THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Goals from Erik Mejia, Adrian Graciano and Juan Valencia helped seal three points and the first win of the conference campaign for the California Lutheran University men's soccer team, earning a 3-1 victory over Caltech.
Cal Lutheran was nothing short of dominant on the day, tallying 38 shots with 16 on target. The defensive back line of Tyler Sherard, Nick Bryant, Cameron Korshavn and Mejia were in control for majority of the match and held the Beavers to just four shots with two on goal.
Spending most of the game with possession in the opponent's half of the pitch, CLU had no trouble creating a multitude of scoring chances.
The Kingsmen nearly broke through in the 19thminute when McKay Severance found space on the right side of the box and tried his luck from a tight angle, but his near post shot was saved by the Caltech goalkeeper.
Cal Lutheran found their goal with their next opportunity when Mejia got his name on the scoresheet and opened the scoring with a wonderful low driven shot to the far post to make the score 1-0. Daniel Pacheco did very well to slip a well-weighted ball to the sophomore who took his shot with great confidence. This was the Pachecho's third assist of the season.
The Beavers found the equalizer in the 27thminute through Sam Klauer when he capitalized on a rebound from point-blank distance.
Less than a minute later, CLU wasted no time restoring their lead when Graciano bagged his first goal of the season, putting the Kingsmen back in front. The sophomore was in the right place at the right time, pouncing on a bouncing ball in the box and calmly placing it into the back of the net.
Valencia gave Cal Lutheran a two-goal advantage with his goal in the 39thminute, giving the visitors a nice 3-1 cushion going into halftime.
The Kingsmen were close to adding a fourth goal just after the halftime kickoff when Aaron Winsick played a ball across the top of the box to Cesar Sagastume and his left-footed attempt was just wide of the post.
Severance showed his quality with a lovely bit of skill to beat his defender and lace his shot into the back of the net from close range in the 69thminute, but was unfortunately flagged for offside.
Despite the staggering amount of shots, the Kingsmen were unable to notch a goal in the second half, but would cruise to a convincing 3-1 win.
Cal Lutheran will look to continue their winning ways when they return to William Rolland Stadium to host Pomona-Pitzer in another conference matchup Sept. 25 at 7 p.m.
Box Score: CLU 3, CIT 1
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Release by Jeff Rebello, Assistant Sports Information Director