With tenacity and poise, the No. 25 University of Redlands men's soccer team pulled off the ultimate upset of top-ranked University of Chicago during the Round of 16 at the Maroons' home field on Saturday morning. After taking an early lead, the Bulldogs held off a late push of the previously undefeated squad to punch their ticket to the Quarterfinals with a 3-2 decision in an exciting battle between two quality NCAA Division III teams.
Redlands wasted little time in jumping on the scoreboard, when sophomore forward Kayvon Parsa (West Hills, CA) knocked in his eighth goal of the season. Junior midfielder Sergio Valencia (San Jose, CA) lofted a beautiful free kick from the top of the box to the far post, where the ball found the head of Parsa for the goal in the ninth minute.
Chicago responded with three shots over the next three minutes, forcing junior goalkeeper Josh Haskill (Lakewood, CA) to make two stops, as the third attempt flew wide.
The Maroons kept up the pressure and eventually scored the equalizer on a deflected shot over Haskill's head in the 40th minute.
Similar to the first half, the Bulldogs came out firing in the second stanza and earned a corner-kick opportunity, which quickly developed into a goal. After senior midfielder Isaac Bogart (Lynden, WA) lofted the ball from the corner, it bounced out to sophomore midfielder Arman Moghareri (Hayward, CA), who tapped it back to Bogart. With the defense collapsing around him, he slipped it through to junior forward Chase Boone (Beaverton, OR) for a 1-v-1 battle that he won with a near-post netter for his 18th goal of the season.
Less than eight minutes later, Redlands took advantage of a misplayed ball by the Maroons' keeper, as junior forward Alexander Knox (Seattle, WA) headed the bouncing ball past him for the eventual game-winner and his seventh goal of the campaign.
The Bulldogs continued to create chances on the offensive third, with Parsa and freshman midfielder Matias Lazo-Fanning (Seattle, WA) uncorking on-frame attempts late in the game.
While facing a team that had only given up five goals on the year, the Bulldog defense knew it had plenty of work still to do in the waning minutes. However, Chicago cut the deficit to one by chipping a shot over the goalkeeper in the 76th minute.
Leading 3-2 with plenty of time left, Redlands continued to step up defensively to preserve the win, as junior Ben Thompson (Spokane, WA), sophomore Spencer Scott (Beaverton, OR), and junior Keoni Yates (Kailua-Kona, HI) combined efforts for a solid presence in front of Haskill, who made four saves in 90 minutes of action.
Chicago certainly had its chances with two shots blocked and one off the post in the final two minutes, but the Bulldogs held on for the memorable win.
Watch the postgame interview with Head Coach Ralph Perez and Parsa.
Redlands (18-5-1) faces the winner of St. Thomas University (MN)/Benedictine College (IL) in Sunday's quarterfinal contest at 1 p.m. on Chicago's Stagg Field.