The No. 25 University of Redlands men's soccer team welcomed in-region opponent, UC Santa Cruz, to Farquhar Field for a non-conference contest on a beautiful Sunday evening. While utilizing nearly every eligible player, the Bulldogs put together a complete-game performance for the 4-0 shutout.
Redlands started hot and stayed hot, as six different Bulldogs registered a shot in the first 24 minutes of action. The home team's best chance came in the 19th minute when senior forward Chase Boone (Beaverton, OR) rocketed off a shot that just clipped the crossbar.
A few minutes later, Redlands subbed in some fresh feet, including sophomore forward Antony Chonga (San Diego, CA). Junior midfielder Arman Mogharei (Hayward, CA) sent a through-ball over the defender's head directly to Chonga, who juked out some defenders with his feet before sending the ball across the box into the bottom-left corner of the net for Redlands' 1-0 advantage at the 39:23-mark.
Just five minutes later, the Maroon and Gray earned a penalty kick for a foul in the box. Chonga stepped up to the line and successfully slotted it past the UCSC goalkeeper to bump the score up, 2-0.
During the second half, the Bulldog defensive unit of senior Ben Thompson (Spokane, WA), junior Joey Kenney (Portland, OR), sophomores Dylan Carlyle (San Jose, CA) and Matias Lazo-Fanning (Seattle, WA) did their part in keeping the ball in the visiting team's defensive third.
Redlands continued to interchange personnel in an effort to maximize opportunity for its deep roster. Freshman midfielder Derrin Valeri (Atlanta, GA) entered the game in the 63rd minute and made an immediate impact. After using some fancy footwork to elude the Banana Slug defenders, he blasted a ball that slipped through the goalkeeper's legs for an impressive first goal of his young career at Redlands.
But Valeri wasn't done yet, as he capitalized again just a minute later. Boone slotted a nice ball through the backline to find Valeri, who one-touched it through the posts for his second score and the team's fourth goal of the evening.
Senior forward Kamal Bilal (Chicago, IL), freshman midfielder Mikey Flota (West Covina, CA), freshman forward Nick Susac (Los Angeles, CA), freshman midfielder Antonio Chavez (Santa Ana, CA), freshman defender Arian Mogharei (Danville, CA), and sophomore goalkeeper Noah Natividad (San Diego, CA) also provided quality minutes in the second half. Natividad finished with one save to preserve the 4-0 shutout.
The Bulldogs (8-3-0, 7-0-0 SCIAC) head to Caltech on Wednesday, October 4, for their next Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game. Kick-off is slated for 4 p.m.