Westmont Men’s Soccer (3-6-2, 2-1 PacWest) fell to Hawai’i Hilo (7-5, 3-2) by a score of 3-2 on Thursday afternoon, dropping their first PacWest conference game of the season.
“I don’t think we were anywhere close to our best,” Westmont head coach Morgan Cathey said. “We made a slew of errors that are not indicative of us. I know the elements were difficult.
“Playing on a bouncy turf field, it wasn’t as easy to control the ball in the way we normally can. We have played at home a lot and on grass a lot. I think today wasn’t our best performance with the ball.
“We also made two big mistakes without the ball. You can’t do that and expect to win. I thought we had been very sound defensively, so to see our guys make the mistakes that they did in the time that they did was difficult to come back from. Credit to Hilo, good teams will punish you in those moments.”
In just the seventh minute of play, Hilo took a 1-0 lead when Gabriel Gallardo stole a ball at the top of the 18-yard box, and then turned and fired into the upper right corner.
The Vulcans held onto the one-goal lead until the Warriors evened the score on a set piece in the 43rd minute to take a 1-1 tie into halftime.
Aldo Becerril served up a corner kick from the right-hand side to the top of the 18. Daniel Tuscano ran on the ball uncontested and delivered a kick into the far corner of the net for the score.
Just 18 seconds after intermission, Connor Lynch gave Westmont a 2-1 lead. On the second-half kick-off, Westmont passed the ball backward to right-back Cash Anderholt.
In turn, Anderholt sent the ball to the center back who passed it to Landon Amaral on the left side. Amaral sent the ball over the top, leading Lynch who was striking down the left side.
Just inside the 18, Lynch, who had beaten his defender, deposited the ball into the far corner for the goal.
Unfortunately for Westmont, the lead would be a brief one. In the 54th minute, Colby Lee took a shot from 25 yards out that Warrior goalkeeper Brady Highfill stopped with a dive to his left.
The ball, however, remained in play and Tom Vorkastner who had maneuvered his way in behind the defense on the shot, collected the rebound and tapped it into the netting.
Hilo’s game-winner did not come until the 86th minute of play. Vorkastner got past his defender and Aidan Santos passed him the ball to produce a one-on-one opportunity with Westmont’s keeper.
Highfill came out of the goal to challenge, but Vorkastner was able to send the ball into the far-side netting for the game-winning goal.
“I think what is nice for our guys is that we get to have some adversity now and we get to see how we respond to that,” Cathey said. “The nice thing is that we have a game in two days, so we get to see how our guys are going to respond to the difficulty.”
The Warriors will take on the Silverswords of Chaminade in Honolulu on Saturday as part of a men’s and women’s doubleheader.
Then on Tuesday, Westmont concludes its Hawaii trip with a doubleheader against Hawai’i Pacific.