Losses hurt Kingsmen in SCIAC play

Kingsmen Soccer

After two losses determined by one goal each, the Kingsmen look to turn things around. With eight games left to play, the Kingsmen are currently in eighth place in the SCIAC standings.

The Kingsmen soccer team dropped two conference games at William Rolland Stadium this week against the University of La Verne and Occidental College. They opened the week against La Verne and lost that match by a score of 2-1.

In their game against La Verne, California Lutheran University came out of the gates strong and had the Leopards on their heels rattling off six shots in the first half.Soccer2

Junior Logan Cone had a shot ricochet off the crossbar and the ball fell into the lap of Zack Larson, but his put back attempt was deflected by a La Verne defender to thwart Cal Lutheran’s best scoring chance of the first half.

The Kingsmen were also able to earn three corner kicks in the opening half, but were not able to convert any of those opportunities into goals.

Senior defender and team co-captain Tal Zaiet felt the Kingsmen had the upper hand moving forward in the game.

“We came out and really focused on being aggressive and trying to keep the pressure on them,” Zaiet said. “We had some early chances to go ahead but we were just a little off each time.”

The match began to get physical as time went on with the teams combing for 12 fouls with Cal Lutheran accounting for seven of those fouls.

“We knew that La Verne was a scrappy team and that we would have to play a tough game if we wanted to come away with the win,” senior defender Julian Hernandez said.

The two teams entered halftime tied at 0-0, but the excitement began to pick up in the second half as the back and forth action escalated. The scoreless tie ended three mintues into the second half as La Verne sophomore midfielder Harim Coronado was able to get his shot past Cal Lutheran goalkeeper Jack Duncan to put La Verne ahead.

Their lead was short lived as Larson took a pass from junior midfielder Gui Borini and ripped it past the La Verne goalkeeper just three minutes later.

The game was locked in a 1-1 tie until La Verne sophomore forward Nathan Gonzalez put what was ultimately the game winning goal in the top left corner of the goal in the 74th minute.

According to CLUsports.com the Kingsmen ended the game with 14 shots to La Verne’s 11 and also held the advantage in corners taken.

Larson led the way for the Kingsmen offensively with five shots, including his one goal.

Defensively, Duncan saved four of the six shots on goal from La Verne.

Best foot forward: (Top) Senior midfielder Gui Borini speeds past the opposition. (Bottom) Senior forward Tyler Pascoe fights off a defender as he dribbles down the field. Photos by Andrew Whisler - Staff Photographer
Best foot forward: (Top) Senior midfielder Gui Borini speeds past the opposition. (Bottom) Senior forward Tyler Pascoe fights off a defender as he dribbles down the field.
Photos by Andrew Whisler – Staff Photographer

Later on in the week the Kingsmen faced the Occidental Tigers and unlike their last game where they came out the aggressor, this time they were the team playing on their heels.

The Tigers opened the game with a number of shots on goal but Duncan was able to keep them at bay with solid play in the goalie box, picking up seven saves.

During the 17th minute of the game the Kingsmen committed an unfortunate foul right outside of the box that led to a free kick for Occidental. They would go on to capitalize as junior midfielder Valdair Martins-Lopes of the Tigers was able to place a shot in the bottom corner of the Kingsmen goal. The lone goal was all Occidental would need to win the game that night.

After the goal, the Kingsmen came out firing shots left and right with Larson, senior defender Jorge Galvan and sophomore midfielder Gabriel Fernando having shots on goal late in the second half.

Occidental ended with a slight edge in shots according to CLUsports.com as they had 16 to the Kingsmen’s 14 shots.

Junior forward Nick Baldi led the Kingsmen with three shots including two on goal.

“We were able to get a lot of good shots on goal but it was just one of those days where we just couldn’t put one in,” Hernandez said.

With the two losses earlier this week, the Kingsmen dropped to 3-6-2 overall, and 2-5-1 in conference play. With only eight games remaining on their schedule, they will need to turn things around in order to make postseason play.

The Kingsmen will hope to turn their fortunes this upcoming week as they take to the road to face the conference leading Sagehens of Pomona-Pitzer on Wednesday, Oct. 8 and then the Whittier College Poets on Saturday, Oct. 11.


Alix Moise

Staff Writer

Published October 8, 2014