The high-intensity men’s soccer match between No. 4 Westmont and The Master’s ended in a bittersweet stalemate, with the final score being 0-0. These two defensive juggernauts countered one another for a full 110 minutes without blinking an eye, while neither offense could sneak a single ball into the back of the net.
For The Master’s, they appeared to be extremely pleased and verbally confident with themselves following the match, when in reality the 0-0 tie gives them nothing more than a single point in the GSAC standings, leaving them nine points behind Westmont.
For the Warriors, the men were disappointed, and that is not a bad thing. The fourth-ranked ballclub came into the day at 10-1 overall and 4-0 in the GSAC. This team expects to win every time they take the pitch, so to get on the bus ride home without claiming their fifth win in as many GSAC matches made for a long night filled with contemplation of what they can do to get better. But again, it was a tie. They got a point. They haven’t lost a GSAC match, or a match to any NAIA opponent for that matter. This is far from the end of the world.
The captain Tim Heiduk put it best when he said, “We definitely were disappointed not to win the game, but at least we got a point. We’re still undefeated, and still control our own destiny in terms of winning the conference.” Heiduk went on to say, “Playing three matches in eight days isn’t easy, so to go into that environment and get a tie isn’t the worst thing in the world.”
On a positive note, the biggest takeaway for the Warriors has to be the fact that if they don’t allow a ball into their own net, they will continue to be undefeated. Hats off to the Mustangs’ goalkeeper Price Andersen, who had eight saves, and to his entire defense for keeping the Warriors off the scoreboard. But everyone knows by now that this Westmont team is a defensive powerhouse, to the point that when star keeper Lalo Delgado had to come off the field (for precautionary reasons), sophomore Isaiah Bobadilla came on and held up the clean sheet through the final ten minutes of regulation, and both overtimes.
Before Saturday’s match, the Westmont men defeated Hope International at home on Wednesday, 4-1. Goals were scored by Heiduk, Sam Tuscano, Jona Romero, and Delgado. Delgado converted a penalty kick for his first career goal as a Warrior.
The Warriors next venture down south to take on San Diego Christian this Saturday, before returning home on Halloween to take on Ottawa University Arizona, and then Arizona Christian on Senior Day on Nov. 2. Westmont have a four-point lead in the GSAC standings with just three games to go.