On Saturday afternoon, the University of Redlands men's soccer program scored more than one goal for the first time since September 10, defeating UC Santa Cruz, 3-0. The triumphant result comes at a crucial time for the Bulldogs, who are looking to gain momentum as they head into the second half of their season.
During the last four matches between these long-time west-region rivals, the Bulldogs have outscored the Banana Slugs, 12-3, and hold a 3-0-1 mark in those contests.
The U of R started the game off on a positive note, recording numerous shots early. Sophomore forward Charles Izydorek (Redlands, CA) got behind the Santa Cruz defense just minutes into the contest, but had his shot blocked by Banana Slug senior goalkeeper Matt Pereira (Concord, CA).
It was only a matter of time before Redlands got on the scoreboard. In the 24th minute, senior forward Alex Laughton (Pleasanton, CA) received the ball in the middle of the 18-yard box with his back to goal, turned the defender, and ripped one past the diving Pereira into the back of the net.
Just eight minutes later, junior defender Evan Keny-Guyer (Portland, OR) dissected the Banana Slug defense with a penetrating through-ball that found senior forward Noah Prudhomme (San Anselmo, CA), who made no mistake and doubled the Bulldogs' lead. The goal was Prudhomme's first of the season.
The Maroon and Gray increased its lead to three goals when sophomore midfielder Grahame Fitz (Menlo Park, CA) whipped in a long cross from the left side, finding freshman forward AJ VanderStaay (Bellingham, WA) at the back post. Vanderstaay faked the initial shot before netting his second of the campaign.
Continuing to pour on the pressure in the second stanza, Redlands out-shot Santa Cruz, 10-6, in addition to notching five corner kicks. While the Bulldogs didn't tack on any more insurance goals, the defense did its job to preserve the shutout, allowing just nine shots with only one going on frame.
While making just the one save, junior goalkeeper Andreas Silva (San Jose, CA) picked up his fourth win of the 2012 season and notched his third shutout.
On the afternoon, Redlands out-shot Santa Cruz, 20-9. Izydorek led the Bulldogs with five attempts in the match.
Redlands (4-3-3, 3-1-2) gets back into conference play when it hosts Whittier College on Wednesday evening at Farquhar Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.