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USD Athletics Roundup: Men's Soccer, Volleyball, Women's Soccer, Football, Cross-Country

 

USD Athletics Roundup: Men's Soccer, Volleyball, Women's Soccer, Football, Cross-Country

The University of San Diego’s men’s soccer team opened its regular season schedule last Friday with a scoreless draw against UC Irvine at Torero Stadium.

New USD Head Coach Brian Quinn, emphasizing a focus on defense, had his backline answer the call against the Anteaters, holding them scoreless and limiting their amount of quality scoring chances. The backline was anchored by center backs, Henry Lander and Aaron Frey, who played all 120 minutes.

Meanwhile, USD controlled the pace of play through a majority of the game and generated multiple quality scoring chances but could not find the finishing touch. The best opportunity came in the 100th minute when Freddy Polzer was taken down in the box and drew a penalty kick. Miguel Berry hammered a shot to the lower left corner of the goal, but UC Irvine's goalkeeper, Greg Patenaude, made a great one-handed stop to preserve the draw.

"I'm pleased with many aspects of how the game went, the first half in particular," Quinn said. "We created some half-chances in the first half and their goalkeeper made a couple saves. There were really good spells for us early and in the overtime. Unfortunately, we didn't get the win but I have admiration for how the team played."

The tie game is already in the past for the Toreros, who have a tough three-game week ahead. It’ll start with a 7 p.m. road game against UCLA on Tuesday, Aug. 28, then an 8:30 p.m. start against No. 10-nationally ranked Duke at home on Friday, Aug. 31 and conclude with a 7 p.m. match on the Labor Day Monday holiday, Sept. 3, against Cal Baptist.

Volleyball

The women’s volleyball team knew it was going to be a competitive opening weekend in Seattle against a fellow nationally ranked team in Washington, but USD learned plenty about the competition as the host Huskies defeated the Toreros 3-1 on Aug. 24 and then 3-0 on Aug. 25.

USD won the opening set in Friday’s match, 25-21, but the Huskies found their rhythm and won the next three sets, 28-26, 25-21, 25-22 to secure the victory.

Roxie Wiblin and Lauren Fuller paced the Toreros with 14 kills apiece. Addie Picha had 10 kills to go along with a team-high six blocks. Kaity Edwards hit .429 on the night and finished with eight kills.

Fuller led USD in Saturday’s match, recording 14 kills, but the team hit at a .111 pace and was stifled by Washington’s defense in the Huskies' 25-15, 25-21, 25-16 sweep. Fuller had a strong night overall with 29 total attacks, a .345 hitting percentage and seven digs. Katie Lukes had six kills and three blocks and Picha contributed five kills and four blocks. Anna Newsome handled a majority of the distribution, contributing a team-high 23 assists. 

In the newest AVCA national poll released on Monday, Washington moved up from No. 17 to No. 13. USD feel from 14th to No. 19.

The Toreros look to bounce back against two more ranked teams. USD's home opener is against No. 12 Baylor on Saturday at 7 p.m. and then a Sunday showdown against No. 10 UCLA at 5 p.m.

Women’s Soccer

The second week of action brought two things for the women’s soccer team: Goals and a victory. That happened on Aug. 24 as the Toreros, starting a two-game Texas road trip, scored a pair of second-half goals and blanked Sam Houston State, 2-0, in Huntsville, Texas.

What also happened was that USD played another tough nonconference opponent, No. 9 Texas A&M, on Aug. 26, and the result was a 3-0 loss in College Station, Texas.

In the win over Sam Houston State, USD’s first goals of the regular season came from Maddie Marotta in the 48th minute and in the 87th minute by Milan Moses. Moses assisted on Marotta’s goal and Summer Mason assisted on Moses’ tally.

Sam Houston State’s best scoring opportunity came in the 20th minute, when it forced a penalty kick. Meredith Carlson took the shot but USD goalkeeper Amber Michel made a diving save to keep the Kats' off the scoreboard. Michel recorded six saves in the match.

Against Texas A&M, Michel did well to keep the Toreros (1-1-2) in the game, making five stops. After permitting an early goal in the sixth minute, she kept the Aggies off the board until they converted a penalty kick in the final five minutes of the match. Michel's best save came in the second half. In the 62nd minute, she turned away a shot with a diving save off her fingertips. The Aggies' did not score again until the 85th minute. Michel tried to stop the Aggies with a dive to the right side, but the ball was just out of reach. The Aggies scored their final goal in the 87th minute off a free kick from 30 yards out.

Offensively, Mason and Moses combined for six of the team’s 11 shots.

The Toreros play their regular-season home opener at 1 p.m., Friday, Aug. 31, against Utah Valley.

Football

It’s the start of a new season this Saturday and a new opportunity to see if Coach Dale Lindsey, his coaching staff and a healthy mix of returning and exciting new players have the recipe to repeat as Pioneer Football League champions and earn an FCS playoff berth.

The Toreros will open the 2018 season at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1 when they’ll host a nonconference foe, the Western New Mexico Mustangs. It’s a traditional early September opponent for USD, which has faced the Mustangs, who are based in Silver City, New Mexico, each year since 2011. USD has won all seven previous meetings.

Top returners, for the Toreros, who’ve won six of the last seven PFL titles, include redshirt senior quarterback Anthony Lawrence, last year’s PFL Offensive Player of the Year, who completed 245-of-347 passes (.665) for 3,131 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2017; 6-foot-8 redshirt senior offensive tackle Daniel Cooney; Redshirt Junior fullback Zach Nelson; Sophomore running back Emilio Martinez; Wide Receiver Michael Bandy; and on defense, redshirt senior defensive lineman Connor Spencer; redshirt senior defensive lineman Jake Wittwer; Junior safety Daniel Tolbert; and Sophomore linebacker Kama Kamaka.

Cross-Country

The USD men and women’s cross-country teams kick off their 2018 season this Saturday when they’ll travel to Orange County to participate in Cal State Fullerton’s Mark Covert Classic at Brea’s Carbon Canyon Regional Park. The men’s 8K race for only Division I runners, of which USD will compete in, takes place at 8:40 a.m. The women’s 5K for only Division I runners, including USD, starts at 9:15 a.m.

The Torero teams have a thin race schedule this fall. Following Saturday’s race, USD will compete at their “home course” when they host the USD Invitational at Mission Bay on Sept. 15.  The teams only have two additional meets, Sept. 29 at the Paul Short Invite in Bethlehem, Pa., and the Oct. 13 Highlander Invitational at UC Riverside, before the West Coast Conference Championships are run on Oct. 27 in Provo, Utah, hosted by BYU.

For More USD Athletics Information…

Keep up with all USD Athletics news, scores and information at its redesigned website and follow the Toreros on social media: FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

University of San Diego men's soccer defender Aaron Frey moves the ball. Frey was one of the standouts for the Toreros in a scoreless draw last Friday.University of San Diego men's soccer defender Aaron Frey moves the ball. Frey was one of the standouts for the Toreros in a scoreless draw last Friday.

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