It was a good news/bad news kind of night for the Westcliff men’s soccer team Thursday in a 5-3 win over Providence University on the Championship Stadium pitch at the Great Park in Irvine.
The good news included a scorching offensive attack that racked up 12 shots-on-goal and five great finishes, but the bad news was a struggling defense that allowed the Seabeggars to erase a 3-0 deficit and knot the score 13 minutes into the second half.
“We wanted to bounce back and execute things we’ve been working on in practice,” Westcliff head coach Joey O’Keefe said. “Even though I think we executed those things, there was a lot to learn from. As a coaching staff, we felt even though we got a win, it wasn’t enough.”
Daniel Abrego lit the fuse on an intense scoring explosion for the Warriors 20 minutes in when he found net just seconds before Thales Castro did the same on an Abrego assist.
Less than a minute later, Jacob Aldana joined the party to make it 3-0, Warriors.
It looked like the rout could be on for a couple minutes until Izayah Lopez was set up by Victor Vinales for a Providence score in the 23rd minute.
Vinales tied the score in the 57th minute on a set-up by Marc Gonzalez on a run-out.
Runner-tracking has been a bugaboo for the Warriors thus far this season, one that hasn’t escaped goalkeeper Josh Glover (3-3).
“We really need to start tracking our runners,” Glover said. “Two of the three goals came down to that. Clearly, we need to wake up and address those issues quickly. We need to progress with it, otherwise we’re going to get cut open (at Biola Saturday).
“We definitely did it the hard way today.”
The score was deadlocked until the 74th minute when Daniel Segal was fouled in the box and netted high on a penalty kick.
Michael Davis found Cesar Ortega free just moments later for a grounded winner that was kicked right to left and found corner net to seal it.
“We’re not as concerned with the scoreboard as what was reflected on the field,” O’Keefe said. “We made mistakes that we are finding are reoccurring. It’s a great thing we have a huge roster, because we’re going to start rotating guys that can do the job against those higher level teams consistently.
“We have a (Division) II game against Biola this weekend, and we have to show up much better.”
O’Keefe was pleased the Warriors got the win, and expressed his pride in his squad for getting it, but he also told his players afterward they have much to improve upon.
Saturday at Biola will be a good test to see if the message has sunk in.
Kick-off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. in La Mirada.
To contact Brandon Petersen, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tag(s): Westcliff University