WHITTIER, Calif. – The Cal Lutheran Kingsmen celebrated their first shutout victory of the season Wednesday night as a goal in the 89th minute by senior Jared Pischke sent the team home with a win over the Whittier Poets.
"I thought tonight's win was a pure grit win by the team. Everyone worked really hard and that's what got us the win. I hope we can build on today's win and continue to compete in the league," said head coach Miguel Ruiz.
Though Whittier opened the physical matchup with the first four shots of the night, they struggled to move past the Kingsmen defense and sophomore keeper Antonio Welch, who finished with a career-high 14 saves.
Welch sparked the defense with impressive saves with his feet and fingertips in the first half, not allowing any of Whittier's 19 shots in the first 45 to reflect on the score board. His offense stepped up in the second half, however, notching six shots in the second period compared to just two in the first.
Though the Kingsmen overall were outshot 26 to seven, their goal was the only thing that mattered at the end of the night.
With less than a minute and a half remaining in regulation, junior Alon Arnaldes received the ball on the left side of the field and beat his defender with a cut inside to move the ball up the field 15 yards before playing the ball to Pischke just outside the box.
Pischke then turned and played the ball back out junior Aaron Winsick on the right side who ran the ball ten yards towards the goal line before servicing the perfect cross back to Pischke in the middle of the box. The forward completed the play with a strike from the penalty spot past a defender and the keeper to the back of the net, erupting the Cal Lutheran bench and sending the team home with their most electric victory of the season.
The team returns to the pitch Saturday, September 29, looking to keep their momentum rolling against the Redlands Bulldogs at 2:30 p.m. inside William Rolland Stadium. The contest features a rematch of the 2017 conference championships finalists, where Cal Lutheran took home the trophy with a sudden death victory in the 2017 SCIAC Finals.
Box Score: CLU 1, WC 0
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Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director