Men's soccer starts SCIAC play strong, 5-0
|Posted Sept. 22, 2006|
Looking to rebound from last week’s loss to the Cal State San Marcos Cougars and move their record above .500, La Verne defeated their the rival Whittier Poets 5-0 for their first Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference match of the season Saturday at Ben Hines Field.
However, the Leopards lost on the road 1-0 to the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags on Wednesday, bringing the teams overall record to 3-4.
With a record of 2-1 and a coach who was a former ULV soccer assistant, the Poets appeared as if they would be no pushover.
However, the Leopards set the pace early, scoring just 41 seconds into the game on freshman midfielder/forward Brad Page’s goal to take a 1-0 lead.
As the first half neared a conclusion, it appeared the lead would stay at that margin, until ULV scored two more goals within 23 seconds of each other by senior midfielder Daniel Aguirre with 2:35 on the clock and junior midfielder Beto Valle at 2:12, to take a 3-0 lead into the half.
“I’m impressed with the team,” head coach Cres Gonzalez said. “We did what we’re supposed to do.”
The second half started out much slower, but midway the game picked up.
With 20:38 left in regulation, senior Whittier defender Joe McFarlin elbowed Valle in the jaw to draw a red card booting from the match.
The Leopards expressed their disapproval, scoring 12 seconds later on junior midfielder Kiko Escobedo’s shot for a 4-0 lead.
Another goal by senior midfielder Gilad Hoffman and two Whittier yellow cards later, ULV finished off the Poets, 5-0, to bring their record to 3-3.
“My first collegiate goal feels good,” Valle said. “On the red card I got an elbow to the face and a kick to the ankle, but I feel OK, just a little swollen. I’ll be ready for next game.”
Coming to the ULV campus on Sept. 14 with a 5-1 record was San Marcos, a team in its first year of existence.
After opening the season 2-2 against teams from Carthage in Wisconsin, Wartburg in Iowa, and North Central and Elmerst in Illinois, this was the Leopards’ first of match of their all-California regular schedule.
It didn’t take long for this young Cougars team to show the Leopards what they were made of, with freshman defender Curtis Marcikic scoring the first goal of the game 13:19 into the first half, and holding that 1-0 lead going into halftime.
The second half wasn’t much better than the first, as both teams failed to score until San Marcos’ freshman midfielder, Joey Hill, increased the Cougars’ lead to 2-0 with 11:57 left in the game. But the Cougars weren’t done yet, with 5:02 left in regulation, Chris Wyatt, another freshman midfielder, scored to bring the final score to 3-0.
“We didn’t play well, it’s simple,” Hoffman said. “Our passes need to get a lot better.”
It wasn’t all bad for the Leopards, with junior goalkeeper Cody Black making a diving save to deflect a Cougars shot over the protective netting used for baseball games. Black finished the game with seven saves.
“(San Marcos) is a good team; they’ve proven that they’re a good team with their record,” Hoffman said. “We feel no shame losing to a first year team with their record.”
The Leopards continue SCIAC play against Caltech at 11 a.m. tomorrow in Pasadena.
Kevin Zeni can be reached at email@example.com.