The Dons picked up a pair of wins last week over the University of San Diego (3-12-2) and #5 Brigham Young University (12-2-2). Saturday’s match against USD was a double OT thriller; USF won 3-2 and Thursday’s game against #5 BYU was also a narrow 2-1 victory for San Francisco. The two wins now raise the Dons to an overall 11-3-3 record.
University of San Diego, although struggling this season, played very well. In the 13th minute, the Torreros opened up the scoring thanks to Victoria Walker, who found herself on the receiving end of a cross into the box by Maggie Ghotbi. In the 22nd minute, San Francisco had a chance to equalize via penalty kick, thanks to a USD handball in the box. Sophomore midfielder Camille Wilson stepped up to the spot, but was denied by a brilliant diving save by keeper Michelle Craft. Wilson had a second penalty kick attempt that came seconds later in the 23rd minute after she drew a foul in the box. This time she hit the back of the net to equalize 1-1, her third goal of the season. USD threatened at the end of the first half with a corner kick, which was defended well, and a shot in the 42nd minute by Walker but USF’s goalkeeper made the save, her one and only of the game. In the second half, San Diego’s first shot attempt was a slow roller that found its way past the goal line after a series of passes in the box, 2-1 San Diego. From then until the 79th minute, the Dons kept the pressure on by attempting six shots in comparison to the Torrero’s one. Finally in the 80th minute freshman midfielder Samantha Jehnings earned her sixth goal of the season from the penalty spot. The 2-2 scoreline held at the end of regulation. The first overtime period produced three total shots off target by both teams. The second overtime half was all San Francisco. A shot by senior forward Alex Alugus was saved in the 102nd minute. Shortly after in the 104th minute a cross by junior midfielder Amanda Whittle was headed home for the game-winning goal by senior defender Sydnie Telson.
Friday nights match against #5 BYU was also a nail-biter. The Dons started fast and earned a corner kick after 60 seconds but the Cougars struck countered and kept San Francisco on their heels taking four shots in a span of 10 minutes. Their fourth shot, in the 15th minute, found the back of the net. BYU’s Madie Lyons chipped in a ball bouncing around in the box to take a 1-0 lead. USF kept BYU at bay as the Cougars didn’t have another attempt the rest of the first half. The Dons tried to work a goal back by taking five shots of their own before the end of the first half but couldn’t convert any of them. In the second half, up until the 70 minute mark, BYU kept shooting themselves in the foot with multiple fouls and offside penalties that halted any advance into their attacking third. USF had a chance to pull level thanks to sophomore forward Carissa Martine, who drew a foul in the box. Freshman midfielder Micaela Mercado slotted home the spot kick into the bottom right corner just out of reach from BYU’s keeper. In the 82nd minute junior midfielder Jessica Nakae found a deflected shot at her feet and fired in USF’s second goal of the night, Nakae’s second of the season, which proved to be the winning goal. In the second half alone, USF outshot BYU 10-2. Both teams earned three corner kicks and fired 4 shots on goal.
With these two big wins, San Francisco looks to continue their campaign in hopes of earning the WCC title by seasons end, a very real possibility with three games remaining. USF’s next game will be an away tilt on Friday, Oct. 30 at 7PM against the University of the Pacific.
Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics