MSOC: CLU 3, CIT 1
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Finally hitting their groove, the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen picked up their first win of the season with a 3-1 score over the Caltech Beavers. Alon Arnaldes, Lucca Rodrigues and Gabe Elizondo each recorded their first goals in purple and gold as the team rallied behind 11 shots on goal to close Saturday night.
“Today was a good win. We had some players that were injured, and so guys were asked to step up today and did very well. I’m just excited for the boys. The first three games have been learning experiences, but I think we’re coming together and hopefully this will translate into more wins this year,” said head coach Miguel Ruiz.
Though Caltech opened with the first two shots of the contest, the Kingsmen responded with shots from Jake Rast and Igor Lumbrano to get the offensive momentum going in the first half.
Arnaldes followed suit with his first goal of the year to put the team up 1-0 in the 17th minute. His goal came off a run up the left side by Jose Olea who chipped a pass to Arnaldes to find space past two defenders before reclaiming the ball for a clean cross back to Arnaldes who headed the ball to top left quadrant of the net.
Less than three minutes later, the Kingsmen continued their attack and pushed the score up to 2-0. Rast began the play with a clean service to Rodrigues in the box who found his first shot blocked by the keeper, but the ball immediately found the feet of the Brazilian defender once again who quickly knocked it in for the put-back goal.
The Beavers were able to bring themselves within one of the Kingsmen, however, on a late goal in the first period. With just 1:35 left, Nikhol Gupta crossed a ball into the midfield for Samir Johnson who made one touch before turning and nailing a floater to very top left corner over Kingsmen keeper, Antonio Welch.
That would be the only score the Beavers managed on the night, though, as Welch added five more saves to his season tally. The defense also stepped up, keeping Caltech to nine shots while Cal Lutheran rattled off 25 shots of their own.
Up by just one heading into the second period, the Kingsmen outshot the Beavers 14 to four in the back half of the match, recognizing key scoring opportunities, but kept finding the cross bar or the right side of the goal.
Finally, Cal Lutheran broke through with a goal by Elizondo in the 87th minute to calm the nerves inside William Rolland Stadium. Olea picked up his second assist on the night on the play, sprinting 30 yards up the left line to send the ball in for Elizondo who tapped the shot straight past the keeper.
Up by two, the Kingsmen sailed the remaining few minutes to their first win of the season.
The team returns to action on Wednesday night, September 12, against the La Verne Leopards. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Ortmayer Stadium as the team looks to add another notch to their win column.
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