The men’s soccer team beat the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen in an intense game 2-1 at Ortmayer Stadium Wednesday night.
The Leopards moved quickly in the first half, showing extreme aggression as a team to setting the tone for the match.
Sure enough, the Leopards scored the first goal within the first five minutes, putting them on the board and sending a wave of confidence through the entire team.
The confidence showed in the first half as players got a lot braver. The Leopards made three goal attempts in ten minutes, the urgency to get ahead rattled the team and made their offense look shaky at times.
Cal Lutheran fought back just as hard pushing the ball as hard as they could, desperate to get on the board and create some tension in the game.
The Kingsmen had the ball in their possession for the majority of the first half. However, La Verne’s defense made it difficult for Cal Lutheran to make any progress.
Cal Lutheran moved in harmony, every pass had intent and the rhythm the team had was enough to make La Verne work harder to get the ball back in their possession.
With 15 minutes left in the half, La Verne gets more aggressive offensively, attempting to put some distance in the score. Both teams were hungry to score.
However, Cal Lutheran finally found the goal to put the score at 1-1 with 12 minutes left in the half, creating some tension
After their first score, the Kingsmen became more confident with goal attempts, but sophomore goalie Kevan Rehmani put a stop to Cal Lutheran scoring ending the first half 1-1.
The stakes were high in the second half due to both teams fighting for the lead.
Two yellow cards were issued to Cal Lutheran players for excessive roughness, with anxiety from the game building up quickly.
However, La Verne’s determination worked in their favor as junior forward Jovanni Garcia scored a goal putting them in the lead 2-1.
Both teams began swapping players in a flood, La Verne fighting to keep their lead and Cal Lutheran fighting to take it.
The Leopards confidence was at an all time high as they had ball possession for the last 10 minutes of the game. At this point, their tactic was clear: to not let the other team score.
La Verne’s energy level remained high for the remainder of the half.
“It was pretty intense from the start since we were coming from a 5-0 loss,” senior midfielder Thomas McKenzie said. “We were dialed but the intensity upped after halftime.”
Cal Lutheran’s offense became sloppy in the final minute of the game and it was not enough. The Leopards took the win at a very close score of 2-1.
Both teams showcased true sportsmanship by never faltering with the way they played the game.
The Leopards senior midfielder Jack Kolodge mentioned he was satisfied with how they held their ground in the second half.
“We are all excited because each game is a must win with such a competitive conference,” Kolodge said. “Each game is intense and will prepare us for the next.”
The Leopards will play against Whittier at the Donald E. Graham Soccer Field at 7 p.m. Saturday
Deja Goode can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.