Kingsmen Win In Thrilling Fashion

Cal Lutheran’s win on Senior Night moved the Kingsmen into second place in the conference. They will host Chapman again on Wednesday night to play the first game of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament. Photo by Saoud Albuainain- Photojournalist
Cal Lutheran’s win on Senior Night moved the Kingsmen into second place in the conference. They will host Chapman again on Wednesday night to play the first game of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament.
Photo by Saoud Albuainain- Photojournalist

The California Lutheran University Kingsmen soccer team hosted the Chapman University Panthers Wednesday, Oct. 25 for Senior Night inside William Rolland Stadium. There were a total of 16 Kingsmen soccer players that were acknowledged for their contributions to the team throughout their career. Head Coach Dan Kuntz was also recognized for his career coaching both the Kingsmen and Regals soccer teams. He will be retiring as a coach at the end of this season after 25 years.The game resulted in a 2-1 win for the Kingsmen over the Panthers.

Soon into the game, Panthers player Kai Howe was given a yellow card and warning.

“We knew they were going to be physical and we were not going to back down from it,” said junior midfielder Daniel Pacheco.

The first goal of the match came from senior midfielder Diego Ortega 22 minutes into the game. Ortega lined up a free kick in front of the wall of Panthers players. He kicked the ball into the top right corner of the goal giving the Kingsmen a 1-0 lead over the Panthers.

“It was the best feeling ever,” Ortega said about scoring on his Senior Night. “I scored that because of the energy I felt coming from everyone supporting tonight.”

“He [Ortega] is very dangerous with those free kicks,” Kuntz said.  “We knew that it was a very good chance that he would get it on goal somewhere and make the keeper make a save and we might follow up and score or be directly in the net.”

The first half ended with the score being 1-0 with the Kingsmen in the lead.  The second half began and soon Kingsmen player Daniel Aguilar was given a yellow card and warning.  About three minutes after the yellow card, the Panthers came back to score off an unassisted goal by Zev Gollis.  Gollis got a shot off and scored after the ball was rebounded near the goal.

Eventually, the Kingsmen responded with a goal by sophomore forward Joey Arnold.  Arnold received a cross  from Daniel Pacheco, which was expertly placed under the Panther defenders and Arnold was there to shoot and score to give the Kingsmen the lead again at 2-1. 

“When [Joey] gets around the box it is going in the net, and he was there and he put it away,” Kuntz said.

Near the end of the game, senior forward Brandon Kearney received his fifth yellow card on the season.  The consequence being that Kearney will not be allowed to play in the next game. After he serves his suspension, he will be allowed to play again. Kuntz said it is okay that Kearney will be missing the next game because the Kingsmen have already secured a spot in the SCIAC Postseason tournament.

The game ended in regulation time with the Kingsmen defending their undefeated record at home this season defeating the Panthers 2-1.

“It was a battle. It was very tough, a lot of fouling, a lot of tugging,” Ortega said. 

Ortega also gave credit to the team’s defensive players for keeping them “safe in the back” and helping them secure the wins that they have had so far.

Jack Hoy
Reporter