November 4, 2017
In a Golden State Athletic Conference quarterfinal that required no travel Saturday, The Master’s University men’s soccer team perfected the art of the U-turn.
First, it was the post-goal celebrations.
Leonardo Anjos launched a free kick into the upper portions of the net in the first half and immediately turned back toward the sideline, where he jumped into an embrace of assistant coach Guilherme Mitrovitch.
After Menlo scored a second-half equalizer, Mustang Jonathan Brown bent a kick inside the far post in the 86th minute.
He too banked back toward the sideline, arms outstretched, and was mobbed by teammates.
Ultimately, it was the Mustangs who took a game headed for overtime and turned it back in their favor, dropping Menlo College, 2-1, and advancing to a semifinal versus Westmont College on Thursday in Santa Barbara.
“We kept working all game long, and it finally paid off with the game winner,” said coach Jim Rickard.
Ever since the Mustangs beat Menlo 3-0 in the conference opener on Sept. 21, the Oaks have made Master’s work.
Menlo topped the Mustangs 3-1 in the Bay Area on Oct. 19. Then Leonardo Barcellos’ goal in the 72nd minute Saturday put Master’s at risk of an early tournament exit.
But with less than five minutes to play, Taylor Howard threaded the ball to Brown at the left shoulder of the 18-yard box. Brown turned and buried it.
Then he sprinted toward the sideline.
“Everyone was thrilled,” Rickard said.