The University of Redlands men's soccer team came out on the winning end of a high-scoring affair that featured two of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's (SCIAC) top teams on Saturday afternoon at Farquhar Field. The Bulldogs overcame two deficits in the span of 24 minutes before prevailing in a wild 4-3 win over the Tigers of Occidental College.
With the victory, the Bulldogs are now tied for first place with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges.
The action-packed match began with an early score from Oxy by the fourth minute.
However, sophomore midfielder Collin ChubbFertal (Eugene, OR) quickly answered by recording a tally just three minutes later. ChubbFertal pushed forward on a breakaway and took a promising shot that bounced off the right post. First-year midfielder Avery Jacobson (Seattle, WA) was there for the rebound and fed the ball back to ChubbFertal, who turned and scored for the equalizer.
But the Tigers regained the lead with another goal in the 19th minute.
Nonetheless, it did not take long for Redlands to even the score once more on a great play in the 24th minute. Junior defender Dylan Carlyle (San Jose, CA) made a deep pass over the top of the defense and onto the foot of senior midfielder Arman Mogharei (Hayward, CA). Mogharei sprinted past Oxy's backline to force a 1-v-1 with the goalkeeper. After a couple touches, he launched it into the net to the far post to tie the game at 2-2.
Defensively, junior goalkeeper Noah Natividad (San Diego, CA) made huge stops in his first start as a Bulldog to avoid going down before the half. Off of a Tiger corner kick in the 29th minute, Natividad moved into perfect position to deter a header attempt before making a tough save on Occidental's final shot of the half to keep the score knotted.
The teams traded shots to open the half, but the Maroon and Gray worked to break the tie in the 58th minute when senior defender Nick DeQuiroz (San Jose, CA) found Mogharei on a cross for the go-ahead goal.
About 10 minutes later, the Bulldogs found the back of the net for the eventual game-winner. After sophomore midfielder Derrin Valeri (Atlanta, GA) sent a pass to junior forward Antony Chonga (San Diego, CA) inside the box, Chonga blasted the ball past the goalkeeper to cushion the lead to 4-2.
With over 30 minutes remaining, the Tigers picked up their offense and worked to get shots on goal, but the Bulldog defense rose to the occasion to make several big stops, including those by first-year Peyton Menti (Seattle, WA), senior defenders Joey Kenney (Portland, OR) and Spencer Scott (Portland, OR), and DeQuiroz. Natividad also corralled a pair of header attempts and stopped a shot inside the box midway through the half in a fine display of tenacity and poise.
After Occidental finally broke through to cut the deficit to one, the Bulldogs denied all of the Tigers' final chances to preserve the exciting victory.
Redlands (10-3, 8-2 SCIAC) returns to Farquhar Field on Wednesday, October 17, to face the Caltech Beavers at 7 p.m.