Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Gonzaga sweeps seven-a-side events; Central Washington women surprise

Gonzaga played host to schools from around the region | Photos: Gerald Barnhart - Galleries: Women -- Men
Gonzaga University Soccer played host to a pair of seven-a-side events over the weekend against teams from around the region. In the eight-team women’s event, Gonzaga came out on top for the third time in four years, reclaiming the crown after losing to Montana a year ago. On the men’s side, Gonzaga dominated in the three-school, six-team event – being held for just the second time after a year’s hiatus – with its two sides sweeping the competition for an all GU final.


The big surprise coming out of group play Saturday was the perfect record of the Gonzaga alumni squad that posted victories over Spokane Community College (6-4), Eastern Washington University (2-1) and the University of Montana’s White squad (1-0) to reach the semifinals along with Montana, who downed their Big Sky foes from Eastern (2-1) and CCS (4-0).

EWU Alumni had fun despite small squad
In the other group, Gonzaga cruised through the event with wins against Eastern Washington Alumni (5-0) and Central Washington (3-2) and the Maroon squad from Montana (3-1), which had lost its opener, 4-3, on a game-deciding own goal to Central Washington and rebounded with a 5-1 win against the Eastern alumni, who acquitted themselves quite well on the day despite only having eight players and needing their goalkeeper Jamielee Walker to play in the field after another player suffered an injury that relegated her to playing in goal.

The Montana sides were merged for the semifinal against Gonzaga and took the initial lead through India Watne only to see Gonzaga run off four unanswered. Katey Pennington (Boise, ID) brought things to level terms and Kasey Rubosky (Spokane, WA) gave GU the lead before the break as they rolled to the victory, avenging last year’s title-game loss in penalties.

Central Washington took control of the other semifinal with a two goal lead courtesy of Reilly Retz (Kent, WA) and Danielle Brandli (Bellevue, WA) before the Gonzaga alumni were able to pull one back. The Wildcats, though, were able to restore the two-goal margin before the break and made it three before finishing 4-2 victors to advance to the championship contest.

Hat-trick for Heather Johnson in Final
That’s where the Wildcats’ fortunes completely ran out. The superior talent and fitness for the Lady Zags was evident from the start as the Wildcats were unable to replicate the performance that from earlier in the day that saw them come close in the one-goal defeat. Most of the domination came from one player – Heather Johnson (Kennewick, WA), who scored the opening three goals of the contest.

Gonzaga built a two-goal lead eight minutes into the first half of the 17-minute periods. A low ball played across the box to Johnson was buried into the open net from the left side and two minutes later Johnson dribbled in from the right flank and beat the keeper from eight yards on a fantastic individual play.

Six minutes into the second half a ball played in from the flank by Rubosky found Johnson with a defender on her back. She deftly turned to the inside and fired under the dropping goalkeeper from 12 yards out.

Rubosky helped finish out the scoring in the 12th minute of the second half with a deflected long ball that made its way past the keeper from 18 yards and Cricket Harber (Seattle, WA) capped the match with three minutes left, drilling a line-drive 35 yard free kick into the upper right corner from the center of the half-sized fields.
Similar results for NIC and CCS


Not surprisingly, the Division I Gonzaga sides dominated the local two-year programs from Spokane Community College and North Idaho College. The Bulldogs opened the day at noon with 8-2 and 7-0 wins against NIC and followed it up with a 7-0 rout and a surprisingly narrow 3-2 decision against CCS.

That left bragging rights on the line in the Border Battle between CCS and NIC in the final group contests. In one group CCS came away 4-3 victors while NIC dominated with a 3-0 shutout in the other group, sending one squad each through to the semifinals.

Gonzaga again dominated play in the semifinals. The Yellow squad blanked NIC 5-0 but the Green team was caught by surprise when Isaac Peter gave CCS the initial lead in the other semifinal before they rebounded with five consecutive goals en route to a 6-2 result for the Bulldogs.

In the consolation match CCS and NIC finished tied at 1-1 with CCS scoring in the first half and NIC finding an equalizer in the second half. The two sides played out the tie with penalty kicks with Spokane coming away 4-3 victors, perhaps symbolic of how the bragging rights finished between the two on the day… undecided.

The championship was a one-sided affair between the two Gonzaga teams with the Yellow team coming away 4-1 victors against its green counterparts in a match that saw most of the scoring in the second half.



Group Play

9:00 - A: GU 5 :: 0 EWU Alumni ## B: UM White 2 :: 1 EWU
9:50 - A: CWU 4 :: 3 UM Maroon ## B: GU Alumni 6 :: 4 CCS
10:40 - A: GU 3 :: 2 CWU ## B: UM White 4 :: 0 CCS
11:30 - A: UM Maroon 5 :: 1 EWU Alumni ## B: GU Alumni 2 :: 1 EWU
12:20 - A: UM Maroon 1 :: 3 GU ## B: CCS 1 :: 8 EWU
1:10 - A: CWU 7 :: 3 EWU Alumni ## GU Alumni 1 :: 0 UM White

Semifinals - 3:00

Gonzaga 4 :: 1 Montana
Gonzaga Alumni 2 :: 4 Central Washington

All Gonzaga in Final
Final - 4:30

Gonzaga 5 :: 0 Central Washington


Group Play (both groups simultaneous)

Gonzaga v NIC - Noon - A: 7 :: 0 - B: 8 :: 2
Gonzaga v SFCC - 12:45 - A: 3 :: 2 - B: 7 :: 0
NIC v SFCC - 1:30 - A: 0 3 :: 0 - B: 3 :: 4

Semifinals - 2:15

Gonzaga Yellow 5 :: 0 North Idaho College
Gonzaga Green 6 :: 2 CC Spokane

Final - 3:00

Gonzaga Yellow 4 :: 1 Gonzaga Green