Facundo Dipasquale scored a hat trick including the game winning goal in added time to lead the Sounders U23s to a 3:2 win over the Gonzaga Bulldogs in an exhibition game at Sunset Stadium in Sumner on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
by Brandon Sparks, for goalWA.net
Dipasquale, the reigning NAIA Division II Cascade Collegiate Conference player of the year for Concordia University, evened the game at one a piece in the ninth minute thanks to a back heel pass by Darwin Jones. Minutes earlier, the Zags opened the scoring on a goal by redshirt sophomore James Matern in the fifth minute off of a deflection by Sounders keeper Ben Dragavon.
Both teams settled down after the two early goals with only a handful of scoring chances the rest of the half. Sounders winger Mo Travis’ shot in the 33rd minute beat a scrambling keeper but Gonzaga defender Taylor Jackson was in the right spot and cleared the ball off of the goal line and the two teams went to the locker room knotted at 1:1.
The second half started the same but with both teams substituting liberally late, the game finally opened up in the 77th minute when Cam Vickers struck a shot out of the air with only the Zags keeper in front of him. The ball was just barely pushed off target and from there both teams went on the attack. Dipasquale broke the tie in the 81st minute on a scorcher that the Zags keeper had no chance to save.
See two photos below of Dipasquale at Sunday’s match, courtesy of www.SoundersU23.com.
A minute after the Sounders’ Esteban Reyes had a barrage of shots saved, the referee awarded the Zags a penalty kick on a contested jump ball in the box. Freshman Nate Pacheco buried the shot into the top corner to tie the game at two with just six minutes left in regulation time.
But in the third minute of added time, Dipasquale fielded a deflected cross and took a shot through traffic that found the net and sent the Sounders U23s to the first win in franchise history.
The Sounders won despite most of the collegiate players on their roster not being present for the exhibition game. The lineup was filled with trialists from the recent tryouts and fill-in players including Dragavon, the team’s goalkeeper coach, and the recently retired Sounders FC defender Taylor Graham.