It wasn’t the way Jim Rickard wanted his Mustangs to end the regular season. With an eye on the upcoming GSAC Tournament, he was looking for a big effort that would not only give the Mustangs some much-needed momentum but a shot at the fifth seed.
Neither happened Saturday afternoon in El Cajon as last-place San Diego Christian upset The Master’s College 2-1, handing the Mustangs their third consecutive loss. The Mustangs finished the regular season at 10-4-3 overall and 3-4-2 in the GSAC (sixth place).
Depending on what happens later in the day, the Mustangs will face either Azusa Pacific or Vanguard in the first round of the conference tournament on Wednesday.
Following 25 minutes of scoreless play to open the match, the Mustangs drew first blood in the 26th minute (25:35) when senior Marcelo Silva tallied his third goal of the year, finding an empty net after Hawk goalie Cameron Riley mishandled the ball.
However, that 1-0 lead lasted all of seven minutes as the Hawks responded at the 32:41 mark when Emmanuel Onywera took a pass from Justin Picou and beat Mustang goalie Andrew Bussell to knot the score.
Then, just over a minute later, the Hawks struck again, scoring on a Leandro Vienna penalty kick at the 33:49 mark, to move ahead for good. Neither team could generate any more offense over the final 11-plus minutes of the opening half and the Hawks went to the break up by one.
Coming out of halftime, the Mustangs had a great chance to tie the match but a Silva shot 24 seconds in was turned back by Riley. Almost 18 minutes later, Riley made another save on a shot by Jack Holmlund and that was the final shot on goal by the Mustangs who wound up outshooting the Hawks 13-10.