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Westmont Men Advance to GSAC Final on Francisco Castro’s Free Kick

Francisco "Panchito" Castro drilled a 30-yard free kick into the back of the net in the third minute of overtime to give Westmont a 1-0 victory over The Master's in the GSAC Tournament semifinals.
"Francisco has demonstrated on a number of occasions that he is a gamer," said Westmont head coach Dave Wolf. "He is not intimidated by the big moment and the big responsibility. He is defying the odds. To have the gall to shoot that was something else."
The free kick was won as the result of a foul on Jeremiah Anderson.
"Jerry went on what I would call a great gap dribble," said Wolf. "He picked the ball up on our side of the midfield stripe, and knifed between a couple of people and got himself into a dangerous situation. He did great all day in those particular moments.
"What we didn't do particularly great today, and why we needed a play like that, was because we didn't pass the ball great in the final third," assessed Wolf. "It isn't easy to do, but you know you need to do it at least five times to get the kind of chances that you need. We usually win games through some passing quality in the final third of the field. Today, that wasn't a part of our game so Jerry and Panchito conjured up something different."
Anderson's play gave Castro the chance he was looking for.
"I was thinking that this was the one opportunity we were waiting for, so I had to take advantage of it," said the freshman midfielder. It's crazy because I was working on those free kicks after practice this last week, but I wouldn't have known it was going to come down to that."
"It was certainly a quality ball strike," said Wolf, "there is no question about this. The real genius in it is the fact that he went for goal in a situation that was not a shooting situation but a serving situation. He goes for goal because he thinks that he can. It wasn't what I had in mind."
"It was just the right spot in the middle (of the field)," said Castro, explaining his decision to go for goal. "If I hit it right on target, it was going to do some damage - either go in or get a deflection."
No deflection necessary.
With the win, the Warriors advance to the championship game against Menlo on Saturday at Biola with a 4:00 p.m. kick-off. Westmont and Menlo tied as GSAC Regular Season Co-Champions. The only previous meeting this year saw the Warriors post a 3-0 win over the Oaks in a game played at Westmont.

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