SPOKANE, Wash. – The University of San Diego women’s soccer team tallied three goals in the second half to wash away Gonzaga University’s one goal lead and earn the 3-1 come-from-behind victory over the Bulldogs at the Gonzaga Soccer Field Saturday.
The Zags, who dropped to 5-9-1 on the year and 1-4 in West Coast Conference play, was the more aggressive team in the opening half and it resulted in them finding the back of the net four minutes into the first 45 and putting the Toreros (10-7, 3-3 WCC) on their heels.
The play was perfect combination that started from Gonzaga’s defensive end.
Sophomore Mikayla Anderson played a long ball down the right flank that freshman Karley Baggerly ran onto. Baggerly, who gave the Toreros all it could handle all afternoon, was able to get around two USD defenders and get a cross off into the box. Junior Kasey Rubosky - waiting alone six-yards from goal – controlled the ball and placed it past San Diego keeper Michelle Craft for her first goal of the season at 3:53.
Baggerly nearly gave Gonzaga the two-goal advantage 10 minutes later. The Canby, Ore., native had a 1-v-1 with Craft after getting behind the USD defense once again but her shot was pushed wide by Craft.
Gonzaga ended the opening period with the 6-4 advantage in shots and the 5-1 edge in corner kicks.
In less than a minute span Gonzaga’s lead vanished though and San Diego had tallied two goals.
“San Diego came back with a really big push right from the beginning of the second half,” explained Gonzaga head coach Amy Edwards.
It was 10:27 into the second half that San Diego found the equalizer. Like Rubosky’s goal, the Toreros Meggie Gulczynski scored a close range goal off a cross from the right flank by Lauren Dotson at 55:27.
Forty-three seconds later the Toreros scored the go-ahead goal. Mariah Butera hit a free kick off the post that rebounded to Gulczynski for her second goal of the match and season.
Edwards believes a lull and lack of resilience after San Diego’s first goal allowed the Toreros to find the second.
“We needed to be resilient after their first goal,” stated Edwards. “Our resilience has to match our effort because we are an incredibly hard working team but those pieces that you see when we have a little bit of lull is due to a lack of belief, understanding and that resilience. Instead of responding we gave up a second goal to a very good team with good players.”
The Bulldogs, pushing up and pressuring to get the equalizer, had two great opportunities to tie the match but freshman Sarah Carter’s shot off a corner kick in the 65th minute was cleared by a USD defender on the goal line and Rubosky’s shot from 8-yards out was saved by Craft 35 seconds later.
San Diego tacked on its third goal in the 77th minute.
Gonzaga finished the match with a 14-12 advantage on shots but was only able to score on one of its six shots it had on goal, while San Diego converted three of its seven shots on goal.
“Our attack was dangerous but we weren’t efficient,” Edwards stated. “At the end of the day, San Diego was more efficient in their chances and that was the difference.”
The Bulldogs look to rebound Friday, Nov. 1 when they place at WCC newcomer University of the Pacific. Match is set for 1 p.m.