The University of Redlands men's soccer team stepped up to earn a huge 2-1 win against the University of La Verne Leopards in overtime and remain atop the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) standings on Saturday night. After going down early in the second half, the Bulldogs mounted an impressive comeback to secure their third OT road-win of the season.
Early in the game, the teams traded scoring chances, with junior forward Antony Chonga (San Diego, CA) registering the only shot that required the goalkeeper to make a save in the first 45 minutes. The Bulldogs kept the pressure on, as senior midfielder Arman Mogharei (Hayward, CA) fired off a quality look that was blocked by the defense just a few seconds later.
With the game moving up and down the field, Redlands remained relentless late in the half, with sophomore midfielder Derrin Valeri (Atlanta, GA) blasting off two shots in a three-minute span.
With the game still scoreless, the teams entered the second half with a newfound energy and intensity. The Leopards managed to convert a goal on a breakaway less than two minutes into the stanza.
This simply motivated the Bulldogs to create better chances, as they out-shot the Leopards, 9-3, in the second half. Senior forward Kayvon Parsa (West Hills, CA) headed a shot that forced another save and resulted in a corner kick. Less than three minutes later, he repeated this effort to keep the Leopards on their toes.
By the 60th minute, Parsa's persistence paid off, as he scored the equalizer for the Bulldogs. From about 30 yards out on the left flank, first-year midfielder Steve Acuña (Pico Rivera, CA) played a beautiful ball over the Leopard backline at a diagonal to Parsa, who settled it and secured it against the defender. After two more touches, Parsa buried it to the far post for the quality goal.
Through the end of regulation, Chonga and Parsa remained relentless in their efforts to score the game-winner. Chonga created an excellent chance in the final 31 seconds when he uncorked a shot but it just missed the mark and hit the post.
For the third time this season, Redlands headed into overtime while competing on the road. With experience on their side, the Bulldogs stepped up to score the game-winner in the 98th minute. The Maroon and Gray earned two corner kicks in the final 7:04 of the game, with the second providing the golden opportunity. Acuña launched a perfect ball to the back post, where first-year defender Peyton Menti (Seattle, WA) moved into position to get his head on it and notch the first goal of his career as a Bulldog.
Overall, Redlands out-shot the Leopards, 19-10, and garnered a 7-3 advantage on corner kicks.
The Bulldogs (12-3, 10-2 SCIAC) head to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Wednesday, October 24, for a 7 p.m. showdown against the tied-for-first-place Stags.