Shutouts in Salem
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Westmont Men’s Soccer (1-1-2) headed up north to Salem, Oregon this past weekend to take on both the sixth-ranked, Warriors of Corban University (3-0-1) and the Geoducks of Evergreen State College (1-1-1).
The first game of the road trip ended in a 0-0 draw after 110 minutes of play and double overtime. Corban was held scoreless for the first time in 32 games and since 2015. Westmont put up 16 shots compared to Corban’s 14, eight of them being on goal.
The game was a gritty, defensive battle, with a combined 38 fouls, 21 of them committed by Westmont and 17 by Corban. Adding to the physicality, in the 79th minute junior midfielder Tim Heiduk received a straight red card, leaving Westmont with ten players for the remainder of the game. Despite the man disadvantage, the Warriors held firm defensively and still created chances to score, but the game finished scoreless.
The following day, Westmont secured the win over Evergreen State College in a 1-0 match, the Warriors’ first win of the 2017 season. A first-half goal by freshman Tyler Young in the 19th minute wound up being the difference for the Warriors, as he picked off a deflected shot by Collin Scott and calmly finished with a left-footed shot.
The Warriors outshot the Geoducks 17-6 , who had no shots on goal. The Geoducks played one man down for the final 30 minutes of the game after a player received his second yellow card of the day.
Sophomore goalie, Edward “Lalo” Delgado, and recipient of last week’s Golden State Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week Award, said “Today was different offensively because we were able to hold our composure in the final third, which allowed us to pressure their defense and threaten their back line. We kept the ball moving consistently throughout the game. We also maintained fluid movement off ball which was a big reason we got the amount of chances we did. I’m really happy I was able to get two clean sheets.”
Looking ahead, the Warriors are hoping to continue their defensive dominance, while improving on their offensive game. They anticipate the return of forward Jeremiah Anderson, who tallied four goals last season and should alleviate some of the scoring difficulties.
“One of the key things we are missing at the moment is finishing and finding the back of the net,” said senior midfielder Yazi Hernandez. “We have had three shutouts these past three games. So our defense is solid right now. We’ve been talking about progressing as a team. So next step for the team is to continue the shut outs and keep possession in the final third to be able to score more!”
The Warriors take on Marymount California University at El Camino College in Torrance on Thursday at 6 p.m. before returning home to play Point Loma Nazarene University on Saturday at 1 p.m.