The Westmont men’s soccer team scored a goal in each half to win their first road game of the season Saturday night against Olivet Nazarene 2-0 in Bourbonnais, Ill.
It was the sixth straight win to start the season for the #8 ranked Warriors, the best start in program history.
As they have become accustomed, the Warriors struck early with a quick fifth minute score by Tyler Young on a Zach Godeck assist.
The second half turned into a defensive struggle for the Warriors and it took their impressive back line to survive a different Olivet Nazarene effort.
“ONU is a really good team, maybe the best we’ve seen this year,” said Westmont coaach Dave Wolf. “In the second half, we had to suffer for periods of time. There was some last-ditch defending and some nervy moments around our box.”
Coach Wolf complimented his upper classmen on defense for their crucial role in staving off the home team’s attack.
“We got a great performance out of both center backs – Tim Heiduk and Zach Godeck – they were outstanding. Those two guys were big-time college central defenders tonight,” said Wolf, “Nick Ruiz and Sean Nakaoka did a really good job on their guy (Thomas) Barbosa. He’s a good player, he’s clever, he’s great on the dribble and Nick and Sean made it very tough on him.”
“The spine of our defense was very strong tonight.”
The Westmont offense found a way to put the winning distance between them and their opponent. In the 81st minute the scoring duo of Francisco “Panchito” Castro and Young once again found success, and it was Young’s second strike of the game.
“That was a terrific goal,” noted Wolf, “Pancho put the pass in the only place that Tyler could reach it but also into the perfect place that the goalkeeper could not.
“It was the result of one of our better sequences of moving the ball tonight and it was not just another goal but kind of the ‘killer’ score – it undercut their second half effort, took the wind out of their sails.”
The Warriors continue their road trip with a game at Cal Poly. Having already contested both UCLA and UCSB earlier in the season, Wolf admitted it is not just the final game before starting conference play on October 3.
“The pragmatic view for Thursday is that it’s our last non-conference game,” said Wolf. “But to be playing at Spanos Stadium, probably one of the top five college soccer venues in the country, we are honored to play this game. Coach Steve Sampson is an absolute legend – for our team to be on the field playing against a team he’s coaching, it’s a true honor.”
The Westmont Warriors face off against the Cal Poly Mustangs on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.