Dousing the Firestorm

September 29, 2012

Box Scores:

Scottsdale, AZ - Taylor Shahi (Santa Rosa, CA) tallied two second-half goals and the TMC defense was superb in a 4-0 whitewashing of Arizona Christian Saturday afternoon in Scottsdale.

The victory gave the Mustangs their first GSAC win (1-1) of the season and moved the club back to the .500 (5-5) mark overall.  It was the Mustangs' fourth shutout of the campaign and their four goals tied the team's second-highest output in 2012.

Shahi drew the spotlight in his first two-goal outing and a pair of teammates sandwiched goals around the sophomore midfielder's tallies to highlight a huge edge in shots (24-3).  But, the defense earned as many kudos, too, as it kept the Firestorm from putting a single shot on goal in helping senior goalie Andrew Bussell (Bakersfield, CA) to his fourth shutout of the year.

Sophomore Brett Croft (Hesperia, CA) ignited the attack in the match's 20th minute (19:23) when he tallied his second goal of the season off an assist from Kamalei Pihana (Kauai, HI) for a 1-0 lead.  It broke the ice against a Firestorm defense that packed it in against the Mustangs, playing not to lose. The Mustangs had other chances to score in the first half, evidenced by a 13-1 shot advantage, but they couldn't add to their lead as ACU keeper Joshua Chelpka notched five saves.

But, that all changed over the final 45 minutes of play as the Mustangs turned an 11-2 shot advantage into a trio of goals and a comfortable win.  The first of those goals came with just 3:05 gone in the second half as Shahi ripped a direct kick from 20 yards out past Chelpka for a 2-0 lead.

With the way the defense was playing it seemed like a two-goal edge would be plenty.  It was, but TMC continued to pound away at the offensive end and when the Firestorm committed a foul in the box the Mustangs turned to Shahi who converted the penalty kick for his fourth goal of the season and a three-goal advantage.

The Mustangs tacked on the match's final tally with just 23 seconds remaining when sophomore Jordan Edwards (Anchorage, AK) took a corner kick and booted it past Chelpka for his second career goal.  It capped off an afternoon in which Coach Jim Rickard said that "we moved the ball well and wore them down.  It was a complete performance."

Having put out one fire, the Mustangs now turn to another in the form of Concordia (8-1-1) which comes to Placerita Canyon on Tuesday as the No. 6 team in the country and one of three teams tied atop the GSAC.

Match time is set for 3:00pm on Reese Field.