THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – In true Kingsmen spirit, Cal Lutheran put everything on the line in the 90-minute matchup against the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags, Wednesday night. Seniors Alex Cortez and Jared Pischke donned their white Kingsmen jerseys for the last time in the regular season as the team played their last contest inside of William Rolland Stadium, but fell short 2-0 on senior night.
"We just want to thank our two seniors for the legacy they have left for our program. We appreciate the hard work and dedication they have put in their last four years as Kingsmen," said head coach Miguel Ruiz.
The game opened with a tough stretch for the Kingsmen as the Stags capitalized on early roughage to take two penalty kicks within the first 16 minutes of the game. William Birchard stepped up to take the first one with 14:36 on the clock, crossing sophomore Kingsmen keeper Antonio Welch with a score to the bottom left.=
Just over a minute later, another late whistle signaled a consecutive foul in the box, and another penalty kick for the Stags. This time, Cole Smith walked to the spot and attempted to punch one straight up the middle. However, Welch redeemed himself and chose correctly, making the diving save to his left to hold the score within one.
The Kingsmen answered with a chance at goal in the 39th minute. Senior Alex Cortez threw a long ball into the box that was headed about by CMS before being recollected by Cortez on the right side of the box. The defender then tried to skip one through the flurry of feet, but was blocked by a Stag to send the game into the second half.
In the second period, the Stags managed to capitalize on another set piece. Brichard took a free kick from 30 yards out in the 53rd and sent a clean service into the box, which found the temple of Daniel Rohde to tuck one into the back left of the net.
Now with playing with a two-score deficit, the Kingsmen increased their pressure offensively the remainder of the second half. Freshman Igor Lumbrano ramped the intensity up with a shot in the 76th, finding space through a break up the middle but straight into the hands of the keeper.
Less than a minute and half later, Cal Lutheran threatened to the score again on a pass from junior Joey Arnold to senior Jared Pischke. The forward then popped the ball into the lap of junior Alon Arnaldes but the bounced right back to the CMS keeper.
The Kingsmen's last chance at goal came with just four minutes left on the board. Cortez once again made a long threw into the box, this time finding the feet of freshman Jose Olea, who took a shot at goal but was blocked by a Stags defender.
With the clock winding down, Cal Lutheran was awarded with a second corner with 28 seconds on the clock. Taking the rushed kick, Arnaldes sent one perfectly into the box and Cortez finished the play with an attempted bicycle kick but could not dent the back of the net.
The Kingsmen now turn to Saturday morning against the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens at 11 a.m. PST in Claremont, California.
Box Score: CMS 2, 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 Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director