The fickle soccer gods can’t seem to decide if they are friends or foes to the Bulldogs.
In less than 48 hours, Gonzaga managed to go from pure elation in an overtime win against San Diego Friday, to dejection after a 1-0 overtime loss to Loyola Marymount on Sunday afternoon.
Friday’s game ended with a midfield celebration and chants of Nick Ulowetz’s name after the redshirt junior recorded a hat trick, and knocked in the winning goal just 1 minute and 30 seconds into overtime.
Sunday saw a different ending to a similar story as LMU scored on a broken play after a questionable foul call to get the victory.
GU had plenty of scoring opportunities, but failed to find the back of the net on 14 shots.
Senior Alec Johnson had some of the best looks recording six shots, and putting three on goal.
“I think the field had a little to do with it,” head coach Einar Thorarinsson said about the muddy conditions. “Alec had three shots there in the second half that he should have had on frame because he is a good shooter. But what happens is the ball kind of dies in this wet grass and the approach to it has to be different.”
The chances were there for both teams—LMU had 10 shots—but Adrien Perez recorded the game’s lone goal.
“Overtime is cruel,” Thorarinsson said. “It can be the happiest of moments, and the most cruel. The ups are so high and the downs make you so down.”
The up-and-down nature of the weekend is a fair summary of the Zags’ season. They’ve had some of the highest of highs: cracking the top-25 for the first time since 2007, starting the season 5-0-1, their best start in 36 years and knocking off two ranked teams in No. 16 Seattle on Sept. 4 and No. 20 American on Sept. 9.
But the low points have been there too: Since their historic start, the Zags have lost seven of their last 10 games, with a particular low point coming in their 5-1 home loss against Portland.
With the loss to LMU, GU now sits at 8-7-1 overall and 2-3 in conference, and begins a fight to find consistency.
“When you lose in overtime, you have to keep focus on the next game, and try to keep our place in the standings,” Thorarinsson said.
Now GU hopes to bounce back on the road against Saint Mary’s, on Nov. 6.
“The morale around this team is strong,” Thorarinsson said. The guys are really strong. They are resilient … They will come back next week and train hard and get ready for the next game.”