Athletics Roundup: Football wins PFL Opener; Volleyball, M&W Soccer

Athletics Roundup: Football wins PFL Opener; Volleyball, M&W Soccer

The University of San Diego football team used a stout second-half defense to back up a first half filled with big plays to win its PFL season opener, which USD bills as the Brian Fogarty Classic, 31-7, over Marist in the Oct. 5 Homecoming and Family Weekend game at Torero Stadium.

The Toreros (2-2, 1-0 PFL), who extended their conference winning streak to a Division I-leading 30 games, held Marist (1-4, 1-2 PFL) to 245 yards — the fewest surrendered in a game since 2017 — and had four interceptions in the second half. The offense, meanwhile, scored three touchdowns in the first half, including two on 40+ yard passes.

Cassius Johnson had two of the four USD interceptions, the most by a Torero since Daniel Tolbert had two in November 2017 also against Marist. Daniel added one of his own on Saturday while his twin brother David Tolbert also grabbed one, a pick-six in the fourth that capped the Toreros' scoring. Johnson, on Sunday, was named the PFL’s Defensive Player of the Week.

The four interceptions were the most in a game for the Toreros since 2016.
Reid Sinnett threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns on 19-of-29 passing to pilot the USD offense that finished with 453 yards. The redshirt senior was 11-of-14 with 219 yards and all three touchdowns through the first half.

Sinnett completed a pass to eight different receivers, seven of which had multiple catches. Michael Armstead led the way with a season-high four receptions while Alex Spadone, who caught the first two touchdown passes for 40 and 49 yards, finished with a personal-best 110 yards on three catches. 

Football Schedule: Pioneer Football League — USD at Davidson (N.C.), Saturday, 10 a.m. (Pacific time).

Men’s Soccer

The men's soccer team, ranked 25th in the nation, scored three first-half goals, quite an outburst for the program, en route to securing a 4-1 road win against No. 23 West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va. on Oct. 4.

The Toreros (8-1-1) were dominant in the game as four different players scored. Jimmy Ryan scored first in the 17th minute, Freddy Polzer and Alex Churness each tallied in the 33rd minute — 16 seconds apart — and Miguel Berry's team-leading eighth came with just under a minute left in the game.

The three first-half goals were scored among USD's first four shots. The three-goal outburst was USD's first since November 2014 and it was USD's first four-goal game since September 2016. The Toreros' start to the 2019 season is the program's best since 2002 when they started 9-1 in their first 10 games.

Defensive, USD was just as sound as its offense was potent. The backline allowed a Mountaineers' season-low three shots, two of which were on goal. West Virginia avoided the shutout with a goal off a header in the 80th minute.

The Toreros are now 4-0 in road games, but the team will now prepare for the start of West Coast Conference play this Saturday at home against University of San Francisco on USD soccer alumni night.

Men’s Soccer Schedule: WCC Opener — USD hosts San Francisco, Saturday, 7 p.m., Torero Stadium.


A rugged second week of West Coast Conference play proved that the women's volleyball team is ready for anything.

The Toreros played three matches last week — one at home and two more on the road — but all were victories, beginning with Pepperdine (21-25, 25-19, 26-24, 25-27, 15-13) Oct. 1 in the Jenny Craig Pavilion, and road wins against Saint Mary's (25-20, 25-16, 25-14) on Oct. 3 and Pacific (25-17, 25-27, 26-24, 25-16) on Oct. 5.

The varied way in which USD won as it improved its record to 12-4 overall and 5-0 in WCC and is now riding a 10-match win streak dating back to Sept. 14 was reflected by the play of many.

Four players had a career night in the five-set win over Pepperdine. Thana Fayad had career-highs in kills with 20, 19 digs, 24.0 points and tied her career best with three aces. She had two blocks and hit at a .259 clip. Anna Newsome had a double-double with a career-best 58 assists and 15 digs, along with three kills and two blocks. Libero Annie Benbow had a career-high 19 digs. USD's 10 team blocks were led by Lauren Turner's career-best six.

On a night in which the Toreros, behind Fayad's 12 kills and 11 by Roxie Wiblin, swept Saint Mary's in Moraga, Calif., the triumph gave USD Head Coach Jennifer Petrie career victory No. 400. Petrie, who took over the program in 1999, has guided the team to 19 NCAA Tournament appearances in 21 years, is a five-time WCC Coach of the Year and, including the Oct. 5 win over Pacific, now has a 401-148 career record.

In that four-set match win over Pacific in Stockton, Calif., three players reached double-digit kill totals. Megan Jacobsen had 14 kills, Turner notching a career-high 11 kills and Grace Frohling having 10 kills and four blocks.

Volleyball Schedule: WCC Matches — USD hosts Santa Clara, Thursday, 7 p.m., Jenny Craig Pavilion; USD hosts San Francisco, Saturday, noon, JCP. 

Women's Soccer

The women's soccer team had a tough entrance into the West Coast Conference portion of their season schedule, opening on the road Oct. 5 against Gonzaga in Spokane, Wash.

A solid first half for USD with offensive chances and key saves early, gave way to Gonzaga scoring five goals in the second half in a 6-0 Torero loss. Gonzaga scored in the 21st, 50th, 52, 59th, 67th and 87th minute. Samantha Heilman scored three of Gonzaga's goals.

Goalkeeper Amber Michel made eight saves on 14 shots on goal (23 shots overall), while Milan Moses had four shots (two on goal) of USD's eight total shots (four on goal).

The Toreros, who had not played since Sept. 22 at Utah, will now play two WCC games this week, at home Wednesday against Saint Mary's and at Santa Clara on Saturday. USD's record is now 4-5-1 (0-1 WCC). 

Women’s Soccer Schedule: WCC Matches — USD hosts Saint Mary’s, Wednesday, 7 p.m., Torero Stadium; USD at Santa Clara, Saturday, 1 p.m., Moraga, Calif.

Men’s Basketball

The annual Sixth Man Night event hosted by and in support of the USD men’s basketball program will take place on Friday, Nov. 1 at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice.

Fran Fraschilla, longtime ESPN college basketball analyst and former coach, will headline this special event, which comes just days before the USD men’s basketball season-opening game on Nov. 5 against UC Irvine.

The Sixth Man Night fundraiser starts at 5:30 p.m. with a reception at the Kroc IPJ’s Garden of the Sea. This is an opportunity for Torero basketball supporters to meet the 2019-20 team and participate in a fireside Q&A with Fraschilla and USD head coach Sam Scholl. The Q&A and program will be hosted by the Voice of the Toreros, Jack Cronin, at 7 p.m.

In addition to insight on the Toreros and the world of college basketball, attendees will can take part in a live and silent auction inclusive of exclusive trips with the team, VIP access on gameday and autographed memorabilia to help support the San Diego men's basketball program.

All event registrations include a ticket to the USD vs. San Diego State game on Wednesday Nov. 20 in the Jenny Craig Pavilion. Registration starts at $75 for young alumni (2009-19) while general admission is $175. To buy tickets, please visit or call (619) 260-5917.

USD Athletics

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

Defensive players celebrate as they come off the Torero Stadium field with one of the four interceptions USD had in a 31-7 Homecoming victory over Marist on Oct. 5.Defensive players celebrate as they come off the Torero Stadium field with one of the four interceptions USD had in a 31-7 Homecoming victory over Marist on Oct. 5.

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