The University of Redlands men's soccer team took on the Stags of No. 19/20 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges in Saturday's Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest on Farquhar field. Although the Bulldogs had their chances, the Stags managed the break-through late in the game to hand Redlands a difficult 0-1 loss.
Throughout the first half, a physical and defensive battle between the top two teams in the SCIAC took place. Both teams produced solid looks, but none managed to reach the back of the net.
Early on, CMS received a free-kick attempt in a dangerous position near the home bench. The ball was forcefully injected into a scrum inside the box, but sturdy defense from Redlands alleviated the threat by clearing the ball.
The Stags generated another opportunity two minutes later when a one-on-one scenario took place on the left wing. Senior defender Nick DeQuiroz (San Jose, CA) calmly broke down the run and stole the ball before any damage was done.
As the game progressed, the Bulldogs began to yield strong shot attempts. In the 31st minute, junior forward Antony Chonga (San Diego, CA) drove the ball forward to senior midfielder Arman Mogharei (Hayward, CA) down the middle and into the box, which resulted in a race to the ball between Mogharei and a CMS defender. Despite outworking the opponents, Mogharei's shot attempt went wide left.
The Bulldogs produced its strongest attempt in the 37th minute when sophomore midfielder Derrin Valeri (Atlanta, GA) gathered the ball in traffic just outside the box. From a tough angle, he fired off a shot that landed in the arms of the Stags' goalkeeper.
Neither teams allowed another shot before the break, sending them into halftime in a scoreless tie.
The Bulldogs went to work early in the second stanza with a near-scoring sequence in the first three minutes of play. After a corner from DeQuiroz, senior defender Joey Kenney (Portland, OR) leaped up for a header, but it was blocked. Off of the rebound, Kenney took another shot but this time, the ball sailed high.
Deeper into another physical half, the Maroon and Gray made a spectacular defensive play to keep the Stags off the board. After sophomore Matteo DeFina (Livermore, CA) was forced off his line, the Stags tapped the ball to a streaking forward heading toward the box. The Bulldogs faced a tough position with no one in net and CMS aiming to score. Out of nowhere, senior defender Spencer Scott (Portland, CA) slid in to kick the ball away and averted all danger with the gutsy effort.
Redlands was not as lucky in the 69th minute when the Stags stacked the middle of the box and capitalized on an open, trailing player.
With their backs against the walls, the Maroon and Gray fought hard to create the equalizer.
With four minutes remaining, first-year forward Steve Acuña (Pico Rivera, CA) crossed the ball to Chonga down the middle, but CMS jumped on the ball before he could get a foot on it. The Bulldogs' final attempt came in the 89th minute off of a corner kick. Sophomore midfielder Collin ChubbFertal (Eugene, OR) entered the ball into play to first-year midfielder Avery Jacobson (Seattle, WA). Jacobson settled the ball and unleashed a powerful strike that nearly bent into the far post corner, but the CMS goalkeeper barely got a finger on it to deflect the ball away.
The Maroon and Gray earned a 13-6 shot advantage, including 10 coming in the second half. The Bulldogs also received five corner kicks while not relinquishing one to the Stags.
Redlands (5-2-0, 4-1-0 SCIAC) hits the road for a pair of games, beginning with Pomona-Pitzer Colleges on Wednesday, September 26, at 4 p.m. The Maroon and Gray then heads to Cal Lutheran University on Saturday, September 29.