The University of Redlands men's soccer team took care of business with an impressive 3-0 triumph over the University of La Verne in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) action on Wednesday night under the lights at Farquhar Field.
The Bulldogs used elite speed to strike early against the Leopards. Beginning in the fourth minute of play, the Maroon and Gray offense darted downfield on a counterattack. Senior forward Arman Mogharei (Hayward, CA) worked the left flank before sending a through-ball to junior forward Antony Chonga (San Diego, CA). A couple of touches later, Chonga snuck the ball to the far post for an early go-ahead goal.
On the Leopards' ensuing possession, a free kick was awarded that managed its way on net, but sophomore goalkeeper Matteo DeFina (Livermore, CA) laid out to make a diving save.
Redlands continued its relentless attack on both ends of the field, yielding more solid attempts. Chonga fired off a good look that required ULV to make the stop in the 20th minute.
After La Verne received a yellow card in the box, the Bulldogs took full advantage of the resulting penalty kick in the 35th minute. With poise and skill, senior defender Nick DeQuiroz (San Jose, CA) stepped up and knocked it behind the diving goalkeeper for the Maroon and Gray's 2-0 advantage and his first-ever goal as a Bulldog.
Despite their barrage of quality shots by a variety of players, the Bulldogs went into the break with a healthy 2-0 lead.
Redlands didn't let the halftime break slow down its momentum and earned more chances early in the stanza. In the 52nd minute, Chonga found first-year forward Steve Acuña (Pico Rivera, CA), who ripped off a powerful shot from inside the box that ricocheted off the Leopards' goalkeeper for a corner kick. Acuña gained another opportunity off Mogharei's corner but the header-shot was blocked.
While controlling the pace of play in their offensive third, the Bulldogs used patience and persistence to score their final goal. Redlands earned a free kick just outside of the box on the far corner in the 61st minute. DeQuiroz sent the ball into the box, where senior defender Joey Kenney (Portland, OR) rose for the header-goal to extend the Bulldogs' lead to 3-0.
Much like the entire game, the Maroon and Gray defense suffocated the Leopards on each attack. The backline's effort was highlighted by a pair of imposing slide tackles from DeQuiroz that stopped La Verne in its tracks on two separate occasions. The Bulldogs' determination in net impressed as well, with DeFina and junior goalkeeper Noah Natividad (San Diego, CA) splitting time to keep the Leopards off the board in the combined shutout.
Completing the all-around game for the Maroon and Gray, the Bulldogs outshot La Verne, 16-7, and owned a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks. Redlands also managed to utilize 28 of 30 players on the roster.
Redlands (5-1-0, 4-0-0 SCIAC) now prepares to host undefeated Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Saturday, September 22, at 7 p.m. on Farquhar Field.