and Junior Ybarra scored the game-winner early in the second half.
The match was played in a steady downpour that began mid-morning and followed heavy rains Thursday night.
It took the Lions (3-2-2; 1-0-0) just 1:12 to get on the scoreboard when Bobby Burling scored his fourth goal of the season on a low header under keeper Vito Higgins off a right-corner cross from David Niemeyer.
The Bulldogs (2-4-2; 0-1-0) got the equalizer at 27:01 when Nick Heinrichs scored the first goal of his Gonzaga career. Heinrichs was going down the right side when he launched a cross that caught the top far corner of the goal for the 1-1 halftime tie. The Lions had the better scoring opportunities the remainder of the first half. Junior Ybarra had a low, hard shot skid just past the left post and a diving Higgins, and Nick Blanco had a rebound shot blocked by the defense as time was running out in the half.
LMU got what proved to be the winning goal just 7:40 into the second half, Ybarra collecting his first goal of the season on a shot from 10 yards off a give-and-go from Blanco.
The next 10 minutes saw a flurry of scoring chances by both teams. LMU's Armando Melendez stopped a clearing pass and got off a hard shot that was blocked by the Bulldog defense. Three minutes later Gonzaga's Luke Miller had a shot from close range smothered by LMU keeper Robert Flores, one of his six saves. Scott Meslin had a chance at the equalizer when he dribbled from the right wing to the middle and launched a hard shot from 20 yards and Flores saved, and Melendez had another solid chance when his shot from 30 yards was deflected to the left of the post by Higgins, who had eight saves in the match.
Gonzaga put the pressure on late in the match and Grant Lundberg had a look at an open net with the keeper out of position after a scramble in front of the goal, the shot blocked by the LMU defense from the left of the box. Burling had a chance for his second goal of the afternoon when he stole the ball in the attacking zone just past midfield, dribbled in, slipped past one defender and Higgins came out to make the save.
The Lions continue WCC action on Sunday when they face Portland at 2:15pm.
Loyola Marymount (3-2-2; 1-0-0) vs. GONZAGA BULLDOGS (2-4-2; 0-1-0) Date: Sep 30, 2005 Attendance: 225 Weather: Rainy, 60 degrees, wind SSW 9- GO LIONS! -