Men's soccer falls in GSAC semis in windy conditions
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A promising season cut short. This past week the Westmont Men’s Soccer Team (10-6-2) fell during the semifinal round of the GSAC tournament to the Vanguard Lions (11-3-2), 2-1, subsequently ending the 2018 season for the Warriors. Playing amidst extreme wind conditions, the Warriors battled head to head with the Lions for 90 minutes, but ultimately fell short.
An early goal in the 23rd minute by Tyler Young sparked hope for the Warriors. Young scored his second goal of the year after dribbling past an offender and connecting with the net from eight yards out. The score remained at 1-0 for the majority of the game.
Unfortunately, in the second half of the game the wind kicked up tremendously, making goal kicks nearly impossible to kick much further than the 18-yard box. Because of these conditions, much of the second half was played with the Warriors playing on the defensive.
In the 83rd minute, Vanguard was able to tie the game 1-1. Then, with only five seconds remaining in regulation, a Vanguard player sent the ball to the far left corner of the goal and gave the Lions a heartbreaking 2-1 victory over Westmont.
The GSAC Tournament Championship game was played the following Saturday. The Arizona Christian Firestorm took the win over the Vanguard Lions 3-2. Both teams will enter the NAIA National Tournament in the upcoming week.
This game was the last game for seven outstanding seniors. “It will be challenging to not have our current seniors,” said keeper Lalo Delgado. “It always is when you lose your older guys. Their leadership and guidance will be missed.”
“Being a Warrior has been the greatest honor,” Tim Heiduk said. “I have developed relationships that will last a lifetime and I will forever look back fondly on my time in the Westmont soccer program.”
This overwhelming sense of family was mirrored by many of the graduating seniors. Collin Scott mentioned, “I’ve never been a part of a tighter knit group of guys before. That’s probably what I’ll miss the most; not the winning, but the celebration of family.”
“The program has done an excellent job shaping men and winning games, and I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to contribute to its success on and off the field,” Jeremiah Anderson said. “Looking back on my Westmont Soccer career I can be nothing but thankful for the committed coaching staff, friendships, memories, and personal growth.”
The Warriors end the 2018 season with a 10-6-2 record.