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Freshman Gerardo Mendoza became the team's scoring leader with today's game-winner.
Freshman Gerardo Mendoza became the team's scoring leader with today's game-winner.
MSOC | Mendoza Chips Gaels To Pacific Northwest Sweep
Release: Saturday 10/14/2012 
by SMC Athletics

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Freshman Gerardo Mendoza successfully chipped Portland's goalkeeper in the 97th minute to give the Saint Mary's men's soccer team a dramatic 1-0 overtime victory at Merlo Field.

Combined with its 2-0 win at Gonzaga on Friday, the win gave Saint Mary's a sweep of its Pacific Northwest WCC rivals for the first time since 2005 and moved the Gaels to 7-3-3 on the season and 3-2-1 in West Coast Conference play.  Portland fell to 5-7-1 overall and 3-3-0 in the WCC.

Saint Mary's returns to action on October 26 with a home match against Gonzaga.  Advance tickets are on sale through the tickets link on SMCGaels.com or by calling the SMC Athletic Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx (4689).

According to a report on Portland's official athletic website, Mendoza's goal came in dramatic fashion as he was able to chip a shot over a hard-charging Pilot keeper Justin Baarts. The UP junior was drawn off his line by a long ball sent over the top from SMC's Bobby Connor, and Mendoza just did beat him to the ball as the two collided after the shot from 20 yards out.

Over the first 45 minutes, Portland enjoyed an 8-2 lead in shots and attempted seven corner kicks, compared to the Gaels' one.  However, the Gaels turned the tables in the second half and the Pilots finished the match with a slim 14-12 margin in shots and 12-7 in corners.

Sophomore goalkeeper Andre Rawls registered his third clean sheet in the last four matches.  The San Ramon, Calif. native has a WCC-leading seven shutouts and is the league leader in goals against average.  He registered four saves, including a diving save on a header from UP's Keith Grubisich in the 89th minute.

Mendoza's goal was his fourth of the season and the San Pablo, Calif. native became the team's leader in both goals and points.  He also has a team-high three game-winning goals this season.