Goalkeepers from Hawai'i saved best for critical match
By Dennis Anderson
Advertiser Staff Writer
Gonzaga's Mike McCarthy, a 1999 Kalaheo High graduate, made 12 saves, including a penalty kick and two corner kicks loose in the box.
At either end of the field, carrying the ultimate responsibility for his team's defense, is a goalkeeper from Hawai'i.
That was the scenario Sunday in Los Angeles when Loyola Marymount hosted Gonzaga of Spokane, Wash.
The duel fulfilled every expectation.
"It was a keepers' showcase today," said junior goalkeeper Adam Sthay of Loyola Marymount, a 1999 Punahou graduate from 'Aina Haina.
"Gonzaga was kept in the game by an unbelievable performance from its goalkeeper, senior Mike McCarthy" (Kalaheo '99), Marysol Cayado wrote on the Loyola Marymount Web site.
McCarthy, under siege throughout the game as the Lions got off a season-high 30 shots, made 12 saves including a penalty kick and two corner kicks loose in the box before finally surrendering a header off a corner kick with less than four minutes to play.
Gonzaga got only seven shots against the defense Sthay directed, but he stopped two breakaways that could have turned the game.
Loyola Marymount won 1-0, propelling the 19th-ranked Lions into a tie for first place in the West Coast Conference with Portland, each with one game remaining and 4-1 records. Gonzaga fell to 2-2-1 and out of post-season consideration.
"Both of us came up with great saves to keep our teams in contention," Sthay said.
Sthay's best, both keepers agreed, was on a late second-half breakaway.
"(Connor Quinn) got the ball 22 yards on the left-hand side," Sthay said. "I came out to take away the angle and met him about 15 yards out. I got down low in my one-on-one stance.
"He tried to dribble around me to my left and I dove and smothered it."
McCarthy's critique: "Our guy should have shot. Adam stuffed him."
Timing is everything when a keeper charges out of the box to challenge a potential shooter, Sthay said. "When he looks down at the ball, you come out. Before he knows it, you're in his face. He has to make an instant decision to shoot, dribble, or let me have it."
"It was the busiest I've ever been, and one of the best games I've played," McCarthy said.
He stopped four shots by LMU gunner Arturo Torres. On the last one, McCarthy said, "Torres was 18 yards out, in the middle, and made a great shot to the left corner very hard and four feet off the ground.
"I laid out and barely got my whole hand on it and knocked it away."
The penalty kick save was simply a good guess, he said. The pressure "is harder for the shooter. I'm not expected to stop it," McCarthy said. "I had a feeling he was going to my right, and he did. I knocked it away."
On Loyola Marymount's goal, McCarthy said: "there were about 20 guys in the little box. The corner kick was to the near post. There was too much traffic to catch it their whole team was in the box so I punched it away."
The carom was crossed to Matt Kovar at the back post and he headed in the only goal at 86:37.
Gonzaga coach Einar Thorarinsson was not surprised by McCarthy's performance. "He did not play beyond himself. (What he did) is what he can do," Thorarinsson said.
QUICK KICKS: Mike McCarthy leads the West Coast Conference in saves with 6.21 per game and Adam Sthay leads in least goals allowed with 0.64 per game and in shutouts with five, one short of the school season record. The Lions play at Santa Clara Saturday night and Gonzaga plays at co-leader Portland Sunday afternoon. ... College Cup bids will be awarded Monday. ... McCarthy, Sthay, Creighton goalkeeper Andrew Brown and other collegiate players like BYU's Charlene Lui, SMU's Duke Hashimoto, plus Andrea Alfiler of the Philadelphia Charge and other pros, are expected to participate in the Pro-Extreme Holiday Soccer Camp for boys and girls ages 6-14 at Wai'alae Iki Park Dec. 26-29. For information, see www.hscbulls.com or telephone 377-2359.
MORE MEN'S SOCCER
Senior Ryan Stanley (Kaiser '98) was chosen first-team goalkeeper on the All-Northwest Conference team, selected by coaches.
Stanley allowed 1.36 goals per game, made 82 saves and had five shutouts in 18 starts for a team that went 8-11-1.
He was a second-team all-conference selection the last two years and finished his career with a 1.34 goals-against average, 345 saves and 18 shutouts in 81 games.
Stanley set Pacific's single-season record of 122 saves last season.
He was the iron man of Boxer soccer, playing every minute of every game from Oct. 18, 2000, to halftime of Pacific's game against Walla Walla on Sept. 18, 2002 2,311 consecutive minutes in 24 games.
He also played in a stretch of 54 consecutive matches that ended Oct. 27, when he sat out with a mild concussion suffered the day before against conference champion Puget Sound.
The disappointment of a season-ending broken collarbone on Nov. 2 was assuaged a little for junior Kurt Kagawa five days later when he was selected on the Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-District team, and again Sunday when he received honorable mention on the All-Northwest Conference team.
Kagawa, a 2000 Mililani High graduate and political studies major, has a 3.793 grade-point average. He had started all 18 games at attacking midfielder or forward and had 3 goals, 2 assists and 8 points out of 14 shots on goal. Whitworth finished third in the Northwest Conference.
"He is the most dangerous dribbler in the league," Whitworth coach Sean Bushey said. "He causes a lot of grief for other teams and is very difficult to strip."
Junior goalkeeper Adam Brown (Mililani '00) will apply for a medical redshirt year after tearing his right meniscus in a warm-up drill. It was surgically repaired and he will be out for six months, coach Bob Warming said.
Brown started last season but gave way this year to a senior who was returning from a medical redshirt season.
Brown had not played for 12th-ranked Creighton (13-3-2) before his injury.
Correction: Loyola Marymount soccer goalkeeper Adam Sthay graduated from Punahou in 1999. An incorrect year was reported in an earlier version of this story.