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UNIVERSITY BEAT

He's a Coach With Drive to Succeed

November 14, 2003|Eric Stephens | Times Staff Writer

Joe Flanagan, the Cal State Dominguez Hills men's and women's soccer coach, expects to put plenty of mileage on his vehicle this weekend.

Both of his teams are competing in NCAA Division II Far West regionals. The Toros play host to the men's regional; the women play at UC San Diego.

While assistant Jeff Tuttle will spend most of his time with the women's team, Flanagan will conduct practice with the men and scout the Chico State-UC San Diego men's match in Carson tonight before heading to La Jolla to coach the Toro women in a 4:30 p.m. match Saturday against Seattle Pacific.

If the women win, they play again Monday night after the Toro men play Sunday. It is a logistical problem, but Flanagan plans to be at each match.

"My assistant coaches are pretty capable people but come playoff time, I think both teams need to see me represent them," he said. "It's a good problem to have."

The Dominguez Hills men won an NCAA title in 2000 and were runners-up in 2001. The women have arrived this season with a 16-4-1 record and Central Division title in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn.

Flanagan took over the women's team after Karen Hanks left for Sacramento State shortly before the start of last season. Immediately, he raised the expectation level.

"In the spring, I had them read Anson Dorrance's book, 'The Vision of a Champion,' " Flanagan said. "It's a way teams should think. I think we had good players, but not the camaraderie that we needed."

The Dominguez Hills men are 17-2-2, ranked No. 5, and landed eight players on the All-CCAA team. Senior midfielder Victor Guerrero was conference player of the year. Guerrero needs a point to break Flanagan's Dominguez Hills career record of 89 points.

"He's been a force since his freshman year," Flanagan said. "If there were a player I'd love to see break my record, it would be him."

*

The opening two rounds of the NCAA Division I women's soccer playoffs today and Sunday at UCLA's Drake Stadium have a familiar look. The Bruins (16-1-3) play San Diego in a first-round match at 7:30 p.m., and USC (9-7-4) plays Pepperdine (13-5-1) at 5:30 p.m. The winners will meet Sunday at 1 p.m.

USC is playing at UCLA in the postseason for the third consecutive year.

In 2001, Pepperdine defeated the Trojans, 1-0, in the first round. In 2002, the Bruins defeated USC, 1-0, in double overtime in the second round.

"We always seemed to be matched up there," USC Coach Jim Millinder said. The Trojans solidified their sixth consecutive postseason appearance by defeating Oregon and Oregon State last weekend. Junior Shannon Cross has ably filled in at forward for injured senior Jessica Edwards, who has a broken leg.

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