Lane propels LV to victory

Campus Times
October 24, 2003


by Jonathan Corral
Assistant Editor

With the season coming to a close, and the playoffs looming in the weeks ahead, each and every game is of the highest importance, and the University of La Verne men's soccer team is up to the challenge.

Behind a Steven Lane goal and excellent team defense, the Leopards up-ended the Poets from Whittier College, 1-0, to improve their record to 4-9-1, Saturday at Poet Stadium.

The game was the exact opposite from the first time the Leopards and Poets squared off.

That game was a scoring affair, as the Leopards recorded a commanding 8-1 victory on Sept. 24.

Lane has scored all the Leopards goals in the past two games, finishing with a hat trick in a 3-1 win over Caltech Oct. 15.

"Steve is a young man who has lots of talent," head coach Cres Gonzalez said. "Once he matures a little bit more, he will be a phenomenal player, probably one of the best in the conference."

The victory improves ULV's conference mark to 4-4 on the season, with the University of Redlands leading the conference with a perfect 8-0 record.

Both teams came out of the gates slowly, as neither mounted any type of an offensive threat that would even net a scoring opportunity. The two defenses attacked one another, using textbook take-outs and slide tackles.

The second half was much of the same until Lane busted through the Poet defense for the game-winning goal and the victory for the Leopards.

Leopard goalkeeper Luis Mendoza did his job, as he turned away everything that the Poets shot at him. In the game, Mendoza finished with eight saves.

The victory over the Poets was short lived, when the Leopards entered their next match with Pomona-Pitzer, the third-place team in the conference.

The Sagehens exploded on the Leopard squad with four goals, as they dropped them to below .500 in the conference, with a resounding 4-1 victory in blazing heat, Wednesday afternoon at Ben Hines Field.

"We have a real young team and sometimes it is hard for us to stay focused the entire game," Gonzalez said. "We had a lot of mental mistakes that we need to eliminate."

The Leopards started the game off on a good note as Chet Jusakul took a soaring shot that found its way over the head of Pomona's goalie for the early 1-0 Leopard lead.

"I received the pass and I saw that their keeper was out, so I was just trying to shoot it over his head," Jusakul said.

Jusakul's goal came in the 33rd minute of the first half and held up for the 1-0 halftime lead.

Everything about the start of the second half spelled trouble as the Sagehens scored two goals within the first 15 minutes of the half.

Freshmen Matthew Sauter and senior Netza Bravo scored to give Pomona-Pitzer the quick 2-1 lead.

"We were not helping each other out," Jusakul said. "We also did not communicate the way we should have been."

The hits kept on coming as the Sagehens continued to dominate the field of play and added some insurance with two more goals.

This time, senior Christopher Hunter found the back of the net as did Bravo, with his second goal of the game, giving the Sagehens a commanding 4-1 lead that would not falter.

Not all is lost though for the mighty Leopards, as they are still on track to accomplish their season-long goal.

"Our goal this season was to finish .500 in conference," Gonzalez said.

"We just need to let this game go and move on," he said.

With the goal in mind, the Leopards have four games left to accomplish what they set out to do.

"I'm extremely impressed with the overall improvement of this team, and I look forward to the future,"Gonzalez said.