November 9, 2013
IRVINE, Calif. – At the end of 90 minutes, The Master’s College men’s soccer team fell to Concordia 2-4 in the GSAC Tournament Semifinal. With the loss, the Mustangs close out their 2013 campaign with a 5-12-1 (3-7) record.
“We came out flat, and Concordia took a quick lead that shocked us.” commented Mustang head coach Jim Rickard. “We recovered a little in the second half, but had a hard time getting going. The team played with a lot of heart.”
The 16th-ranked Eagles, who entered the conference tournament with the No. 1 seed, quickly got on the board 1 minute and 33 seconds into play when mark when Mario Soto bested Mustang goalkeeper Kyle Cunningham (Saugus, CA) in unassisted fashion. Six minutes later, Concordia defender Asher Axe put the Eagles up 2-0 off an assist from Chris Rodriguez and Isaac Gettis. Shortly after that at the 13:08 mark, the Eagles scoring rampage continued with another Soto goal, giving Concordia a comfortable 3-0 advantage.
The Eagles maintained their 3-0 lead into the half where they outshot TMC 11-2. Despite letting 3 goals by, Cunningham tallied 4 saves at the break.
Any hopes from the Mustangs that the Eagles would be done scoring were quickly dashed when Gettis scored off a Soto assist, putting Concordia ahead with an intimidating 4-0 lead.
But, spearheading a hopeful comeback for TMC was freshmen standout Zach Klindworth (Valencia, CA), who put the Mustangs on the board at the 68:37 mark off an assist from Jorge Serrano (Sylmar, CA).
Less than 20 minutes later, Serrano assisted Jordan Edwards (Anchorage, AZ) for the Mustangs’ second goal, cutting the Eagles’ lead to 2.
Much to TMC’s dismay, in the final 3 minutes and 51 seconds the Eagles tightened their defense and held off the TMC’s resurging efforts.
Concordia’s Semifinal victory over the No. 6 seeded Mustangs launches them into the GSAC Tournament Championship game next Saturday against No. 2 seed Biola. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. in Irvine.
The Mustangs’ attempted second-half rally gave the squad 13 shots, only being slightly eclipsed by Concordia’s 17. TMC also posted 4 shots on goal.
Cunningham registered 6 saves while Klindworth led the Mustangs with 5 shots and 1 goal. Kevin Scheunemann (Malang, Indonesia) tallied 3 shots, while Serrano chipped in 2 shots and 2 assists.
The Mustangs will now head back to Santa Clarita and look to rebound next season. Based off their current roster, the squad will graduate five seniors, but welcome back 19 veterans.
“The players gave me everything they had and more,” further assessed Rickard. “I've been proud of their resolve during this entire season.”
To review The Master’s College men’s soccer team’s 2013 season, click here.