Game Recap By Don Gilmore, TMU Assistant Sports Editor
The perfect solution to stop a two-game losing skid?
Go out and beat a nationally ranked squad, right?
That’s exactly what The Master’s University did on Saturday afternoon, beating No. 16 Menlo 3-1 in Atherton to snap that losing streak.
“The team, as a whole, competed with a lot of passion today against one of the top squads in the conference,” said TMU head coach Jim Rickard. “I was excited to win today and hoping this game can get us to move past the recent disappointing losses.”
It was the Mustangs’ fourth victory over a Top 25 squad in 2018 and improved them to 10-4 overall and 2-2 in the Golden State Athletic Conference.
If there was one highlight of TMU’s play in its loss to William Jessup on Thursday, it was the passion and fervor displayed in the second half.
“We had a couple of team meetings after the Jessup game,” Rickard said. “I challenged them to be ready for game-changing moments.”
They were ready.
In the match’s 19th minute, junior midfielder Dylan Bielanski gave the Mustangs the lead with his fifth goal of the season off an assist from Benji Tembo (pictured above).
Less than nine minutes later, TMU’s Luis Garcia Sosa doubled his team’s advantage, scoring his fifth goal of the year in unassisted fashion.
The two-goal edge held up until the 38th minute when Menlo’s Fernando Menera headed a shot into the net to halve the deficit.
TMU keeper Price Anderson made two saves in the opening half and wound up with five for the game.
Three of those four came in the second half when the Oaks pounded away at the Mustang defense.
All to no avail. Anderson was flawless over the final 45 minutes with a lot of help from his teammates.
And, he got a late cushion to work with, too.
Tembo provided that in the 85th minute.
Described by Rickard as an “amazing” goal and a “real dagger,” Tembo’s sixth goal of the year came the hard way.
Initially, he took a through ball from Garcia Sosa, then beat a defender one-on-one, made a move to beat Menlo keeper Andres Zimmerman, and was tackled right at the goal line as the ball rolled in.
TMU will face another NAIA Top 25 team next Saturday when it travels to Santa Barbara to take on rival Westmont, the nation’s 25th-ranked club.