Boys Soccer: Dowd’s strike the difference in University’s win over International

University sophomore Adam Dolinsky (right) ducks past a International defender on Wednesday at the Crocker Amazon Soccer Fields. (Photo by Clarivel Fong)

By Matthew Snyder

With time winding down and the score between the University High School and International boys soccer teams knotted in a scoreless tie, freshman midfielder Patrick Dowd came through in the 71st minute to score the game-winning goal in a the Red Devils’ 1-0 Bay Counties League West victory on Wednesday at the Crocker Amazon Soccer Fields.

“It was my first league goal for University, so it was really exciting,” said Dowd, who substituted into the game just three minutes before the goal. “I had a bunch of adrenaline. I didn’t even know it went in. I just tried to get to the ball first. It came off my head – I think it came off my head – I’m not quite sure.”

Whichever way he scored – with his head, chest or thigh – the goal, off a corner kick by Diego Lopes, proved to be the decisive blow.

“[Dowd] will remember that goal forever,” said University head coach Deejae Johnson. “It was a great goal at a really important time. Congratulations to him.”

University freshman Patrick Dowd scored the only goal against International on Wednesday at the Crocker Amazon Soccer Fields. (Photo by Clarivel Fong)

University (12-4-2, 4-2-0) notched their seventh win in a row at the expense of the injury-depleted Jaguars (6-4-6, 4-2-2). After jumping out to a 4-0 start to league play, International, which only had three substitutes available on Wednesday, has slipped in their past four games.

“I thought that tactically, we came into the game really good,” said International head coach Carlos Bover. “I thought we stopped [University] in the key points and it’s a good sign that they were only able to score on a set piece. That’s a really good sign. We knew University was a very, very strong team, and they played well and took advantage of their height. I told the guys, ‘If you keep conceding corners, they’re gonna score,’ and we gave them five [in the second half].”

In addition to the ample amount of corner kicks in both halves, University tallied 15 shots (10 on target) to the Jaguars’ six (four on target).

With Wednesday’s game sandwiched between University’s impressive 1-0 non-league win over Branson on Monday and a Friday-night showdown against first-place Marin Academy, Johnson worried that his side might fall into a trap against International.

“Sometimes you look ahead,” Johnson said. “They’ve got a big game on Friday, but I told them that this was the most important game of the week. This is more important even than Monday. This is the one game they had to have and they needed a good half of soccer, and I thought we got it.”

University dominated possession for much of the half, but failed to make it count.

University forward Sam Reyes nearly assisted fellow junior Alex Warren on a goal in the 22nd minute, but Warren fired his shot into the side netting.

Then, International defender Jose Garduno almost made University pay seconds before halftime, when his free kick from midfield took a heavy deflection that nearly fooled goalkeeper Jack Wilson, who had to shift his weight to save the shot. It almost evoked a bitter memory for the Red Devils, who saw the Jaguars score in similar fashion in the teams’ first meeting this season – a 1-0 International victory on Sept. 21.

“The only difference [with the last game] was that they got a deflection goal in the first half,” Johnson said. “They had their deflection, and I said to my assistant, ‘Oh no, here we go again.’”

After a nervy end to the first half, Lopes helped pick up the slack early in the second. The midfielder sent in a barrage of excellent crossing passes from free kicks and corner kicks (and added a superb long-range shot) that put International’s defense under siege.

International goalkeeper Gabriel Landaverde was equal to everything the Red Devils threw at him, showcasing a series of dazzling saves to keep the game scoreless until Dowd broke through.

“[Landaverde] has been a great surprise for us this year, a great surprise,” Bover said. “You can see that he’s lacking height, but he’s been amazing.”

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12 Comments

  1. tenor1 says:

    uni has the cuttiest underclassmen soccer stars. shout out to the homies josh and adam sorry for harrassing you guys at the lick game

  2. martin says:

    I strongly feel that it is unfair how university high school has two BCL West articles in a row, whereas a school like Lick-Wilmerding has had only one in the past month!

    • jbalan says:

      Lick is 2-5 in league play. We’re not going to cover them against an out-of-SF team that they figured to be blown out by, over two City teams that are ahead of them in the standings. Also, if Lick were to schedule more games on Monday, our lightest day, it would get more coverage. University has had four Monday games this season.

  3. GH says:

    San Fran Preps writes articles on significant games. Since UHS is second and is battling for the second spot along with international and Urban, while Lick is not. It’s natural for there to be more articles on them.

  4. martin says:

    I appreciate the quick answer and was unaware of the light Mondays. If Lick-Wilmerding wins its next three games, they’ll see university in the semi-finals.

  5. martin says:

    And you’re incorrect, urban is not near second, they’ll likely receive a 5th place spot in front of stuart hall.

  6. bcl west says:

    So is there not going to be all league for the bcl west this year?

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