Anderson Powers Warriors’ Comeback Win

Submitted by: Ron Smith - October 23rd, 2016

 

Sean Nakaoka

Sean Nakaoka

With a 2-1 Golden State Athletic Conference win over William Jessup (7-7-1, 2-5-1 GSAC), Westmont Men’s Soccer (9-4-1, 6-2-1) has taken solo possession of first place in the Golden State Athletic Conference standings. Westmont trailed 1-0 in at halftime, but rallied with goals in the 64th and 69th minutes to claim the victory.

William Jessup scored in the 10th minute when Oscar Magana crossed the ball to Jacob Rodriguez in front of the goal. Rodriguez needed just one touch to put the ball in the net and give the northern Warriors a 1-0 lead.

“I thought we looked tired,” said Westmont head coach Dave Wolf of the teams’ first half performance. “Obviously it was a quick turnaround from Thursday, but (William Jessup) had the same. Especially in the first half, I thought they were just a little bit tougher than we were.”

“Then I think we found a little bit more in the second half,” said Wolf. “We got a little more pressure, closed up the spaces a little bit more and we made a couple of plays that ended up getting the result for us. Jeremiah Anderson obviously had a lot to do with that – drawing the penalty kick and scoring the second.”

In the 64th minute, Anderson dribbled the ball into the box where he was fouled when he got ahead of his defender.

“Jeremiah is very quietly having a really good year,” observed Wolf. “He deserves a lot of credit because he was a little bit out of sorts early in the year. Part of that was how he was playing and part of that was how we were coaching him. There were a couple of adaptations made by him and by us and we found a different way of relating to each other.

“Jeremiah is a spectacular athlete and he plays hard. He actually has a good skill set as well, even though what catches your eye is his size and his pace. I think he has developed into a very important player for us, and he was the most important player in the game today.”

Augie Andrade took the penalty kick for the Warriors and confidently placed it in the back of the net to tie the score at one.

Five minutes later, Mason Garell crossed the ball from the left side and found Anderson who scored the game winner from nine yards out to put the Warriors atop the GSAC standings.

“It’s been a while since we have been on the top of the table,” said Wolf. “We feel like we have been on a long, multiyear journey of scraping our way back to that position.

“When you are on the top of the table, you earn the right to play meaningful games. Those, might be meaningful because the team you are playing might be coming after you, they might be meaningful because of seeding positions or a bye. But you know when you are in first place, that every time you step into a game it is going to mean something.”

Westmont currently holds a two-point lead over #17 Hope International (11-1-4, 5-1-2) and three point leads over #20 Menlo (11-4-1, 5-2-1) and The Master’s (10-4-2, 5-2-1). The catch is that each of those teams have two games left in the regular season – and therefore two opportunities to add to their point totals – while the Warriors have just one.

Today’s win assures the Warriors that they are in the GSAC Playoffs and that if they play a first round game, it will be at home.

If the Warriors win in their final game at The Master’s on Wednesday, Westmont will finish at least in second place and secure a bye in the first round. If the Warriors win Wednesday and Hope International ties or loses one of its final two games, Westmont will be at least the GSAC regular season co-champion.

Wednesday’s game at The Master’s is scheduled for a three o’clock start in Santa Clarita.

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