Kingsmen Defeat Leopards

The California Lutheran University men’s soccer team beat the La Verne Leopards 2-1 Oct. 1. With this victory, the Kingsmen’s overall record is 5-5.

Junior midfielder Diego Ortega had the first offensive effort two minutes into the game. His shot went wide but it helped lead to a corner kick in favor of the Kingsmen. Fourteen minutes into the first half junior forward Brandon Kearney scored the first goal of the match with an assist by Ortega.

“We’ve been talking before the game about that slit pass because I can run behind their defense and I just envisioned a goal and I put it away and I couldn’t be happier right now,” Kearney said.

Sophomore midfielder Andres Mendoza and Ortega followed with two quick shots to keep the Leopards on their toes, and both were saved. Junior goalkeeper Eduardo Garcia made his first save of the game in the 21st minute to frustrate another offensive attempt.

In the first half, two of Cal Lutheran’s players, sophomore forward Charlie Villa-Lovos and junior midfielder Nico Sabbattella, received yellow cards as well as La Verne’s Briley Venti. The Kingsmen were up by one to nil going into halftime.

Cristian Guzman attempts to score a goal to gain back the lead in the game.   Photo Credit--Kaelani Medina Staff Photographer
Cristian Guzman attempts to score a goal to gain back the lead in the game.
Photo Credit–Kaelani Medina Staff Photographer

The Kingsmen had multiple attacks but could not finish in the final third. Yet with about 12 minutes left in the game, the Leopards’ player Saul Uribe put away one goal to tie the game.

“Those are the moments when you get a second goal scored on. I was really proud of the guys because they stayed central on the ball and defended the ball really well. Then once they did that and got a couple of good saves they felt like they could push through the end of the game and win,” Head Coach Dan Kuntz said.

The Kingsmen did not let this goal discourage them, but rather they came back playing with an intensity and defensive focus they had not yet shown in the match.

“We talked about this and after that first goal I could have either just given up or kept going so I’m glad we didn’t give up and we got another goal so that helped us a lot,” Garcia said.

With about five minutes left in the game Kearney made a run off a pass from senior forward Gabe Fernando and scored a goal to give the Kingsmen the lead. The Kingsmen were able to pull together and hold off the Leopards for the remainder of the game.

“We just came together and said ‘look no matter what happens we do not give up and we got to play for the love of the game’ and so even though we were tied, we knew we had to give it our all and that’s what we did and luckily we were able to come away with the W,” Kearney said.

The Kingsmen are hoping to continue this momentum in their game against Chapman Oct. 5 in Ernie Chapman Stadium at 4 p.m.

Anissa Frajio
Staff Writer