Men's soccer notches second-straight win, defeats UC San Diego 2-0

Gonzaga senior forward Demetrius Kigeya, center, assisted Devin Slingsby's goal in the 31st minute of the Zags' 2-0 win on Sunday.  

It was a rainy and cloudy evening for soccer at Luger Field in Spokane, Washington, where the Gonzaga University Bulldogs (3-5) men’s soccer team defeated the UC San Diego Tritons (4-2-2) by a score of 2-0. The win was the Zags' third of the season and third consecutive home victory.

The first 10 minutes started slowly in terms of pace for both GU and the Tritons as both teams were playing great defense but struggling on offense. It also didn’t help that the field was slick due to the rain as it made it harder for both teams’ players to dribble and pass. 

But there were a couple of times in the first 30 minutes where GU had some good looks at the goal line. At the 25-minute mark, GU senior forward Demetrius Kigeya shot from the top of the box and tried to hit the corner of the goal but instead hit the bar. 

But despite the ball pressure from UCSD, the Zags were able to score on a fast break as Kigeya made a pass to junior midfielder Devin Slingsby who was able to score a goal at the top right post. This was Slingsby’s first goal of the season and the first of his collegiate career. The play seemed initially designed for Kigeya to score but Kigeya improvised and decided to pass it to Slingsby. 

“It worked out,” said Kigeya. “It was just kind of an accident to be honest but I’m glad it worked out and that he (Slingsby) was able to get his first goal.”

The Zags would remain on the attack and continued to pester the San Diego defense. And though they were only able to get two shots after that first goal, they would continue to control the ball and be aggressive on offense.

At the half, the score was 1-0 favoring Gonzaga. GU shot five times compared to San Diego’s two. The Zags also had six saves while UCSD had four. 

The start of the second period was better in terms of weather as the light rain started to dissipate and allow both teams to run their offense properly. 

GU had two more shots to extend the lead as sophomore forward Logan Dorsey had a clear shot on the left side of the goalkeeper box but was blocked. He was able to recover the shot again but again the Tritons held on and blocked his shot. 

But the team’s aggression was not lost despite the Tritons' defense. 

“At halftime, we weren't looking to hold on with the lead that we had which was 1-0,” said Head Coach Aaron Lewis. “We were trying to go out there and see if we could really kill this game.” 

And the Zags did just that as they extended their lead at the 67-minute mark as freshman forward Victor Gadea was able to score around the goalkeeper by shooting with his left foot and hitting the bottom right of the goal. This was Gadea’s first goal of the season and of his collegiate career as well. 

The score was now 2-0 in favor of the Zags and it seemed to be the nail in the coffin for the Tritons. 

GU was able to finish the rest of the game with relative ease as they only allowed San Diego to get one shot off in the second period. The Zags were also constantly playing defense and hustling despite their comfortable lead. 

“It was a really professional win,” said Coach Lewis. “It was very sound toward the end of the game.”  

The Zags' next game will take place at home against Utah Tech on Friday, Sep. 23 at 7 p.m. 

Daniel Fortin is a copy editor. Follow him on Twitter: @Daniel_Fortin_.