SPOKANE, WA––(GoZags.com) In slow conditions Nick Ulowetz was a step ahead all night, as he recorded his first career hat trick with three unanswered goals to down San Diego 3-2 at Luger Field on Friday night. For Gonzaga they improved to 8-6-1 and 2-2 in the WCC, and came back from a two-goal deficit for the first time since 2010, a match also against San Diego and in Spokane.
(Cover photo: Nick Ulowetz, 2014, by Wilson Tsoi)
He is the first Zag to record the hat trick since current Seattle Sounder Zach Scott scored three against Loyola Marymount in 2001 in Spokane. He is only the fifth Bulldog to do it in the last 15 years.
On Friday the Toreros put GU down 2-0 in the first 21 minutes with an own goal off a corner kick at 20:32 and a through ball and shot that beat the Zag keeper one-on-one for the early lead.
Ulowetz got his first at 30:33 when Jakob Granlund set him up perfectly in front of the net for a header into the lower right slot. He was able to tie the match in the second half at 51:57 as Granlund was tearing down the right side and slipped a perfect cross to setup Ulowetz once again. Then, one minute into the first overtime frame, Ben White sent a looping pass near the net that USD was unable to control. Ulowetz quickly snagged the loose ball and found the back of the net on the right side for the game-winner and his fourth of the year. He jumped to the team lead with Christo Michaelson in goals in a single match and five goals in his career.
West Coast Conference Men’s Soccer
“We showed great resilience after allowing that second goal, we have given up back-to-back goals recently and fallen apart, but we were resilient tonight,” Zags head coach Einar Thorarinsson said. “We have been talking all week about how to keep fighting, and it paid off. We took the momentum from our first goal and kept going from there.”
The Zags outshot USD 12-6 and 7-5 in shots on goal, and really found their groove after allowing the second goal to the Toreros. Ben Willis locked down for the remainder and made three saves for GU. Ulowetz led the team with five shots but Jake Kempf added two good looks as well. The Zags best chance to end it before OT came at 71:33 when Ulowetz found a header in the box but USD keeper Thomas Olsen made a great save to preserve the tie.
The Zags will continue the home stand this weekend as they welcome Loyola Marymount on Sunday at 1 pm. Live stats and video are available at gozags.com.