Soccer wraps season, 9-10

Posted Nov. 10, 2006

After winning their final game of the season 3-1 against the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen at Ben Hines Field on Senior Day Nov. 1, the Leopards improved to finish 9-10 on the season and 7-7 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.

Their record was good enough for a fifth place finish in SCIAC play.

“This game pretty much sums up the season,” senior midfielder Daniel Aguirre said. “We’re good enough to beat them and they were second [in SCIAC]. We’re good enough to beat anyone in the league.”

While the talent was certainly there all season, the team had some injuries and a major incident that disrupted some of the chemistry.

Every team has injuries, that’s no surprise, but not every team has a group of players kicked off for playing in an intramural soccer competition on the University of La Verne campus.

“We’ve still got rules to follow,” senior midfielder Gilad Hoffman said. “We just had to keep moving forward, it wasn’t a big deal.”

While that may be so, it did cause some frustration for others on the team.

“It was a little frustrating since one of the guys played with me in the center-mid[field],” senior midfielder Ruben Trujillo said. “It put more pressure on me and as a senior I had to step up.”

Another teammate who really stepped it up big time for the Leopards was junior goalkeeper Cody Black, who after the departure of the rule-breakers, filled in as a midfielder for the rest of the season and scored three goals, including one in last Thursday’s win.

While the majority of the seniors agreed that Thursday’s finale win was the highlight of the season, some team members thought differently.

“My highlight of the season was the last Oxy [Occidental] game,” Mejia said.

“There was a lot of pressure and momentum and the fans were really hard on us, especially when we scored the last goal with 30 seconds left,” he added.

Trujillo on the other hand had something else in mind.

“Scoring against Redlands,” Trujillo said, “we never score against them. We didn’t win, but it felt good to score on them.”

Each senior will remember most from his time spent playing for ULV differently.

Although every one of them mentioned the friendships they made with teammates as a highlight of their ULV soccer careers.

“I joined late last year, so this was my first and last year,” Mejia said. “I came in to summer practice and the team was a very accepting family group. We became family.”

“We never won a title, but the chemistry we had was amazing. Playing all four years was great,” senior defender Eric Gomez said

Kevin Zeni can be reached at kzeni@ulv.edu.

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