No. 3 Occidental Tigers at No. 2 Redlands Bulldogs
Thursday, November 1, at 7 p.m.
The battle for the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Postseason Men's Soccer Tournament Champion begins with the semifinals on Thursday, November 1. As the teams jockeyed for a top-four position late in the season, the tournament field is set with three teams separated by only two games. For Thursday's semifinals, the No. 2 University of Redlands Bulldogs host the No. 3 Occidental College Tigers on Farquhar Field at 7 p.m., while top-seeded Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges welcomes No. 4 Chapman University to Pritzlaff Field at 7 p.m.
Tickets for students and employees with a current ID from any SCIAC school are admitted for free. General admission costs $10, while senior citizens 55 and over and military personnel with ID are $5. Children under 12 receive free admission.
While winning eight of its last nine contests, Redlands powered its way to another successful season by earning a 13-4-0 overall record and an 11-3-0 showing in SCIAC. Playing at home bodes particularly well for the Bulldogs, as they are 8-1 at Farquhar Field this season. Redlands has competed in all but one conference postseason tournament since the event's inception in 2007.
Senior forward Kayvon Parsa (West Hills, CA) leads the Maroon and Gray offense with a career-high 26 points, which place him second in the SCIAC. Senior midfielder Arman Mogharei (Hayward, CA) brings versatility and leadership as a scoring threat as well. The duo has worked seamlessly with the talents of junior forward Antony Chonga (San Diego, CA), sophomore midfielder Collin ChubbFertal (Eugene, OR), and first-year forward Steve Acuña (Pico Rivera, CA), who collectively account for nine goals and nine assists.
Defensively, veterans Joey Kenney (Portland, OR), Nick DeQuiroz (San Jose, CA), and Spencer Scott (Portland, OR) lead the backline that has registered a 0.90 goals-against average in SCIAC games. Between the posts, sophomore goalkeeper Matteo DeFina (Livermore, CA) has registered 24 saves with a .800 save percentage, while junior goalkeeper Noah Natividad (San Diego, CA) has provided 23 saves for a .767 save percentage during the 14-game conference schedule.
After winning three of their last four games, the Tigers finished the regular season with a 13-5-0 overall record and a 10-4-0 mark in SCIAC.
Occidental has relied on the offensive prowess of senior forward Liam Walsh, who has produced a conference-leading 33 points on 15 goals and three assists. While earning a .500 shots-on-goal percentage, he has notched three game-winners for the Tigers. Sophomore midfielder Nate Dunning has provided key support by recording 12 points with four goals and four assists this season.
In goal, sophomore Scott Drazen has recorded 32 saves with a 1.02 goals-against average during conference action. Overall, Occidental has allowed 0.87 goals-against per game while scoring an average of 2.50 goals each contest.
In the teams' previous two meetings this season, Redlands emerged victorious on each occasion. In the September match-up, Parsa scored twice, including the game-winner, to cement a 2-1 victory on the road. During the Tigers' trip to Redlands in October, the Bulldogs battled from behind twice to earn a hard-fought, 4-3 victory.
The winners of the semifinal matches will face each other in the final to be held on Saturday, November 3, at the site of the highest remaining seed. The tournament winner will earn the SCIAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Championships.