THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Tempers and tensions flared with 43 total fouls being called including three yellow-cards as Cal Lutheran’s men’s soccer comeback bid fell just short being defeated by La Verne 2-1 Saturday night at Rolland Stadium.
La Verne got two goals in a matter of two minutes in the first half when Peter Careaga scored for the Leopards in the 36th minute and Luis Chavez tacked on another goal in the 37th minute to put the Leopards up 2-0.
The rest of the first half and most of the second half saw CLU struggle to get any momentum going offensively, largely because of the physical play and abundance of fouls interrupting the flow of the game.
Cal Lutheran finally broke through in the 76th minute when freshman Alex Wardle nailed a free kick from just outside the box into the bottom left of the goal, past the La Verne goalie to pull the Kingsmen to within one.
The Kingsmen had their best chance at an equalizer in the 78th minute when Bryce Truver made a run down the left flank of the field. He had a give-and-go with Raul Yepez as he broke free from a La Verne defender but his shot on goal went high.
La Verne was able to maintain possession the rest of the game and run out the clock for the victory
Matt Hubbard and Luke Kurzon led the Kingsmen in shots with two apiece while eight other Kingsmen had one shot.
Goalkeeper Jack Duncan came on at halftime and held La Verne scoreless in the second half.
With the loss, Cal Lutheran drops to 6-6 overall and 4-4 in the SCIAC. La Verne improves to 6-6-1 and 4-5 in the SCIAC. The Kingsmen will next make the road trip down the 210 to face Pomona-Pitzer next Monday, Oct. 4, at 4:00 p.m.
Box Score: CLU 1 La Verne 2