The University of Redlands men's soccer team captured the double championship under the lights of Farquhar Field for the second year in a row with a 2-0 victory over Chapman University in Saturday night's final of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Postseason Tournament. With the regular season title and the postseason tournament title under its belt, the team receives the automatic qualification to the NCAA Division III Championship, with the formal announcement coming on Monday, November 7.
In tonight's showdown, Chapman orchestrated the first scoring opportunity, which came off the foot of junior defender Lorenzo Belassen (Scottsdale, AZ) but it went wide. This lit a fire under Redlands, as junior forward Chase Boone (Beaverton, OR) slotted a through-ball to junior midfielder Casey ChubbFertal (Eugene, CA), who tapped it to the far-right corner of the goal, giving the Maroon and Gray an early 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs kept pressing by firing off four more shots through the end of the first half.
After an inspiring speech by Head Coach Eddie Carrillo, the Panthers entered the second half ready for action. Only five minutes into the second stanza, junior defender Kannon Kuhn (Granite Bay, CA) and freshman midfielder Justo Garcia (Calabasas, CA) fired off back-to-back shots, but Bulldog junior goalkeeper John Melito (Keller, TX) made two great saves to keep the Panthers at bay.
In the 53rd minute, senior defender Austin Moore (Las Vegas, CA) drove a great ball down the sideline and slotted it high over the Chapman defenders to find the head of Boone for the score.
Chapman kept the pressure on high, firing off a massive 16 shots in the next 20 minutes.
In the 83rd minute, freshman forward Kayvon Parsa (West Hills, CA) blasted off a rocket of a shot that Chapman goalkeeper Sean Augustine (Anaheim Hills, CA) stopped with a huge leaping save to hold Redlands at two goals.
Chapman ended the night with 18 shots but Melito came up with eight saves to keep the Panthers off the board. The defensive unit of Moore, juniors Ben Thompson (Spokane, WA) and Keoni Yates (Kailua-Kona, HI), and sophomore Spencer Scott (Beaverton, OR) made huge stops to contribute to the Bulldogs' 10th shutout on the season. In addition, Parsa and Moore also stepped into the goal to make two huge defensive saves.
With this win, the Bulldogs (16-5) advance to the NCAA Championships. Their opponent will be announced on Monday, November 7, at approximately 10 a.m. For more info, please check the NCAA website at http://www.ncaa.com/sports/soccer-men/d3