The men’s soccer team faced a 1-0 loss Saturday against Chapman during their home opener at Ortmayer Stadium.
It was a tied game with both teams fighting to score a goal until the eighth minute when Chapman’s sophomore midfielder Karam Gill scored and took the lead, 1-0.
“We were mentally and physically preparing for this game, but unfortunately our execution fell short,” head coach Trevor Persson said.
“We just need to stick to the game plan and abide to the core rules and principles of the game.”
The game got off to an aggressive start with fouls on both teams within the first four minutes.
It was their defense that allowed the Leopards to hold the Panthers.
But offensively La Verne was not playing to their best potential.
The Leopards were not able to execute their game plan and failed to bring the momentum from their 2-1 win against Redlands Sept. 10.
“Positioning and formation wise, we weren’t all there,” sophomore midfielder Jaime Moreno said. “We didn’t rotate correctly and we couldn’t complete our passes.”
Moreno led the second half of the game with a corner kick at the 46 minute, but La Verne fell short fouling twice after.
They totaled 13 fouls by the end of the game.
With four saves throughout the game, junior goalkeeper Darrin Bangle was named player of the game.
Bangle totaled four saves, averaging 0.57 goals allowed per game and an overall of 22.
“I don’t think of myself as player of the game, I just think of myself as the goalkeeper,” Bangle said. “I just try to let the least amount of goals past me because I despise getting scored on.”
It was a close match for the Leopards and a tough battle.
But losing to Chapman was definitely a wakeup call.
“We needed more energy coming out,” junior defensive player Anton Russell said. “We just need to get over it, move on and put it in the past.”
It was the little things that were left behind.
The simple fundamentals that the Leopards seemed to be lacking on Saturday.
“We’re a strong defensive team, but offensively we’re a little hesitant,” Bangle said.
La Verne totaled five shots with shot on goal, four saves by the goalkeeper, 13 fouls and one corner kick.
Chapman finished off the game with nine shots with five on goal, one goal, one save by the goalkeeper, four fouls, five corner kicks, and four offside calls.
La Verne also had a 2-1 loss to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Monday’s game at Pritzlaff Field.
The Leopards are 4-2-1 overall and 1-2 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
The team also faced a 2-1 loss in overtime to Pomona-Pitzer Wednesday at Ortmayer Stadium.
Annabel Secaida can be reached at email@example.com.