The University of Redlands men's soccer team took to the road on Wednesday night for an important Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) showdown against the Tigers of Occidental College. Amidst an intense battle from the get-go, the Bulldogs prevailed in a 2-1 decision that gave Occidental its first loss of the season.
Within the first 25 minutes, Redlands earned two corner-kick opportunities. Shortly after the second one, junior defender Dylan Carlyle (San Jose, CA) found senior forward Kayvon Parsa (West Hills, CA) on a cross to the far post. Parsa took advantage of the Tiger goalkeeper's bad positioning and headed it into the net for the Maroon and Gray's early 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs continued to press the offensive gas pedal and remained hungry for another goal. At the 32:09-mark, senior midfielder Jesus Avalos (Indio, CA) unleashed a quality shot that forced the Occidental goalkeeper to come up with the save.
The first half concluded with a pair of Tiger corner kicks, with the second one eventually leading to the equalizer goal by the home team.
Now with the score knotted, both teams upped the ante on the offensive side of things, which in turn required the defense to answer. Early in the second half, the Bulldogs gained two corner kicks but struggled to convert on these opportunities.
With time winding down, the Tigers mustered quality looks at the net, but sophomore goalkeeper Matteo Defina (Livermore, CA) stepped up with a pair of critical saves down the stretch.
On the opposite end of the field, Redlands created a scoring sequence off the foot of senior defender Nick DeQuiroz (San Jose, CA), who found Parsa for the Bulldogs' 2-1 lead. After an eight-pass sequence, the Parsa and DeQuiroz worked a give-and-go connection from the top of the box for the lethal strike into the net.
With about eight minutes to go, the Bulldogs kept their composure amidst a barrage of Tiger shots and corner kicks. Defina added another save to his sheet before first-year midfielder Jonathan Cheung (Hong Kong, China) came up with a huge defensive stop on Occidental's final shot.
Defina finished with five saves on the night.
Redlands (3-1, 2-0 SCIAC) heads to Pasadena on Friday, September 14, for a SCIAC match against the Caltech Beavers at 4 p.m.