Friday, August 31, 2012

Zags roll past Manhattan; Oregon State surprises No. 4 UCSB

Ludwigs (L) and Bevans (R) tallied for Gonzaga, Beavers get upset draw against Gauchos | Photos: Gerald Barnhart
After a surprising Gonzaga Nike Classic opener in which Oregon State played nationally ranked (Soccer America 4, NSCAA 9) UC-Santa Barbara to a 2-2 draw, the Gonzaga men had little trouble dispatching Manhattan Friday afternoon, pulling away with two second half goals in a 3-0 victory.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

INW Best XI for Week 2 - Women


F - Rachel Strawn – Idaho State – The senior striker scored more goals in a 4-0 victory against Minot State giver her five on the season after coming into the campaign with six total in her first three years with the Bengals. The Utah native scored the opening, and game-winning, goal 12 minutes into the match and put the game out of reach with her second in the 64th to increase the lead to three.

INW Best XI for Week 2 - Men


F – Danny Delgadillo – Great Falls- The sophomore striker from California tallied three goals in pair of victories in the Red Lion Challenge versus Northwest Christian, 1-0, and Warner Pacific, 3-1. He was a constant threat throughout the two games and after a first half deadlock in the opener, struck for what held as the game-winner in the 54th minute against Northwest Christian. After hitting the post minutes earlier, Delgadillo got the ball and beat the remaining defender and the keeper before knocking it into an empty net. The following night after falling behind 19 minutes in to a fresh Warner Pacific side, Delgadillo answered with the equalizer three minutes later, driving into the box and ripping it home from 14 yards. Then, just before the half he stole the ball from a defender inside the box and put it out of reach of the keeper for another game-winner, his fifth goal of the young season.

Monday, August 27, 2012

INW Collegiate Round-up :: Week 2

Non-league action continued this week highlighted by men’s programs getting fully underway around the region. The state of Washington was the focal point as its sides swept in matches against teams from Idaho while Spokane played host to the Red Lion Challenge’s men’s soccer event featuring NAIA teams from Montana and Oregon.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Gonzaga takes two 2-1, downing Boise State and Seattle U Sunday

Gonzaga had plenty to celebrate despite a pair of tough matches | photos: Gerald Barnhart
In a pair of hard-fought, even contests the Gonzaga men’s and women’s soccer teams picked up a pair of wins Sunday afternoon at home by the same 2-1 scoreline via different but dramatic circumstances. The lady Zags topped Boise State in the opening contest with goals from Jessica Bennett and Heather Johnson while the men’s side rallied from an early deficit with back-to-back second half goals from Lars Ludwigs and Conner Bevans.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Rocky Mountain completes Frontier sweep at Red Lion Challenge

Oliver Gore, left, led Rocky Mountain in a heated finale to Red Lion Challenge | Photos: Gerald Barnhart (gallery)
The final men’s soccer match of the Red Lion Challenge was a feisty affair that finished 2-0 in favor of the Frontier Conference’s Rocky Mountain College with Oliver Gore scoring twice in the win over Warner Pacific of the Cascade Collegiate Conference.

Both sides had spells of maintained possession in the contest, but it was a long ball over the top out of midfield 13 minutes into the second half that proved to be the pivotal moment. Chris Jermy’s ball found Gore all alone behind the defense, allowing him to turn and rip a shot from the right side of the top of the box into the far side netting out of the reach of Drew Bonifacio, who came in at the break.

Frontier’s Montana duo dominate in Red Lion Challenge

Delgadillo thrilled again for Argos; Gore scored Rocky Mountain season opener | photos: Gerald Barnhart
On the second night of the Red Lion Challenge action at the Dwight Merkel Sports Complex in Spokane, Wash., it was all Montana as the Frontier Conference’s Rocky Mountain College and University of Great Falls dominated in victories against the Cascade Collegiate Conference’s Northwest Christian, 4-0, and Warner Pacific, 3-1, in a double header.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Conference moves continue; Boise State joins Big West

Hours before their match against Washington State, the Boise State Broncos soccer team was part of an announcement from the university stating that the majority of non-football sports are switching back to the Big West Conference beginning next year.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Great Falls edges gritty Northwest Christian in Red Lion Challenge opener

Northwest Christian nearly stunned nationally-ranked Great Falls | Photos: Gerald Barnhart (full gallery)
Northwest Christian University (Salem, Ore.) was picked to finished last in their eight-team Cascade Collegiate Conference preseason poll, but don’t tell that to nationally ranked University of Great Falls, who were stymied much of the night at the Dwight Merkel Sports Complex in Spokane, Wash. before claiming a 1-0 victory.

Ironically, in a second half in which they dominated possession, it was a counter that provided the lone goal for the side from Montana as Manuel Espinoza played a ball out of midfield that caught the defense out of position and allowed Danny Delgadillo to beat one remaining defender and the keeper before putting the ball into the empty net in the 54th minute.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Two from Idaho caught up in Humboldt hazing controversy

A pair of sophomores from the state of Idaho are caught up in hazing controversy at Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., where the men’s soccer season has been cancelled and the women’s team is under investigation.

The university announced the cancellation of the 2012-13 men’s soccer season Monday and that it has begun disciplinary proceedings against players for hazing and underage drinking that allegedly occurred at a party held off-campus August 4. The incidents are in violation of the northern California school’s student and student-athlete codes of conduct. 

Soccer kicks off Red Lion Challenge in Spokane Thursday

Dwight Merkel Sports Complex hosts Red Lion Challenge soccer events Aug 23-25, Sept 7-8
The Cascade Collegiate Conference and Frontier Conference of the NAIA begin the men’s soccer element of their four-sport Red Lion Challenge Thursday evening in Spokane at the Dwight Merkel Sports Complex.

The debut of the event will feature the CCC’s Northwest Christian University (Eugene, OR) playing Frontier’s 21st-ranked University of Great Falls (MT) at 5:00 pm PT. It continues Friday with a doubleheader that starts at 5:00 pm with NCU playing Rocky Mountain College (Billings, MT) followed by UGF facing Warner Pacific College (Portland). The event wraps up Saturday with WPC versus RMC at 5:00 pm.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Idaho Vandal soccer likely headed to Big Sky; will others follow?

The constant shifting sands of football programs among the various Division I conferences over the years is finally catching up on the Western Athletic Conference, and the University of Idaho is poised to be the latest to leave the conference for football reasons. The byproduct will assuredly see the non-football sports joining the Big Sky Conference as the school remains independent on the gridiron.

The process for the Vandals reached a tipping point in the past week with the school receiving approval from the Idaho State Board of Education on Friday to become an independent football program and discuss membership in the Big Sky for its other sports.

Idaho State, Corban to stream soccer online

Soccer fans around the Northwest will be able to watch more soccer online per a pair of announcements from Idaho State University (Big Sky Conference) and Corban University (Cascade Collegiate Conference). Both schools will be streaming matches online free to the public.

Saur leads debut Best XI for first week of college play

Each week INW Soccer News will release a list of the week’s best performances for men’s and women’s soccer in the region, recognizing players at schools in the region or those from the area that play elsewhere in the nation. With only one game this week on the men’s side, the list is combined.


F – Christa Saur (Boise, ID) – Carroll College – The striker knocked in four goals in a pair of victories over the weekend. She netted the second goal of a 3-1 victory Thursday against visiting 2011 Cascade Conference runners-up Northwest University and then dominated the match in a 4-1 win against the University of Mary with three more goals.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Boise's Saur bags three in Carroll's win; Idaho schools sweep

Gonzaga outshot Washington State, but it was the Cougars who were able to convert Sunday afternoon in Pullman as they posted a 3-0 victory to open their season. Goalkeeper Susan Brown was unable to beat Micaela Castain to the ball 15 yards out in the 24th minute, allowing the striker to put the ball past the attempted block of defender Morgan Manchester (Spokane Valley, WA). It was the only goal of the half as Kasey Rubosky (Spokane, WA) was able to make a sliding clearance off the goal-line early in the half after Jocelyn Jeffers had beaten Brown.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

INW schools go four for five; Breen scores in Vandals loss

Opening weekend of the collegiate season in the Inland Northwest kicked off in earnest Friday with five official matches. Gonzaga, Boise State, Idaho State and Montana earned victories while the University of Idaho fell. Washington State got the better of Eastern Washington in an exhibition and Rocky Mountain College also earned an exhibition win.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Carroll College win season opener, 3-1, vs Northwest U

The 25th-ranked Carroll College (Frontier Conference, NAIA) women’s team opened the season with a non-league victory against Northwest University (Cascade Collegiate Conference, NAIA) Thursday in Helena, Mont. The match was the first official game of the season for any of the schools in the Inland Northwest.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Overview: College campaigns kick off in the Inland Northwest

A look at all the men's and women's collegiate teams & players in and from the INW (photos: Gerald Barnhart)
The region’s college soccer season gets under way in earnest this weekend with 15 games. For most, the season will be a quest to prove the critics and coaches polls wrong as many of the Inland Northwest area schools have been picked to finish at or near the bottom of their respective conferences.

Several schools, however, head into the 2012 season ranked in national polls. Leading the way is the North Idaho College women’s squad, who are seventh in the NSCAA preseason poll for NJCAA Division I. Carroll College (Helena, MT) is ranked 25th in the NAIA women’s poll with Rocky Mountain College getting votes and finishing outside the top 25, as did the Whitworth women in the NSCAA Division III poll. Meanwhile the University of Great Falls are ranked 21st in the men’s poll.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Twentieth edition of Northwest Cup kicks off

The 20th annual Northwest Cup, hosted by the Spokane SC Shadow, kicked off Friday afternoon with 97 girls teams competing in 11 brackets U11 through U17-19. The popular event, due to growth, has split into two weekends and will feature the boys side of the competition next weekend.

The Northwest Cup presented by Les Schwab continues Saturday and Sunday, featuring numerous teams from the greater Spokane area as well as clubs from throughout the region, including one Canadian team, NSD United (Calgary). The Tri-Cities is represented well with two clubs, ASE and Three Rivers SC, competing with 14 teams combined. Nearby Coeur d'Alene Sting has six teams in the event and Moses Lake club CB United has four.

Other clubs from outside the area include Sun City Strikers (Yakima), Sandpoint Strikers (ID), Cobra (Othello), Timber Barons (Longview, WA), CWSA (Yakima, WA), Cobra (Moses Lake, WA), University Place United (Firecrest, WA), Idaho Thunder (Post Falls, ID), Missoula Strikers (MT), Tynecastle (Lake Stevens, WA), FC Missoula (MT) and Tracyton Tornados (Silverdale, WA).

Photos of the event can be seen in the side bar or in our NW Cup gallery.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

USA Women Golden; Richland’s Solo gets second Olympic gold medal

It was not the best the United States women’s national team has played, but the standout performance of Carli Lloyd with two goals and a few quality timely saves from Richland’s Hope Solo along with a little fortune from the decisions of the referee guided the United States to a third consecutive gold medal and fourth overall in five tournaments.

The United States took command of the scoreboard early with a good series of play from Shannon Boxx, Kelley O’Hara and Tobin Heath that got the ball to Alex Morgan (Seattle Sounders Women) in the box. Morgan took the ball to the end line before cutting a cross back into the six where Lloyd got her head on it in a crowd. It was Morgan's team-leading fifth assist of the Olympics.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Open Cup history elude's Gonzaga's Zach Scott as Sounders fall in PKs

Zach Scott (bottom left) finally gets to play in Final after 25 previous USOC appearances | Corky Trewin / Sounders FC
It was a US Open Cup championship game Gonzaga product Zach Scott will not forget. A member of the Seattle Sounders since 2002, the defender finally earned his first Open Cup Final appearance in four years with the club. Then, in the final 10 minutes of regulation, he became the focal point of everything.

First he was called for a controversial handball in the box - though replays were not clear if the call was correct. Then he scored the dramatic late equalizer at the other end, heading in a free kick that sent the match to overtime tied 1-1 and, ultimately, penalty kicks.

Sporting Kansas City ended the Sounders' bid to become the first club in 99 years of the tournament to win the event four consecutive times, taking the dramatic back-and-forth penalty kick tiebreaker, 3-2. The Sounders, however, still boast a remarkable 22-game unbeaten streak, which will continue in 2013, that spans back to a 2007 semifinal overtime loss to FC Dallas as the second division USL club. Scott has played in 15 of the 22 contests during the streak.

Full coverage at affiliate site... >

Gonzaga’s Zach Scott part of Sounders bid for history in Open Cup

Scott helped lead Seattle in this 1-0 Semifinal win versus Dallas last year | Photos: Gerald Barnhart
When Gonzaga University’s 2001 All-WCC selection Zach Scott graduated and signed with the then second division Seattle Sounders in 2002, little did he or anyone else know that 10 years later he would be a part of history. Tonight, his Sounders look to become the first team in Lamar Hunt US Open Cup history to win four consecutive championships when they take on Sporting Kansas City on the road at LiveStrong Sporting Park (6:00 pm PT, GolTV).

Though they are on the doorstep of doing something no one else has ever accomplished tonight in the conclusion of the 99th edition of the tournament, the Sounders have already made history as the fourth team to three-peat and are only the third-ever to reach four consecutive finals (Bethlehem Steel, Stix Baer & Fuller).

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cascadia stars as USA Women survive 4-3 OT thriller after trailing three times to Canada

Richland’s Hope Solo made a couple nice stops, but was outshined on the day by her Northwest counterparts who dominated the scoring summary and stole the spotlight in a wild back-and-forth Olympic Semifinal affair that saw the Canadians take the lead three times before going to overtime, where the United States eventually prevailed, 4-3, on a stoppage time header from Seattle Sounders Women striker Alex Morgan.

Seattle Sounders goalkeeper and University of Washington product Hope Solo was one of the focal points heading into the tournament, but despite her lengthy shutout streak coming into the contest most of the eyes were on the star duo Abby Wambach of the United States and Christine Sinclair. Instead, the match ended up being a showdown of University of Portland products as Sinclair and fellow former Pilot Megan Rapinoe exchanged goals, making the match an all-Cascadia affair.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

USA Women, Richland's Hope Solo start real Olympic test Friday in Quarters

The United States women’s national team and Richland, Wash. native Hope Solo begin the knockout phase of the Olympics Friday in the Quarterfinals against New Zealand at 6:30 am PT on NBC Sports Network.

When it comes to major tournaments, more often than not the group phase is a mere formality for the US Women’s National Team, barring any unusual draw. After rallying from two down to top France, 4-2, in the opening game, the team has had little trouble, blanking Colombia 3-0 and edging North Korea 1-0 in a game in which they rested players having already advanced.

After withstanding the slow start, the usual tournament performance has been pushed out of the spotlight by the atypical storylines that have emerged.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Working Together: Reaching USCS National Cup XI a victory itself for ID-WA team

You know that cliché used at the beginning and end of every championship sports event? Every team and player is a winner just for being here, regardless of what happens on the field. Well, that saying could not be more apropos for the Lewiston-based Valley Thunder’s aptly-named Alliance.

Though they only earned one win in Waukegan, Ill. last weekend at the US Club Soccer National Cup XI, the biggest victory for the U16G Premier side came in reaching the tournament itself. It was a huge accomplishment for a team that a year ago it was not expected to even exist.

The fact that the squad was almost entirely comprised of U15 players is completely overshadowed upon closer examination when you find out half the team resides in Idaho and the other half in Washington. And it’s not just a nearby town across the border in the Evergreen State, but all the way on the other side of the Cascades in Seattle - a distance of around 300 miles.