Finished Off In Finale, Post-Season Awaits
November 2, 2013
Santa Clarita, CA -- Jim Rickard and The Master's College men's soccer team are glad the regular season is over. They're overjoyed that they get to keep playing in November, qualifying for a spot in the GSAC Tournament that starts next week.
They're not as happy with Saturday's regular-season finale, though. Visiting Biola, the nation's 22nd-ranked squad scored a goal in each half and kept the Mustangs off the scoreboard in a 2-0 shutout before a partisan crowd just waiting for something good to happen on Reese Field.
After the loss, their second to Biola this season and one that concluded the regular season at 4-11-1 overall and 3-7 in the GSAC, the sixth-seeded Mustangs found out they would be traveling to El Cajon next Wednesday (Nov. 6) to face No. 3 seed San Diego Christian in a GSAC Tournament first-round match.
Wracked by injuries during most of the second half of the 2013 campaign, the Mustangs played without four starters and couldn't generate much offense, managing just two shots on goal throughout the entire match.
Addressing his club's lack of scoring opportunities, Rickard said, "We were unable to produce scoring opportunities without having Zach (Klindworth) working together with Jorge (Serrano)."
One of those shots on goal came off the foot of Brett Croft (Hesperica, CA) at the 7:45 mark of the first half but it was corraled by Biola goalie JT Addington.
Less than two minutes later, the Eagles made one of their eight shots on goal count. Carlos Ballesteros took a pass on the right side from Sava Pantic and ripped it by Mustang goalie Kyle Cunningham (Saugus, CA) into the lower left corner of the net at the 9:34 mark.
That slightest of leads held up through the rest of the first half and well into the second when the Eagles, who fired four more shots on goal over the final 45 minutes, put the game away. With 23:40 left to play, Daniel Chew took a corner kick from Stephen Campos and put it past Cunningham for a 2-0 lead.
That was all the Eagles needed to ice the match and clinch second place in the GSAC.
Conceding that his team was playing at less than full strength, Rickard looked at it from the bright side, saying, "I was able to play most everyone and give them some valuable experience. It was disappointing to lose our last home game but it became more important in the second half to rest a few players."
Now, the Mustangs turn their attention to the postseason where San Diego Christian (13-3-2 overall, 6-2-2 GSAC) awaits. The squads met once in the regular season with the Hawks shutting out the Mustangs 2-0 on October 19.