After dropping the first four games of the 2014 campaign, The Master’s College rode goals from three different players Monday afternoon to defeat Menlo 3-2, extending its winning streak to three games and improving to 3-4.
The victory was triggered by an explosive first half in which the Mustangs scored all of their goals led by the forward duo of Zach Klindworth (Valencia, CA) and Humphrey Mahowa (Malawi, Africa).
Klindworth, the club’s leading scorer last year and an All-GSAC selection, had been conspicuously absent from the goal column through the first six matches of the season. That all changed 11:25 into Monday’s match when the sophomore took a pass from senior Brett Croft (Hesperia, CA) and sent it by Oaks’ goalie Nathan Bachand for a lead the Mustangs would never relinquish. Croft’s second assist of the season tied him for the club lead.
While waiting for Klindworth to get untracked, Mahowa had become the focal point of the Mustang offense after becoming eligible in the season’s fourth match. He had scored twice and assisted on another goal in his first three games. On Monday afternoon, his team-leading third goal of the season at the 30:19 mark of the first half gave the Mustangs some separation and a 2-0 advantage. Senior Jordan Edwards (Anchorage, AK) assisted on the score.
Exactly 12 minutes later (42:19), Edwards joined the Klindworth-Mahowa tandem in the goal queue, scoring in unassisted fashion as the Mustangs concluded their most prolific half of the season. The Mustangs outshot the Oaks 9-2 in a dominant opening 45 minutes of play. Goalie Casey Phillips (Granada Hills, CA), who picked up the victory despite playing just the first half, registered one save.
Commenting on his club’s 3-0 lead at the break, Coach Jim Rickard said, “We played very well in the first half and created some excellent scoring chances. All three goals came from some nice ball movement and quality finishes.”
The three-goal assault proved to be just enough as the Oaks turned the tables in the second half and almost came all the way back. They trimmed the deficit to 3-1 on an Enrique Ortiz goal at the 55:10 mark.
Just over six minutes later (61:28), the senior midfielder was at it again, drawing the Oaks within a goal with his second score of the match. The rest of the game turned into a dogfight as the Mustangs hung on desperately while the Oaks did everything they could to even up things.
Rickard credited the Oaks’ second-half play, saying, “Menlo picked up its game and we thought we would cruise to victory. After two fairly quick goals, we were in a battle. It was good to get the win but we made it much more interesting than it needed to be.”
The Mustangs didn’t make it any more interesting, keeping the Oaks from scoring over the final 28:32 and sending the club into an eight-day break that precedes the opening of GSAC play on September 23 at No. 10 and reigning GSAC champion Concordia.