Westmont Falls Short in Championship Game

Submitted by: Kaci Mexico - November 13th, 2016

 

photo by Kaci Mexico

photo by Kaci Mexico

By Kaci Mexico
November 12, 2016

The Golden State Athletic Conference regular season co-champions, #20 Westmont and #25 Menlo (15-4-1) faced off in the Championship game of the GSAC Tournament. After the Oaks went up 2-1 in the 32nd minute, the Warriors’ attempts to equalize were thwarted, proving Menlo victorious.

The Oaks scored the first goal in the 12th minute when Erik Emanuelsson fed the ball to Ryan Onizuka at the penalty spot; Onizuka fired off a one-time shot into the right upper corner of the goal to give Menlo an early 1-0 lead.

Westmont evened the score when Matt Lariviere connected with Jeremiah Anderson in the 24th minute. The goal began when Lariviere quickly dribbled down the right sideline deep into the Oaks’ goal box and crossed the ball to Anderson at the far corner of the six-yard box. Anderson slotted the ball first-time into the bottom right side of the goal to tie up the game.

In the 32nd minute Menlo scored what would be the game winning goal, off of a free kick from twenty-five yards out – Ryan Onizuka took the free-kick and Luiz Nunez headed in the ball from eight yards out. Prior to the free kick, a Menlo player received a red card and the Oaks were forced to play a man down for the remainder of the game.

For the remaining 58 minutes, the Warriors applied immense offensive pressure and had a few great chances to even the score – they had 12 shots in the second half, while Menlo had four – however, they ultimately could not achieve the equalizer and fell short.

“I think it wasn’t a great night for us tonight,” reflected head coach Dave Wolf. “We didn’t perform at the level of our capability and in some ways you could say it was the wrong night to have a performance that was a little bit off song, but I think Menlo was a deserving winner and I think part of the experience for us tonight is saying that and humbly accepting that reality.”

The Warriors end their season with a record of 11-5-1, a conference record of 7-2-1 and as GSAC regular season conference champions (the last time Westmont men’s soccer was conference champions was in 2002). Wolf commented on the team’s largely successful season as a whole.

“They had an absolutely amazing year,” explained Wolf. “In many ways they restored some of the pride that a lot of players have had in Westmont Men’s Soccer over fifty plus years. They were the team that got us back to the top of the GSAC and they had an amazing run. So, I have full respect and admiration for this group of guys and what they accomplished this year. I also feel very blessed to be a part of this group and to have experienced this season – I have learned a lot and had a lot of fun with these guys.”

Wolf went on to talk about the three seniors who led the Warriors this season.

“I think Matty (Lariviere), G (Genaro Hurtado) and Austin (Lack) each had really good senior years and that is unusual,” noted Wolf. “You may have one senior who has a really good year or maybe a couple, but for everybody to have really excellent seasons in their final year, shows a lot about who they are as young men. Not only did they have good seasons individually, but they lead our team very well. We would not have been the group that we were without them and they will be remembered very fondly for what they did this year.”

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