The University of Redlands men's soccer team benefitted from two successful penalty kicks to pull off a 2-1 victory over Whittier College on Wednesday night. After a 30-minute weather delay, the Bulldogs rose to the occasion for the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) triumph under the lights on Farquhar Field.
The game got off to a wild start with Whittier scoring the first goal in the third minute off of a deep blast that took an unfortunate deflection off of a Bulldog defender and into the net.
Nonetheless, the Maroon and Gray remained unfazed and answered the call on the next possession. After working the ball into the box, the Bulldogs scrambled for a shot that resulted in a handball against the Poets, which gave a penalty kick to Redlands. Senior forward Kayvon Parsa (West Hills, CA) stepped up to the line, sized up the Poets' goalkeeper, and let it fly right into the back of the net for the equalizer less than a minute later.
From then on, it was a physical and defensive battle that covered both ends of the field. The fouls came early and often for both teams, resulting in 31 collectively. Each team benefited from the opposing team's fouls, as they created quality attempts off of the subsequent free kicks. Midway through the first half, first-year midfielder Avery Jacobson (Seattle, WA) had a good look off of one but the shot was blocked.
The Poets also had their chances, including in the 21st minute, when they constructed a breakaway that forced sophomore goalkeeper Matteo DeFina (Livermore, CA) to leave his post and block the shot. After chasing down a Whittier forward along the sideline, senior defender Nick DeQuiroz (San Jose, CA) effectively slide-tackled the ball and not only halted the Poets' opportunity, but somehow avoided the corner kick on the end line.
A few minutes later, sophomore midfielder Collin ChubbFertal (Eugene, OR) challenged the Poets' goalkeeper with a breakaway of his own.
Both teams registered shots within the final 10 minutes of the half, but neither found the break-through, sending the teams into halftime with a 1-1 draw.
Redlands noticeably applied more pressure on the Poets' defense with a 13-4 shot advantage in the second half, which contributed to its overall 19-8 margin. The Maroon and Gray opened up the stanza with shots from ChubbFertal and junior midfielder Dylan Carlyle (San Jose, CA) in the first minute.
The Bulldogs continued to build momentum by linking passes and creating chances throughout the final 30 minutes. Their aggression paid off deep into the half when Parsa was wrestled to the ground inside the box, resulting in another penalty kick. This time, he uncorked a high-flying goal for the eventual game-winner with just over 10 minutes to go.
Instead of settling in for the remainder, the Bulldogs continued to push and delivered two solid shots from Jacobson and Parsa. The Poets also had one more attempt in the final minute of play, but the Redlands defense cleared it past the midline to cement a hard-fought, 2-1 victory.
Redlands (6-3-0, 5-2-0 SCIAC) takes a break from conference play to take on in-region foe UC Santa Cruz on Farquhar Field on Friday, October 5, at 7 p.m.