Men’s soccer beats Whittier,

Posted Oct. 5, 2007
photo credit

Jonathan Smith
Staff Writer

No trickery was needed in a dominating performance of the La Verne men’s soccer team as they defeated Whittier 4-1 on Saturday.

The Leopards kept the ball on visiting Poets side of the field for most of the game, leaving the Leopards with a combined 26 shot attempts.

The win comes after a tough loss to Pomona-Pitzer on Sept. 26.

“It was a good win. It got us back on the winning track,” senior midfielder Kiko Escobedo, a team captain.

The Leopards, now 4-6-1 overall, got on the board early with a shot made by freshman forward Wesley Lucus at the 5th minute.

The Leopards never looked back after the first goal.

“We had a lot of good positions,” Lucas said. “We finished our chances.”

“We started off on the right track,” Escobedo said.

The Poets were not able to match up physically against the Leopards.

Several of the Poets became frustrated and started committing fouls.

“We knew that they were gonna pack it up in the middle,” Escobedo said.

After leading the first half, the Leopards proved too much for the Poets to bear in the second half.

The Leopards were able to keep the ball on the Poets side almost the whole second half, forcing the Poets’ goalkeeper Paul Stepler-Camp to save nine shot attempts.

But Stepler-Camp was not able to hold off the Leopards as Escobedo scored an impressive goal at the 68th minute.

Later, Escobedo scored on a penalty at the 72nd minute in the game. Escobedo finished with two goals in the game.

The Poets did have some success after they scored a goal late in the game in the 88th minute.

But, the Leopards extended the lead to 4-1 on another goal by Escobedo with 59 seconds left in the game.

“We take it day by day, work on specifics,” said senior midfielder Beto Valle.

The Leopards were pleased that they were able to get the win for the day.

But they were especially happy with their play as a team.

“Everyone works hard. No one really complains,” Escobedo said. “It’s a lot of camaraderie.”

“The coaches put in as much as we put in,” Valle said.

Although the win may be soothing, the team cannot rest on its laurels.

The team was unable to follow up on their strong win against Whittier as they dropped a 1-0 decision to Cal Lutheran on Wednesday.

With the loss, the Leopards drop to 4-3 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with seven more conference matchups left.

“We have to finish the first half strong,” Escobedo said.

The Leopards hope to pull out another victory tomorrow at Occidental with kick off at 11 a.m.

Jonathan Smith can be reached at

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