THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The Cal Lutheran Kingsmen put up ten shots in the second half alone of their non-conference matchup, Saturday night, but their offensive momentum came up late as they fell 1-0 to the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs.
Though the Banana Slugs outshot the Kingsmen seven to three in the first half, Cal Lutheran picked up their pace to outshoot UC Santa Cruz 10 to six in the back half. Both teams ended the night with thirteen shots, seven coming on goal for the Kingsmen, in what became a toe-to-toe physical contest.
As one team pushed their attacking wave up the field, the other quickly responded - one counter leading to the eventual game winner for the Banana Slugs. A misplay by the Kingsmen just outside of the box, opened up the middle lane for James Allison who took the ball into Kingsmen territory before pushing it out to the left side for Ben Blackfield in the 57th minute. Blackfield then ran up the line for 20 yards before crossing the ball into the box for Ari Sidman who finished with a shot to the back left of the net.
Down by one with the majority of the second half left to play, the Kingsmen increased their pressure with back-to-back shots just two minutes later. Though junior Aaron Winsick's initial shot was blocked, freshman Igor Lumbrano managed to recover the ball and jumped three feet into the air to get a shot off his right foot that was perfectly on line to the top of the net, but was saved by the keeper's fingertips.
The Banana Slugs responded with two shots of their own in the 66th, the first by Blackfield again that took a shot from right that was deflected by Kingsmen keeper, sophomore Antonio Welch, before Keith McCarty attempted to finish the play but nailed the crossbar.
It was the Kingsmen's turn once again as senior Jared Pischke connected with junior Joey Arnold in the 72nd minute, but the shot curved just left of the goal. Lumbrano and freshman Justin Magana followed with two shots on target of their own, but both attempts were thwarted by UCSC keeper Gerald Delorie.
Delorie finished the night with seven saves, six coming in the second half, while Welch finished with five of his own. On the offensive side, Arnold led the Kingsmen with three shots, while Lumbrano, Winsick and junior Alon Arnaldes contributed two more apiece.
The Kingsmen get back on their feet Wednesday night, September 26, against the Whittier Poets at the Donald E. Graham Soccer Field at 7 p.m. PST.
Box Score: UCSC 1, CLU 0
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Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director