The California Lutheran University men’s soccer team took on the Occidental College Tigers Wednesday, Sept. 20, at William Rolland Stadium. The game resulted in a 1-0 win for the Kingsmen, thanks to senior forward Brandon Kearney who was assisted by sophomore forward Joey Arnold.
The Tigers came out early in the first half with a few attempts to score in the beginning of the game. The Kingsmen defense kept up with the pace of the Tigers’ forwards. The Kingsmen struggled with getting caught offside while attempting to break away for an attack.
Eventually, the Kingsmen led an attack towards the Tigers defense when Arnold passed to Kearney who shot to the bottom left corner and scored just 17 minutes and 56 seconds into the game.
“We were high pressing them the entire time, and when we got the ball we were very composed. We have been practicing those long balls this whole week and we hit it, and I was able to make it count,” Kearney said.
At the end of the first half the Tigers had seven shots and the Kingsmen had three.
The second half resulted in a similar tightly contested match between the two teams. The Kingsmen defense held up against the strategies of the Tigers, kicking the ball long in hopes that a forward or striker would get to the ball and initiate an attack.
The second half ended with the Kingsmen kicking the ball into the air to clear it away from the Tigers in the last few seconds. The second half resulted in the Kingsmen having two more shots and the Tigers having eight more. The game ended with a 1-0 win for the Kingsmen.
“We held our own the entire time, they didn’t get really any solid opportunities, and we stayed connected the entire time,” Kearney said.
“Our defense did really well and they deserve a ton of credit, also the offense helped when we would be able to hold the ball up and let the defense get some rest,” Arnold said.
Head Coach Dan Kuntz reiterated that the Kingsmen defense was very disciplined and that the goalkeeper Eduardo Garcia helped the defense out. Garcia played the entire 90 minutes and had two saves.
“Today we played very together today, through the entire game,” Kuntz said. “I think tonight there was more consistency for the entire 90 minutes of the game…I think the consistency from beginning to end was one of best, if not the best, game we have played this season so far.”