Ponce's Pair Preserves Perfection, 2-1 in OT
Sophomore nets game-winner in 92nd minute to push LMU to 5-0 in WCC
Oct. 13, 2010
LOS ANGELES - Sophomore David Ponce scored twice, including the game-winner 2:12 into overtime, to keep LMU perfect in West Coast Conference play with a 2-1 victory over visiting San Diego Wednesday afternoon at Sullivan Field. The Lions (9-3-1, 5-0-0 WCC) make it five wins out of five in WCC play and preserve their best-ever start to conference play and their home winning streak, which now stands at five matches.
Fresh off his WCC Player of the Week award and a spot on the TopDrawerSoccer.com National Team of the Week, Ponce continued to provide offense for the Lions as he netted his first career two-goal game. After giving the Lions the lead in the 34th minute, he smashed home the game-winner after latching on to the end of a cross from junior Tyler Krumpe. Ponce turned in the box before firing high into the top right corner from close range for his fourth goal of the season, third in conference play, and third game-winner.
The Toreros (5-6-2, 2-3-0 WCC) were the last team to beat the Lions at Sullivan Field during the regular season, having come away with a 4-1 victory on October 25, 2009. They started the better of the two sides, with Marcelo Carminatti have two chances in quick succession barely two minutes into the match. After just 72 seconds, Carminatti beat the LMU offside trap to find himself alone in the box. He himself did not believe that the linesman kept his flag down and took a quick look across, which took the power off his shot and allowed junior Jack McCormack to set his feet for the save.
It took LMU 13 minutes before registering a shot but when it came, Ponce nearly put the Lions in front. Freshman Christian Alvarado played a brilliant knock-down to an on-rushing Ponce, who tried to go near-post with his shot, only to see it come back off the post.
Ponce would get his opener in the 34th minute, this time putting it the right side of the woodwork. Following a USD clearance off an LMU corner, junior Alex Greenman delivered a cross to the far post where Ponce rose up and glanced his downward header in off the post.
Five minutes later, a flurry of USD's attack would draw the visitors level. Sergio Lopez was quick to react to Cory Norris's rebound off the post, tapping in from close range to send the game into the break knotted at 1-1.
The intensity picked up in the second half, as did the foul count as neither team backed down. LMU's best chance of the half came five minutes from the end when junior Phil Da Silva took aim, only to fire high. USD had one final chance in the 89th minute but Sergio Carranza's attempt sailed high.
In the end, LMU proved its knack of settling overtime games quickly. The Lions have played four extra-time matches in 2010 and come away with the victory in three, with each being decided by an LMU goal within the first three minutes.
McCormack finished the match by making three saves while Michael D'Arrigo allowed the two goals but did not make a save.
LMU closes out the first half of conference play on Friday at Santa Clara. The Lions hold a seven-point advantage over the second-place Broncos, who also have a game-in-hand.