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Wednesday, January 16 , 2019, 12:42 pm | Overcast 60º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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No. 20 Vanguard upends No. 25 Westmont 2-1 on 2 Late Goals

There was no scoring in Saturday's GSAC men's soccer match in the first 80 minutes in Costa Mesa. However, there would be three goals scored in the following 19. Unfortunately, though #25 Westmont (5-4-2, 1-2 GSAC) would score the first goal, the Lions of #20 Vanguard (7-3-1, 2-1) would score the final two to claim a double-overtime victory.

"The thing we were most concerned about heading into the game ended up being the thing that was our undoing on both goals," said Westmont head coach Dave Wolf. "They hit some quality services. They had a good service on the first goal to equalize, then another one to get the winner. We feel like that was information we had talked a good deal about. We were not able to keep that from happening, so that was disappointing.

"Denying a service opportunity is not the easiest thing to do. In the end, they hit a couple of real good balls and had people on the end to finish them. Credit to them for their execution."

Westmont's Francisco "Panchito" Castro broke through in the scoreless game in the 81st minute.

"Ironically, our goal was also a really good service," said Wolf. "Sam Tuscano got a ball on the left flank. He didn't necessarily beat his mark, but he created just enough space to serve a ball. He swung the ball into the back post. Panchito was anticipating something getting through. He got to the ball and finished it first-time. It was a really good goal.

"Sam was superb for us all day," noted Wolf. "He had an excellent game and hit a couple of other balls that were excellent as well."

Two minutes later, the Lions scored the equalizer when Kobe Franks headed in a pass from Anthony Negrete. That was sufficient to send the game to overtime.

In the first overtime, Vanguard fired off three shots, none of which were on goal. Westmont did not record a shot.

In the second overtime, Castro got of two shots for the Warriors. The first in the 102nd minute was high. The second shot was a free kick from the top of the box that skipped off the top of the crossbar.

With just 2:16 remaining, Vanguard claimed the victory when Andrew Robles served in a ball that Oscar Salas buried in the back of the net.

Despite the loss, Wolf was pleased with several of his players.

"I thought that there were a number of good performances," noted the coach. "I thought Dash Wulterin had a good bounce-back performance today after a tough performance against Menlo. I thought Tim Heiduk and Zack Godeck were very good as center backs. Gabe Thurner also had a really good bounce-back performance and played some good minutes for us."

In other GSAC action, #16 Menlo (8-3, 2-1) was upset by The Master's (10-4, 2-2) by a score of 3-1. William Jessup (6-6, 2-2) pounded San Diego Christian (1-7, 0-3) by a 5-1 score. Ottawa of Arizona (9-1-1, 1-0-1) and Arizona Christian (2-0-1, 9-2-2) played to a 3-3 tie.

As a result, Arizona Christian sits atop the GSAC with 7 points (3 points for a win, 1 for a tie). Menlo, Vanguard, The Master's and William Jessup are in a four-way tie for second with 6 points. Ottawa is in sixth place with four points. Westmont and Hope International are tied for seventh with three points.

"Any team in the league that takes a second loss, their margin for error has been reduced significantly," noted Wolf. "That is a reality that we have to face."

The Warriors will face that reality beginning Thursday when they travel to Fullerton to take on Hope International.

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