The ever-rising reputation of the Gonzaga men's soccer team means that they have employed a similar view of scheduling as Mark Few's basketball teams: whoever, wherever, whenever. Before the West Coast Conference play kicks off in November, the men's team has loaded up their schedule with some very formidable opponents that will test their endurance and stamina. Having just returned from a largely unsuccessful trip to Columbus, Ohio for the Wolstein Classic where the Zags came away 0-1-1 in two matches, Gonzaga returned to the friendly confines in Spokane, Washington for a matchup against Pac-10 rival Oregon State.
The Bulldogs showed some of their fatigue early in the match up against the Beavers as they started out extremely flat and let Oregon State dominate the pitch. OSU took advantage early and peppered the net with a multitude of shots and held a 7-2 shot advantage going into the second half. Although a number of the shots were long-range, there is no doubt that Gonzaga goalkeeper Scott Barnum was tested throughout the game. OSU broke through in the 39th minute of play when midfielder Eddy Prugh fired a deep shot that wound up in the upper right corner of the net, beating Barnum. The Zags came out with much more firepower in the second half and dominated the second half shots, 9-3. All that effort didn't lead to great results until Joel Schilperoot was pulled down in the box in the 84th minute by an OSU defender. Senior midfielder Ben Funkhouser was selected to kick the penalty shot for the Zags and drilled it past the Beaver keeper. That would be the last of the action today at Gonzaga Soccer Field as the second overtime session was called due to darkness and the match wound up in a tie.
Their is little rest for this Gonzaga Bulldogs team as they will be hosting their version of the Nike Soccer Classic. Oregon State will be hanging around to participate in the event which will feature Detroit and Georgia Southern as well. The Zags hit the field at 4 PM on Friday, September 11 against Georgia Southern.
In other news...
-- Randy Bennett and the St. Mary's Gaels added a huge piece of their 2010 recruiting class in point guard Stephen Holt. He is the 24th ranked point guard in the class and was receiving serious interest from most of the WCC and Pac-10. FYI, Holt is teammates with Gonzaga 2011 prospect Kyle Wiltjer.
-- Rush the Court is claiming that ESPN will be holding it's 24 hours of continuous college basketball on November 17th. Their primetime games will apparently be Louisville v. Arkansas as the early game and Memphis v. Kansas as the late game. The Zags play Michigan State on the 17th but I believe that game will be featured on CBS so get the remote ready and don't plan on moving a whole lot as basketball invades the sporting landscape!