The Pilots’ WCC record grows to 2-0-0 after beating Gonzaga 4-1 and San Francisco 1-0 at home
By Katie Dunn, Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Soccer is all about scoring goals. But the men's soccer game Sept. 28 against the University of San Francisco Dons was not a shooting match, but a match between goalkeepers.
With 30 shots total, 14 by the Pilots and 16 by the Dons, the game changer was how many saves the goalkeepers made. UP's goalkeeper Justin Baarts made six saves, while Dons' goalkeeper Brendan Roslund made only one.
"We've each got to battle for 90 minutes and if we don't give up goals, we're going to win games," Baarts said.
Baarts does not like to get so much action at the goal. He is confident in his team's ability to score and in his defenders to protect him. Communication between the defense and the goalkeeper is crucial. After eight games, the defense has become comfortable with each other.
USF was the second game this week for the Pilots. They faced rival Gonzaga in the first game of conference play on Sept. 27. The Pilots won 4-1 and set a high bar for the rest of conference play.
"They're all familiar foes," senior midfielder Colin Anderson said. "It's a completely different game, more of a battle and it's a lot of fun."
Anderson assisted the only score against USF, passing the ball to senior Keith Grubisich in the 31 minute to score his first goal this season. The Pilots put pressure on the San Francisco defense all night, but did not have many shots on goal. UP would only need one score, thanks to strong defense and Baarts' saves.
The offense and defense fed off each other's energy and aggressive play. Having two games in three days means more players from the bench play in order to keep the team fresh.
"Every player that came on the field tonight brought lots of energy and they live off each other," head coach Bill Irwin said.
Irwin always looks forward to the next game and tries not to look too far ahead. The next trip for the men is one to southern California and a favorite for most of the team.
"I have a lot of friends on the San Diego team and love going down there," Anderson said.
The Pilots are now 2-0-0 in conference play and play their next home game is against undefeated Santa Clara on Friday, Oct. 12 at Merlo Field at 7 p.m.