Men’s soccer goes 0-2 vs. Incarnate Word, Cal Poly

Vincent Ta/ HIGHLANDER
Vincent Ta/ HIGHLANDER

September 29, 2013

Cardinals 2 – Highlanders 0

A disappointed crowd of 522 fans watched as the UC Riverside men’s soccer team suffered its second loss of the season, falling 2-0 to the University of the Incarnate Word at home.

The Cardinals found themselves with many scoring opportunities throughout the first half, outshooting UCR 8-5. In the 25th minute, Incarnate Word found themselves with the first score of the game when Alex de la Garza knocked in a rebound off a missed shot on goal.

Just before the end of the half, the Cardinals’ Leon Taylor scored on a beautiful defensive play, in which he grabbed an errant UCR pass in their defensive zone and shot the ball from 30 yards out over the outstretched arms of goalkeeper KC John. With the score, the Cardinals took a 2-0 lead and sucked the energy right out of the Highlander crowd before halftime.

Hoping to right the ship in the second period, the Highlanders came out with a vengeance, recording 11 total shots in the half compared to the Cardinals’ nine. However, Incarnate Word’s defense proved stout, keeping UCR’s rejuvenated offense off the board in the second half and securing a Cardinal victory.

Tempers flared at the end of the game, which led to Highlander Ruben Valencia receiving a red card in the final minute, resulting in his ejection and a subsequent suspension in UCR’s next match against the Cal Poly Mustangs.

October 4, 2013

Mustangs 5 – Highlanders 1

A road trip to San Luis Obispo ended in disappointment for the UC Riverside men’s soccer team Friday as they picked up their third straight loss of the season, falling to 5-3-2 on the year. The losing streak comes as a huge disappointment to those who had high hopes for a team that started undefeated, winning their first five regular season matches with two ties sandwiched in between.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo asserted their dominance from the start, finding themselves with a plethora of opportunities in the first half as they outshot the Highlanders 11-2. The first score of the game would come on the foot of Cal Poly’s Mackenzie Pridham, who scored his ninth goal of the season en route to a 1-0 lead for the Mustangs.

Coming out of the break, the Mustangs refused to let go of the gas pedal, as Justin Dhillon found Ari Lassiter shortly after the hour mark to put the Mustangs up 2-0. Cal Poly tacked on another goal just 11 minutes later when Matt LaGrassa found the back of the net from 25 yards out.

The rout was officially on when Lassiter scored his second goal of the game in the 78th minute, giving Cal Poly a convincing 4-0 lead.

UC Riverside would finally get on the board just a few seconds later off an Otis Earle goal, when Aaron Long found the sophomore forward for his first goal of the year.

The Mustangs would add a heaping tablespoon of salt to the wound when Dhillon earned his first goal of the season in the final seconds of regulation, making the final score 5-1 in favor of the Mustangs.

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