SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- After a sluggish first half, the Toreros (5-4-3, 2-0-0) rallied to score two second half goals to beat Saint Mary's 2-1 in front of a raucous crowd at Torero Stadium Friday evening. The Toreros are now 2-0-0 in conference play and 9-0-2 in their last 11 WCC home matches.
This is the second straight conference match where the Toreros overcame a 1-0 halftime deficit to win 2-1. The outshot the Gaels 12-9, with a 10-3 advantage in the second half.
"We were just a different team in the second half," Head Coach Seamus McFadden said after the match. "They were getting more players around the ball than we were so we moved some people around and tried to shore up our midfield and get an extra body in there and that helped us."
The Gaels took the lead in the 8th minute when they caught a break by scoring on an own goal off a Stephen Dougherty corner kick. Patrick Krall tried to clear the ball at the near post, but slipped and the ball flew backwards. Thomas Olsen batted it away, but he was behind the end line.
The Toreros' best first half opportunity came in the 24th minute when Michael Turner took a shot from 20 yards out that nearly snuck in the far post, but the Gaels' Remi Prieur made a spectacular diving save to his left.
After being outshot 6-2 in the first half, the Toreros had five shots to SMC's zero in the first eight minutes of the second frame. In the 51st minute, the Toreros tied the match up with some beautiful passing. Patrick McGrath dribbled down the left side line and sent a cross in from the corner to Miguel Berry, who chested the ball to the middle of the box. Prieuer charged but Djordje Babic beat him to the ball and tapped it in.
In the 64th minute, USD forced an own goal. Allen Luhrs sent a cross in from the left corner and Alex Braman tried to intercept the cross before Miguel Berry could receive it, but knocked it past his keeper. The Toreros had two more opportunities right after taking the lead with nice shots by Turner and McGrath, but good goalkeeping kept the score at 2-1 USD.
Turner continued his excellent senior campaign. Even though he didn't end up with a point, his performance didn't go unnoticed.
"Michael Turner was brilliant. he was exceptional tonight," McFadden said.
The Gaels had three consecutive corner kicks in the 87th minute, but none of them posed a serious threat.
Thomas Olsen (4-3-3) picked up the win while collecting three saves.
The Toreros return to the pitch on Sunday when they host Pacific at 2:00 p.m. The Tigers won at LMU 2-1 in extra time Friday evening.
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