Christian Ramirez sandwiched a pair of first-half goals around a TMC tally to lead #13 and third-seeded Concordia to a 2-1 win in a first-round GSAC Tournament game Wednesday afternoon in Irvine.
It was a quick exit for the Mustangs, who dropped their last three regular-season games and Wednesday’s postseason opener to fall to 10-5-3. However, the 2011 campaign is not over as the club will now pursue an NCCAA championship, starting with a playoff game against a yet-to-be determined opponent on November 17.
Ramirez, the conference’s leading goal scorer, wasted little time in putting the Eagles in front, taking a corner kick from Jose Tamayo and punching the ball past Mustang goalie Andrew Bussell just 1:50 into play for his 17th goal of the season.
That slightest of advantages lasted just over 10 minutes before the Mustangs answered back with their top scorer. In the match’s 13th minute (12:09), junior Jorge Serrano took a through ball from Marcelo Silva and put it past Eagle keeper William Whiddon to even the score. It was Serrano’s ninth tally of the season.
But, Ramirez wasn’t done. Just under 15 minutes later (27:04), Armando Padilla booted a free kick that Ramirez headed in for what turned out to be the game-winner.
Outshot 9-4 in the opening half, the Mustangs couldn’t generate any more shots on goal the rest of the period and went to the break down a goal.
The Mustangs had only a few chances in the second half when they turned the shooting tables on the Eagles, 6-4. But, a pair of Joel Peluffo shots-on-goal were turned back by Whiddon, including one with 4:22 left to play.