No. 20 Redlands Men's Soccer Advances to Second Round with Comeback Victory over No. 10 Whitworth
The No. 20 University of Redlands men's soccer team took on the No. 10 Whitworth University Pirates in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championships on Saturday at Paul McGinlay Stadium on the campus of Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. After a lethargic opening 47 minutes that included two Whitworth scores, the Bulldogs regained composure and fiercely fought back with two second-half netters to force overtime. With a Whitworth own goal early in the extra period, Redlands moves on to the second round of the NCAA tournament to face No. 2 Trinity in Sunday's game.
The Bulldogs got off to a slow start that resulted in two scores by the Pirates, forcing Redlands to rally in the second stanza. With the season on the line, the Maroon and Gray started to mesh on the pitch and press the Pirates in the attacking third with quality combinations.
Redlands trimmed the deficit to one score in the 55th minute by capitalizing off of a corner kick that came off junior midfielder Austin Moore's (Las Vegas, NV) deflected shot. Sophomore midfielder Sergio Valencia (San Jose, CA) put the set piece into action, finding sophomore midfielder Casey ChubbFertal (Eugene, OR) for a header, but it was blocked by the Pirates' defense. Nevertheless, freshman midfielder Jesus Avalos (La Quinta, CA) followed with a rebound goal to trim the score to 1-2.
Just six minutes later, freshman forward Kayvon Parsa (West Hills, CA) relied on his dynamic skills to draw a foul in the box for a penalty kick. With poise and accuracy, Parsa nailed his second penalty kick of the season to even the score at two apiece.
Seven of the Bulldogs' fifteen shot opportunities in the second frame came after the two scores, with ChubbFertal leading the charge with two blasts, including a dynamic header that forced the Whitworth goalkeeper to make an impressive save.
With neither team finding the back of the net before the end of regulation, the exciting first-round game moved on to overtime.
The Maroon and Gray maintained its momentum in the extra period by getting off to a great start. Sophomore forward Chase Boone (Beaverton, OR) fired off a shot in the 93rd minute, while Parsa quickly followed suit with two attempts.
The Bulldogs' relentless efforts in the attacking third eventually forced a tactical error on the Pirates' backline, as they surrendered an own goal to send Redlands into the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The freshman duo of Avalos and Parsa shared their thoughts on the victory and what they expect in the upcoming round.
Overall, Parsa led the way with six shots, while ChubbFertal backed him with five.
By notching five saves, sophomore goalkeeper Josh Haskill (Lakewood, CA) hauled in his 11th victory of the season and his third in a row.
Junior defender Tom Elsea (Mission Viejo, CA), senior defender Peter Marsden (Woodside, CA), and freshman midfielderArman Mogharei (Danville, CA) provided quality minutes for the Bulldogs – more notably in the second half.
Despite the less than stellar start, the Bulldogs finished the contest with a 25-12 advantage on total shots. Furthermore, Redlands uncorked 15 shots to Whitworth's five during the second half alone.
Whitworth completes the 2015 season with a 16-2-1 record.
With the victory, the Bulldogs (17-3-2) advance to Sunday's second-round showdown against the No. 2 Trinity University Tigers, who defeated the University of Texas at Dallas by a score of 3-0 earlier today.