SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of San Diego men's soccer team captured the 2012 West Coast Conference championship with a 2-0 victory over Saint Mary's on Friday night from Torero Stadium. USD won their first conference championship since 2009 with the help of goals from Dan Delgado and Torrey DeArmas.
"It was a hard-fought game," said USD head coach Seamus McFadden, who added his seventh WCC title in his 34 year tenure. "We've been resilient all year and we found a way to pull it out. It was a fiercely contested game in the second half. I was happy to see that second goal go in. You know, we worked hard for this and I think at the end of the day we deserve it."
USD earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Coming into the day, USD held a two-point edge over second-place Santa Clara in the West Coast Conference standings. A scoreless tie between Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount earlier in the day opened the door for the Toreros to clinch with a win over the Gaels.
The Toreros were picked to win the WCC in the annual preseason coach's poll back in August, but opened up the season with a 2-5 non-conference record. After dropping the WCC opener at Santa Clara 2-0 on Sept. 28, USD reeled off eight consecutive conference victories to position themselves for the championship.
And they didn't waste any time taking advantage of the opportunity as Delgado got USD (11-7-0, 9-2-0 WCC) on the board in the 27th minute with what would end up being the game-winner. Delgado connected on a one-timer off a through ball from Conor McFadden to give the Toreros the early edge.
The Toreros mostly controlled the action in the first half by outshooting Saint Mary's (9-4-5, 5-3-3 WCC) 7-2, but the Gaels came out in the second half much more aggressive. SMC nearly evened it up in the 73rd minute when Tariq Adam had an open look in front of the goal but USD keeper Drew Ilijevski made the stop to keep SMC off the board.
USD added an insurance goal in the 84th minute when DeArmas fired away from 20 yards straight out and past SMC keeper Lucas Champenois for his second goal of the season, putting the Toreros up 2-0.
The Toreros ended up outshooting SMC 11-5 on the night and held an 8-5 edge in corner kicks. Ilijevski (9-2-0) took the win while recording a pair of saves. Champenois was saddled with the loss while tallying three saves.
With the win, the Toreros earn the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. USD will be awaiting the NCAA men's soccer selection show, which is slated for Monday, Nov. 12 at 2:30 pm PT.
Before they learn their NCAA Tournament fate, however, USD and Santa Clara will play on Sunday in the regular season finale at 2pm from Torero Stadium.
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