Sweeping on the road
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Westmont men’s soccer traveled down south last week to take on the Firestorm of Arizona Christian and the Hawks of San Diego Christian, earning two wins and improving to 4-2-3, and 3-1 in Golden State Athletic Conference
The Warriors’ first stop was in Phoenix, Arizona, where they defeated the Firestorm (6-5 overall, 1-3 GSAC) 2-0, with both goals coming from senior Yazi Hernandez.The Warriors put up 12 shots on goal, however only connecting with two. The Firestorm put up 20 shots, with only five being on frame. Hernandez scored in the 62nd minute off an assist by junior Gabe Thurner, making the score 1-0.
A converted penalty kick in the 73rd minute by the Firestorm tied the game up at 1-1. Hernandez then immediately responded in the 74th minute with a rip from the right side into the upper left side of the goal, scoring the last goal of the game at 2-1.
The team then traveled to San Diego Christian, defeating the Hawks 4-0 on Saturday to end the four-day road trip. After a knee injury to goalkeeper sophomore Lalo Delgado forcing him to miss Saturday’s game, sophomore Andres Quiros stepped in and earned his first collegiate shutout.
Junior Jeremiah Anderson scored two goals in the first half, in the 19th and 31st minutes, assisted by sophomore Sean Nakaoka and Thurner. The last two goals came in the second half from sophomore Gabriel McEwen and from freshman Tyler Young, assisted by junior Collin Scott and sophomore Francisco “Panchito” Castro respectively.
Westmont outshot San Diego Christian (3-8 overall, 0-4 GSAC) 21-6 in the game.
“I felt really good about my performance this week especially adding two goals to my name,” said Hernandez. “With key players missing, it was important for someone to step up and take charge. Our team proved that we can score if we have our mindset right.”
The Warriors were missing key players junior Tim Heiduk (red card suspension), junior Dash Wulterin (injury), and senior Augie Andrade (injury) for the duration of the trip. The two road wins put Westmont back in the GSAC hunt.
“The key to this road trip was staying together and believing in what we are capable of both as a team and as individuals,” said Delgado. “We knew anything less than a win was a negative for our team, so we added some extra pressure to ourselves to motivate us. We ended this road trip with some great looks at goals, and our defense was solid. We remain optimistic as we enter this upcoming week, we know positive results will turn the GSAC table.”
Westmont hosts two games this week; Thursday at 3 p.m. against the Royals of Hope International (7-1-2) and Saturday at 2:30 pm against the Lions of Vanguard (9-2-0).
“I’m looking forward to the challenge against two teams next week that are undefeated and see where we stand,” said Hernandez. “Having both these games at home is a huge plus for us. Two more wins next week will give us a clear view on the GSAC title! That should be enough motivation for us.”