Warriors Polish off Regular Season with Win over Mustangs

Submitted by: Ron Smith - October 26th, 2016

 

Gabe Thurner

Gabe Thurner
Photo by Michael Sharp

Westmont Men’s Soccer (10-4-1, 7-2-1) finished off the Golden State Athletic Conference regular season by handing the Mustangs of The Master’s (10-5-2, 5-3-1) a 3-2 loss on Wednesday afternoon. With the win, the Warriors guaranteed themselves a bye in the first round of the upcoming GSAC Tournament and extended their lead atop the GSAC standings to five points.

The Warriors took a 2-0 lead into half time and extended their advantage to 3-0 in the second half before the Mustangs got on the board.

“I thought it was a real sharp start for us,” said Westmont coach Dave Wolf. “I thought we looked lively at the beginning of the game, which was really nice to see because I didn’t feel like we were at our best in the previous game. We challenged the guys on that level and I thought they responded really well. Both of the early goals were a result of a really sharp start by us.”

Matt Lariviere scored the Warriors’ first goal in the 22nd minute.

“Jeremiah Anderson had a ball on the left wing and tried to square a ball into the box,” said Wolf. “With his back to the goal, Matt Lariviere spun and smashed the ball with his left foot. It hit the underside of the crossbar and went straight down. The linesman on the far side of the field ruled that the ball had crossed the line.”

At the end of the 24th minute, Anderson scored Westmont’s second goal.

“Jerry was in the middle of the field about 30 yards away from the goal,” reported Wolf. “He was in the middle of a couple of their defenders when he shook himself free and let one fly. He hit it good and hit it low just inside the post.”

In the 59th minute, Westmont ran the score to 3-0.

“Augie Andrade took a free kick from the right side of the field,” said Wolf. “He swung in a left-footed ball and Jerry went to head the ball at the far post. According to the way it was scored, Jerry distracted the goalkeeper but didn’t actually touch the ball himself. When we watched it live, we thought maybe he got a piece of it and redirected it into the net.”

The Master’s showed no quit, however, and score twice in the final 18 minutes.

“Master’s had some good attacking moments and opportunities and we had to survive some things in the second half,” acknowledged Wolf. “It is a very difficult place to win. No GSAC teams have won there this year. The only negative result they have had at home was a 2-2 draw with Hope International. We knew we were going to have to go and do something that nobody else had done. It’s a challenging place to play and it was windy. There are some quirky things that can happen there and it was very nervy at the end. All-in-all, we are really proud of the group for being able to get out of there with three points.”

While Westmont’s GSAC regular season has come to an end, every other team has at least one game left to play. Two teams have a chance to catch the Warriors. Hope International (11-1-4, 5-1-2) is in second place with 17 points and two games to play. If the Royals win both their remaining contests against William Jessup (7-7-1, 2-5-1) and Menlo (11-4-1, 5-2-1), both of which are on the road, they will claim the GSAC Championship with 23 points, edging the Warriors by one.

Menlo also has a chance to catch the Warriors, though they cannot overtake Westmont. If Menlo defeats Biola (10-4, 5-3) and Hope International, the Oaks will tie the Warriors and share the GSAC Regular Season Championship. In the event of a tie with Menlo, Westmont holds the tiebreaker and would claim the number one seed in the GSAC Tournament.

No matter what happens as the GSAC regular season concludes this week, the Warriors will enjoy a bye in the first round of the GSAC Touranment and will not play again until the semifinals on November 10.

“I think these guys are a very together group right now,” said Wolf about his team. “I think they have surprised a lot of people, maybe their old coach included. But it has really been awesome to see the way that they have come together and to see the way that they have established an identity. I’m excited that they are going to get a little rest now. Hopefully we can get a couple of people on the healthier side of the equation and get ready for the postseason.”

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