Boxers fall to Banana Slugs in final tune-up
FOREST GROVE, Ore. - UC Santa Cruz scored once early and then again right before the end of the first half and went on to defeat Pacific University 3-1 in a non-conference men's soccer match at Hanson Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
It was the final tune up for the Boxers, who will begin Northwest Conference play this coming Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 19-20) on the road at Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran respectively. Both matches will start at 2:30 pm.
"I thought that we came out a little flat today," said Pacific head coach Eric Mild, whose team is now 2-3. "I am happy with the improvements that we have made during the pre-season. We have been talking about playing a full 90 minutes and we didn't do that today, but we are making progress."
Samuel Horton scored in the fifth minute for the Banana Slugs and then assisted Brandon Flores with about five minutes left before intermission to put UC Santa Cruz up a pair of scores at the break. The visitors added a goal in the 89th minute by Jacob Myers Norys to account for the 3-1 final. The Banana Slugs, who defeated Willamette and lost to Whitworth on this road trip, are now 2-2-2 on the year.
Horton beat Pacific goalkeeper Leyton Thommasen one-on-one for the first counter, and Flores picked up a deflection off a corner kick and pushed it into the net from point blank range for goal number two. The last Banana Slug score came in the final tics of the clock with Pacific down a man and Myers Norys taking advantage of another solo situation against Thommasen.
The Boxers scored in the 68th minute on an own goal. Weli Alamillo sent a pass in front of the goal that bounded off a UCSC defender and into the net.
"We purposely put together a tough pre-season schedule, knowing that we may not get the results we wanted in terms of wins and losses," Mild said. "But it prepared us for conference play, I believe it accomplished that. I think we have a better chance for success this weekend because of the tough matches we have played thus far.
"I am happy with the spirit and work ethic that the team has displayed," he added. "I think that will serve us well as we head into the most important part of our schedule."