The University of Redlands men's soccer team fought valiantly through 90 minutes but fell, 0-1, to Occidental College in Wednesday night's Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) opener on Farquhar Field.
The Bulldogs earned their first shot of the game as junior midfielder Collin ChubbFertal (Eugene, OR) broke down three defenders with finesse. He worked the ball inside and then laid a shot towards the net that was deterred by a Tiger defender. Minutes later, junior defender Mikey Flota (West Covina, CA) flicked a header on goal, but the Occidental goalkeeper leaped up to make the stop.
Unfortunately, in the 25th minute, the Tigers were the beneficiaries of a foul inside the box, which led to a successful penalty shot to gain a 1-0 advantage.
However, the Bulldogs went back on the attack in the 29th minute when senior midfielder Matias Lazo-Fanning (Seattle, WA) booted the ball from 25-yards out that missed just right. On the ensuing Tiger possession, senior goalkeeper Noah Natividad (San Diego, CA) made an impressive diving save to stop the final Occidental attempt of the half.
In the second period, first-year forward Ethan Kovach (Las Vegas, NV) nearly connected on a one-timer from about 14 yards out but missed wide. The Maroon and Gray's strongest chance of the game came in the 79th minute when sophomore midfielder Jonathan Cheung (Hong Kong, China) fed the ball down the left flank to Kovach in space. Despite beating his defender and launching a solid shot on goal, the Occidental goalkeeper was there to make the shutout-preserving save.
As a team, the Bulldogs outshot the Tigers, 12-7, including a 6-1 edge in the second half. In addition, the Maroon and Gray also owned a 7-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Redlands (0-3-1, 0-1-0 SCIAC) returns to action at home against Whittier College on Saturday, September, 21, at 4 p.m.