Los Angeles Soccer: Ben Sperber
All-American Ethan Finlay scored a hat trick, and fourth-ranked Creighton overwhelmed No. 7 UC Irvine in a non-conference men's soccer showdown Saturday night in Omaha, Neb.
Finlay provided a fifth-minute lead, then added goals in the 62nd and 88th minutes, each time extending the Bluejays' lead to two goals. Jimmy Turner (Mission Viejo/Mission Viejo HS) headed home a Christopher Santana cross in the 63rd for the Anteaters (12-3-0).
“That's a very, very good opponent. They will do well this year,” Creighton coach Elmar Bolowich, whose team notched its second win over a top-10 foe in its past three games, told his school's athletics website. “That's a great win for us. I thought the first half was probably the best half I have seen us play this season."
Creighton (11-2-0) hadn't conceded a goal in its first five home games.
UCIrvine leads the Big West Conference with a 4-1 mark, one game ahead of Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly and UC Davis.
In other men's action:
- Matt Sheldon tallied three minutes into overtime, his second goal of the game, to give UC Davis a 2-1 Big West victory at Cal State Northridge (6-6-1). Edwin Rivas (Los Angeles/Santee Educational Complex) scored in the 79th minute for the Matadors.
- Ben Sperber (Palm Desert/Desert Christian HS) slotted home a loose ball in the 83rd minute as UC Riverside (6-5-2) rallied for a 1-1 Big West draw at Cal State Fullerton (6-5-2). Kevin Venegas (Lakewood/Los Alamitos HS) tallied for the Titans.
The fifth-ranked Anteaters and the Titans suffered their first defeats Sunday, dropping tight encounters on the East Coast.
Irvine (7-1-0) fell, 2-0, in a showdown with 12th-ranked South Florida, which got goals from Wesley Charpie in the 13th minute and Dom Dwyer in the 82nd.
Fullerton (5-1-1), which is ranked 24th by Soccer America, was beaten, 2-1, at George Mason on Taylor Morgan's penalty kick with about 20 minutes to go. Nick Posthuma (Pasadena/St. Francis HS) scored for the Fullerton in the 52nd minute, answering Julio Aronja's strike in the final minute of the second half.
In other men's action:
- Kelyn Rowe's spectacular shot from 30 yards -- off the left post, off the right post and in -- 88 seconds into overtime lifted UCLA (4-2-1) to a 1-0 victory at San Diego.
- Ben Sperber (Palm Desert/Desert Christian HS) provided an early lead, but UC Riverside (3-2-1) settled for a 1-1 draw with visiting San Jose State when Nick Cashmere tallied with 92 seconds left in regulation.
- Jason Swope scored twice in the final 10 minutes of regulation as Cal State L.A. (4-0-2), ranked 10th in NCAA Division II, rallied for a 2-2 California Collegiate Athletic Association draw with visiting Chico State.
- Cal State Dominguez Hills (3-2-1) closed a tough CCAA weekend as Cal State Stanislaus used a physical game plan -- committing 25 fouls to 11 for the Toros -- en route to a 1-0 victory. CSUDH was ranked 23rd in the NCAA Division II poll but lost, 5-0, Friday to Chico State.
- Cal Poly Pomona (4-2-0) topped visiting UC San Diego, 3-0, in a CCAA clash on goals by Boris Beta, Ian Trantow (Riverside/Arlington HS) and Jonathan Enns.
Nicole Hubbard scored a hat trick as Long Beach State broke out a deadly attack Sunday afternoon, routing St. Mary's, 6-0, at George Allen Field.
Hubbard (Lakewood/Mayfair HS) tallied in the 17th, 29th and 64th minutes for the 49ers (6-3-0), who also received big games from Shawna Gordon and Nadia Link.