THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - In the first conference matchup of the season, the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen suffered a tough loss on Wednesday night, dropping a 1-0 decision to the visiting Occidental Tigers at William Rolland Stadium.
Halfway into the first half, both teams narrowly missed a couple of golden opportunities to take the lead. Kingsmen senior Jared Pischke railed one off the goal post followed by a bicycle kick taken by senior Alex Cortez that narrowly flew over the bar. A few minutes later, the Tigers responded with a shot on goal by junior Ryan Wilson that also deflected on the top of the goal post.
After a hard-fought opening half, the Kingsmen and Tigers battled to a blank scoreline with goals not coming easy for either side.
However, just one minute into the start of the second half, Occidental broke through to take a 1-0 lead. Coming off of a quick counter-attack, junior midfielder Ben Simon was able to place the ball in the top left corner of the goal past the outstretched hands of Kingsmen goalkeeper Antonio Welch.
Responding to the goal, the Kingsmen drew up an attacking possession in which junior forward Aaron Winsick took a shot on goal but was saved by Tiger goalkeeper Scott Drazan.
Closing into the final minutes of play, the Kingsmen battled for forward possession but could not make do on their chances. With the Kingsmen deep in opposing territory, Pischke attempted another shot on goal but was knocked away by Tiger goalkeeper Drazan. After a penalty called against the Tigers with just four minutes remaining, the Kingsmen looked to equalize with a free kick close to the Tigers' goal. Attempting the free kick was freshman midfielder Igor Lumbrano who struck a low shot that was blocked by the Tigers' defense.
At the end of 90 minutes of play, the Tigers took the home opener from the Kingsmen with a final score of 1-0. The loss moves Cal Lutheran to 0-3-0 on the season and 0-1-0 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.
The Kingsmen return to William Rolland Stadium this Saturday, September 8, as they seek their first win in the 2018 season against the visiting Caltech Beavers at 7 p.m. PST.
Box Score: OXY 1, CLU 0
Sport Instagram: @kingsmen_soccer
Sport Twitter: @CLUmSoccer
CLU Instagram: @clusports
CLU Twitter: @CLUSports
CLU Facebook: CLU Sports
Hashtags: #clusports #goregals #gokingsmen #ownthethrone #theSCIAC #ncaad3
Release by Scott Roberts, Sports Information Student Assistant