The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
SEATTLE – Junior forward Blaine Carver scored on a short shot near the right post during the third minute of overtime Friday, lifting fifth-ranked Seattle Pacific to a 1-0 men’s soccer victory over Dixie State in the home opener at Interbay Stadium.
The golden goal for Carver (Soldotna, Ak.) salvaged a frustrating night for the Falcons who dominated the shot count by a 16-4 margin, but could not find the back of the net during regulation time.
“We had some great opportunities in regulation to score goals, but they just weren’t quite there,” said SPU coach Mark Collings. “We were creating better chances late in the game and just needed more of that and one would eventually go.”
In overtime, senior Christopher Morris (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island) dribbled into the left side of the box and directed a diagonal pass toward the right post. Carver raced to the ball and snuck a seven-yard shot past diving Dixie goalkeeper Tyler Walters at 92:21.
“It would have been nice to do that about 85 minutes earlier,” Collings joked. “It was a good little passing sequence, some great movement off the ball and a great finish by Blaine who’s on a nice little run.”
The goal was Carver’s team-leading third of the season and his second game-winning strike.
“Chris Morris had the ball on the left side,” Carver described. “He slipped in a great ball. I was able to beat the keeper to it and just slip it into the left side of the net.”
The Falcons improved to 3-0, setting up Monday’s clash of undefeated and ranked NCAA Division II teams. They host No. 19 Grand Canyon in a 7 p.m. game at Interbay Stadium.
GCU also won it’s opening three games, including a 3-2 home triumph on Saturday against top-ranked Fort Lewis (Colo.)
Collings knows his Falcons will be in for a fierce battle.
“Grand Canyon is very, very good. They are always in the playoff hunt in the region and they’re off to a great start. Hopefully we can take momentum from tonight’s overtime and bring it into the Grand Canyon game.”
Morris had SPU’s best scoring opportunity in regulation Friday. During an 84th-minute scramble in the Dixie goalmouth, he fired a shot from the edge of the six-yard box that was blocked by a defender.
Walters registered four saves for the Red Storm (1-2) to keep the Falcons offense at bay. Two of his saves came in the first half against long, low drives by freshman Danny Olivas (Phoenix, Ariz.).
Senior SPU goalkeeper Zach Johnson (Snohomish, Wash./Snohomish) was not credited with a save, but he did make a play with 20 minutes left in the second half that prevented a dangerous DSCbreakaway. A Falcons defender slipped, enabling Dixie’s Tyler Albretsen to get free in pursuit of a through ball. Johnson raced out of the box and cleared the ball away with a sliding kick 25 yards away from his goal.
NCAA MEN’S SOCCER
Friday, September 7, 2012
Interbay Stadium/Seattle, Wash.
at #5 Seattle Pacific 1, Dixie State 0 (ot)
Scoring – 1, SPU, Blaine Carver (Christopher Morris), 92:21.
Shots – DSC 4, SPU 16.
Saves – DSC 4 (Tyler Walters), SPU 0 (Zach Johnson).
Corner kicks – DSC 3, SPU 5.
Fouls – DSC 13, SPU 16.
Offsides – DSC 0, SPU 3.
Ejections – None.
Seattle Pacific 3-0-0
Dixie State 1-2-0
(#19) Grand Canyon at (#5) Seattle Pacific
Monday, Sept. 10, 7 p.m., Interbay Stadium