THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Donning black jerseys in a season opening Blackout the Cal Lutheran men’s soccer team fell 2-0 to sister school Pacific Lutheran at William Rolland Stadium this evening as part of the 2013 Kingsmen Kickoff Classic.
Although the Kingsmen controlled the pace of play throughout the opening half, taking 12 shots to the Lutes’ five, it was Pacific Lutheran goalie Joe Rayburn who kept the Kingsmen scoreless. The PLU senior turned away a series of well executed shots including a pair of header attempts from Alex Wardle.
Early in the game with start-of-the-season jitters, the CLU defense broke down and allowed a pair of goals from PLU senior Giancarlo Santoro in the 28th and 41st minutes, respectively, on assists from Derek Johnson and Rigoberto Loreto. With a lot of new players, the lack of cohesion showed, but the talent on the field was apparent from the start.
After the intermission neither team was able to find the back of the net as no one really seized the momentum over the final 45 minutes, taking a combined eight shots.
Cal Lutheran held an edge with 17 shots while Pacific Lutheran tallied eight. CLU senior goalie Rey Rivera-Ramos saved two shots in 90 minutes of action on his final opening day.
Leading the offense tonight for the Kingsmen was Wardle who had six chances, the most of any player in the game. Kyle Fleming took four shots, with three on goal. In his first game for the Violet and Gold Salvador Orozco fired off a pair with one on target, which was a laser that was nabbed by Rayburn. Both Gabriel Fernando and Sergio Torres took a shot in his CLU debut as well.
The starting lineup featured four new faces, as Fernando, Jorge Galvan and Henry Breheny took the field as defenders and Orozco was penciled in as a midfielder. Freshman Rex Mascheroni came off the bench for his first collegiate action tonight, too.
Overall, Rayburn saved eight shots for the Lutes while Santoro scored on both of his shot attempts and Loreto had two shots, both on goal. Additionally, Derek Johnson had a pair of chances for PLU.
Earlier today Occidental (1-0) shut out UC Santa Cruz (0-1) 4-0 in the first game of the day behind a goals from four different Tigers. Michael Tonetti scored the ultimate game winner, John Richardson converted a penalty kick, Marcus Brandford found the back of the net on an assist from Tonetti and Christian Buchmann added a fourth goal on a feed from Connor Freeman in the final five minutes.
Cal Lutheran (0-1) will be back in action on Sunday, Sept. 1 with a 7:30 p.m. start against UCSC to close out the Kingsmen Kickoff Classic. Occidental and Pacific Lutheran will face off on Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. Both games will be played at Rolland Stadium.