Second Half Start Lifts Simon Fraser Past USF
Simon Fraser moves to 6-1 (2-1, GNAC) and USF falls to 0-6 (0-3, GNAC).
The Cougars showed the home crowd they were more than capable of competing against some of the top talent in the nation. Through 45 minutes, the game was nearly played even. Both teams missed on a couple of opportunities they would probably like to have had back, but the game was 0-0 at the break.
Much of USF's first half success was attributed to their defensive spacing. The Clan outshot the Cougars, 13-3, but just three were on target.
However the second half was a much different story. Consecutive defensive breakdowns gave rise to a quick SFU 2-0 lead. John Hodnett (45:26) received a cross from Carlo Basso, while Alex Rowley (46:01) posted his goal unassisted.
Three minutes later Basso (49:27) was on the receiving end for a shot in left net. His goal made it SFU, 3-0. Jovan Blagojevic was credited with the assist.
Just when the game seemed to grow out of reach, USF responded. Paul Balderramos attacked the Clan defensive to setup Dean (57:20) for a one-timer from about 8 yards out. With more than a half-hour to play, the Cougars had life.
That too would pass. Basso and Hodnett struck again. The duo nearly reenacted Hodnett's first goal, as Basso crossed it to his teammate for a second time to give SFU a 4-1 advantage. The Clan would add a final goal on Justin Wallace's penalty kick in the 74th minute.
SFU clearly turned it up a notch in the second half, where they doubled their shots on goal. The Clan finished with a 13-2 advantage over the Cougars in attempts on net.
Despite five goals, Kyle Simons played well in net for the Cougars. He was credited with nine saves.
The Cougars play game two of their home stretch Saturday, September 22. They host another conference foe in Western Washington University at 7 p.m.