Senior forward Kayvon Parsa (West Hills, CA) scored an electric hat trick to boost the University of Redlands men's soccer team past UC Santa Cruz, 3-0, in non-conference action on Friday night under the lights at Farquhar Field.
It didn't take long for the Bulldogs to get going with their first goal, which came in the eighth minute. The buildup began with sophomore midfielder Collin ChubbFertal (Eugene, OR) hustling down a ball on the right flank. The ball nearly went out of play, but he got a foot on it before it hit the line. Despite being off-balance, ChubbFertal sent it right to Parsa in the center of the box, where Parsa unleashed a rocket to the back of the net for his inaugural goal of the night.
Less than three minutes later, sophomore goalkeeper Matteo DeFina (Livermore, CA) rolled the ball out to senior defender Spencer Scott (Portland, OR), who launched a deep ball from just outside of the box over the entire Santa Cruz defense along the sideline. Parsa collected the ball with two dribbles in space and let it rip from a tough angle to knock it in past the goalkeeper for the Bulldogs' 2-0 lead.
The Banana Slugs attempted to answer in the following minutes with two consecutive shots, but one was blocked and one went wide right. The Maroon and Gray's versatile backline of seniors Nick DeQuiroz (San Jose, CA), Joey Kenney (Portland, OR), Spencer Scott (Portland, OR), and junior Dylan Carlyle (San Jose, CA) made consistent plays all over the field. Their precise slide tackling and ball control allowed Redlands to develop effective counterattacks and minimize UCSC's chances.
Redlands nearly put another one on the board in the 24th minute when the defense gained possession and sent it into the Bulldogs' offensive third. First-year forward Steve Acuña (Pico Rivera, CA) drove the ball to the end line and found ChubbFertal, who was also streaking down the opposite side. ChubbFertal sent a forceful shot at the Banana Slug goalkeeper, but he made a challenging save to stop the score. Through the end of the half, the Maroon and Gray kept up the pressure with several more opportunities that unfortunately did not break through.
Nonetheless, the Bulldogs went right back to work in the second half with the same aggressive game plan. After just four minutes, the Banana Slugs' defense faced two shots that resulted in blocks. The defense had no answer for Parsa, who was sitting in the center of the box, waiting for the ball. Junior forward Antony Chonga (San Diego, CA) used his great vision to see the opening and fed him the ball in solid position. After settling it, Parsa unleashed a quality strike that flew to the far post for his third goal of the game and second career hat trick.
The Maroon and Gray took advantage of the opportunity to utilize much of its roster, including first-years Paetin Nelson (Portland, OR), Cayden Nelson (Layton, UT), Jack Hikido (Elk Grove, CA), and Jezrael Saiko (San Diego, CA).
The Bulldogs' defense showed up in a big way once again and allowed only two shots in the second half. Redlands utilized a trio of goalkeepers in DeFina, and juniors Noah Natividad (San Diego, CA) and Emilio Raby-Newsom (Chicago, IL) for the combined shutout. DeFina earned the victory with the start, while Natividad made the only save for Redlands.
As a team, the Bulldogs outshot the Banana Slugs, 15-4, and won the corner-kick battle, 6-3.
Redlands (8-3-0, 6-2-0) returns to Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) action on Wednesday, September 10, for a tough road contest against Chapman University at 7 p.m.