Kingsmen Soccer Falls Short to Redlands Bulldogs in Third Straight Loss


Isaiah Volk

First-year forward Matt Myers (left) and junior defender Lucca Rodrigues (middle) work to kick the ball out of the defensive zone, assisting sophomore goalkeeper Owen Ebner (right).

Isaiah Volk, Reporter

The California Lutheran University Kingsmen soccer team competed in its seventh interconference competition of the fall season at the William Rolland Stadium Saturday, Oct. 12, losing to the University of Redlands by a score of 3-2.

The Kingsmen looked to come out of the gate strong following their two recent losses to Occidental College and University of La Verne. However, within the first 12 minutes of the game, the Redlands Bulldogs were able to score all three of their goals, creating a cushioned 3-0 lead for the Bulldogs early in the game.

“We just were not ready to play. I don’t know if we were scared, or I don’t know. We were not ready to go, and they punished us,” Head Coach Miguel Ruiz said. “It’s a great team. They’ve been the powerhouse of the conference for many years, and they showed it, and proved it the first three minutes.”

The Kingsmen looked to battle back after the three early goals. At the 38th minute of the first half, sophomore forward Adrian Graciano scored his second goal of the season, assisted by first-year forward Matt Myers to close in on the Bulldogs lead, making it 3-1.

Sophomore goalkeeper Owen Ebner made seven total saves, preventing the Bulldogs’ lead from expanding any further.

“The first half was tough. We started slow, but we got a goal back late in the first half and we kept on pushing. We just had to get through those first 15 minutes,” Ebner said. “We made some good plays and I added a couple good saves that kept us in the first half as well, you know, and stopped a couple goals, but we just have to be stronger than that when we come out.”

As the second half began, the Kingsmen came out with a much different attitude, pressing the Bulldogs’ defense throughout most of the half.

By keeping the ball on the Bulldogs’ side, the Kingsmen saw a major swing in their corner kick opportunities, earning a total of eight in the second half, compared to just one corner kick in the first half.

In the 74th minute of the game, sophomore defender Ryan Fraye was able to capitalize on one of the Kingsmen’s nine corner kick opportunities and score, tightening the overall score to 3-2.

“I just saw it bouncing towards the right side of the goal and I thought I have to get there first and put a shot on and I did,” Fraye said.

Throughout the second half, referee Juan Gonzalez called 13 fouls for the Redlands, including three yellow-cards, while Cal Lutheran had seven fouls and two yellow-cards.

Fraye’s goal wasn’t enough for the Kingsmen to prevail as the Redlands Bulldogs came away with the win by a final score of 3-2.

The Kingsmen fell to 5-7 on the season and 3-4 in conference play.

“I think we just figured out that we could play and when this team figures out that they can play they are actually pretty good,” Ruiz said. “I think they started believing in themselves, and we had opportunities to score goals… Hats off to the guys for coming back from 3-0. A lot of teams could of just caved in. I have to give them credit for that.”

The Kingsmen will take on two Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opponents on the road. They face Whittier College on Wednesday, Oct. 16 and Occidental on Saturday, Oct. 19.