If Wednesday’s soccer match against 24th-ranked Marymount was any indication of potential for The Master’s University, then Coach Jim Rickard and his Mustangs have much to look forward to over the next two months.
Sure, the Mustangs would have enjoyed a win more, but a 2-2, double-overtime tie against a nationally-ranked squad and a participant in last year’s NAIA National Tournament was in Rickard’s mind “a fair result.”
The draw snapped a three-game winning streak for the Mustangs and left them with a 5-1-1 record.
The Mariners, who put 10 shots on goal during the afternoon, drew first blood in the match’s 24th minute (23:02) when David Padovan headed a shot past Mustang goalie Casey Phillips off assists from Enrique Amador and Barak Moshe.
The Mustangs used the same method to tie the game almost six minutes later (28:50) as junior Trevor Mangan used his head to put the ball into the back of the net for his second goal of the season. Daniel Smith and Dylan Bielanski assisted on the game-tying score.
Both clubs had chances to unlock the tie in the closing minutes of the opening half but Phillips and Marymount goalie Ramon Garcia notched saves and the match went to halftime all knotted up. The Mariners outshot the Mustangs 9-5 during the first stanza and had a 4-2 advantage in shots on goal.
The initial shot of the second half for the Mustangs was a big one and started with a corner kick from Luis Garcia-Sosa. The sophomore midfielder found the foot of Leonardo Anjos and the junior midfielder put the ball past Garcia to give the Mustangs their first lead of the day just 1:01 into the second stanza. Jonathan Brown also assisted on Anjos’ third goal of the season.
Anjos played some defense during the afternoon, too, shadowing Amador, last year’s CalPac (California Pacific Conference) MVP and holding him to that one assist.
That narrowest of advantages held up for over 20 minutes as the Mustang defense, led by two Phillips’ saves, preserved the 2-1 lead.
However, in the 68th minute (67:11) the Mariners used a penalty kick conversion by Josep Morego to tie the match once again.
Neither team would score again, however, both had chances in regulation and then in both overtime periods. Mangan and Anjos had shots stopped by Garcia down the stretch of regulation and the Mariner keeper notched three saves in the first extra stanza. Phillips came up with big saves in each of the overtime periods, including one with 4:26 left to play in the second extra stanza that proved to be the final scoring opportunity for either club.
Rickard was extremely pleased with his team’s effort, saying, “You would never have known it was our fourth game in seven days. We played a very talented opponent toe-to-toe.”
Following a busy start to 2017 that has featured seven matches in 18 days, the Mustangs now get a well-deserved rest of 10 days before hosting Bethesda on September 16.