Lions Shut Out Dons for Third Straight Win
Craig Nitt's free kick goal in the 78th minute broke a scoreless tie and propelled the LMU men's soccer team to a 1-0 shutout of San Francisco Sunday afternoon at Sullivan Field.
Oct. 20, 2013
LOS ANGELES - Craig Nitt's free kick goal in the 78th minute broke a scoreless tie and propelled the LMU men's soccer team to a 1-0 shutout of San Francisco Sunday afternoon at Sullivan Field.
The win was the Lions' third straight as they close out the first round of West Coast Conference play at 4-1-1, good for 13 points and sole possession of first place atop the league standings. League play takes a 10-day break, resuming on Oct. 30 when Gonzaga and Portland kick off round-two. The Lions (8-3-2 overall) resume WCC action on Friday, Nov. 1 at Saint Mary's.
Quality shot opportunities came at a premium for much of the game Sunday as the first half closed with the Lions holding a slight 4-3 shot advantage.
Midway through the second half, Sean Sears had the crowd on their feet as his header shot from the left side of the box was tipped just over the net by Dons' goalkeeper Connor Gaal.
Moments later the Dons (5-6-2, 2-3-1 WCC) had a chance on a breakaway, but Miguel Aguilar's chip shot over LMU goalkeeper Paul Blanchette went just high of the crossbar.
Then came Nitti's game-winner. A USF foul 25 yards out provided a free kick for the Lions. Nitti's right-footed low strike entered traffic, deflecting slightly off a Don defender and into the right side of the net.
Adrien Perez nearly made it 2-0 minutes later, but, after some nifty footwork through the USF defense, his shot towards the right far post was tipped just wide by Gaal.
Perez finished with a game-high four shots, including three on frame. Blanchette made four saves in his fourth shutout of the year.