Men’s soccer splits first two GSAC matches
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Following the first week of GSAC play, the #17 Westmont Warriors (5-3-2 overall) are 1-1 after defeating the Warriors of William Jessup (4-5 overall, 0-2 GSAC) on Thursday before falling to the #21 Oaks of Menlo (7-2, 1-0 GSAC) on Saturday.
On Thursday, Westmont impressively outshot William Jessup 27-3, going on to defeat them 3-0.
Junior midfielder Panchito Castro was the first player to convert a shot. After a long defensive bout between teams, Castro scored for the Warriors in the 32nd minute, his third goal of the season.
“My role has changed in the sense that I’m now getting on the score sheet. I feel I can give the team that spark when we’re struggling,” Castro said. “This season everyone is coming for us so we need to stay focused all 90 minutes, we cannot take any breaks.”
Following Castro’s advice, freshman Sam Tuscano scored his first collegiate goal in the 54th minute after striking the ball from 12 yards out, giving Westmont a 2-0 lead and confidence to close out the game strong. Freshman Owen Bates also scored the first goal of his Westmont career in the 72nd minute, sealing the game-ending score at 3-0.
A couple days later, the Warriors fell to the Oaks of Menlo 2-1.
The Oaks found the back of the net first, scoring in the 18th minute of the game off a header by Eric Hegmann. Westmont gained ground 14 minutes later when senior Mason Garell sent a ball across the midfield to Lucky Puengrod, who dribbled and slid the ball to Gabe McEwen. McEwen made a diagonal run across the front of the goal and poked the ball right past the Oaks’ goalkeeper, tying the game at 1-1.
The Oaks eventually broke through again and put the game away during the 51st minute when Luis Nunez drilled in a shot from 23 yards out.
Despite the lukewarm start, the Warriors have the opportunity and the promise to avenge themselves in GSAC.
Keeper Lalo Delgado noted, “Every game is a final. Everyone is good this year. We have to be better than our opponent the majority of the game and play to our strengths. Every game will be competitive and we need to zero-in and focus on what is working.”
The Warriors return to the field this Saturday, Oct. 6, against the #12 Vanguard Lions in Costa Mesa, a highly anticipated GSAC match-up. Kickoff is at 2:30 pm.