October 5, 2017
On a day when The Master's University had a chance to create a logjam atop the GSAC, Vanguard squashed that hope with three second-half goals in a 4-2 victory on Reese Field.
The loss was the 24th-ranked Mustangs' second in a row and dropped the club to 8-3-2 overall and 3-2 in conference play where they sit in fourth place. Meanwhile, the No. 14 Lions claimed sole possession of first place in the GSAC, staying undefeated at 5-0.
"We're disappointed to drop a home conference game," commented head coach Jim Rickard. "We gave a full effort. In the end we got beat by a team that was better on this day."
Indeed, the Lions were, especially after rallying from a 2-1 deficit with three goals in a 23-minute window in the second half.
It started with a Sebastian Cortez blast on a free kick at 11:33 of the second half that evened the match. A little over three minutes later (59:45), Lion goalie, yes, that's right, goalie Brandon Gomez put Vanguard ahead to stay when he converted a penalty kick.
The Lions tacked on an insurance goal with 10:51 to play on a Brian Torres' score from just six yards out.
This Lion assault on the net, resulting in a season-high four goals surrendered by the TMU defense and goalie Casey Phillips, brushed away a 2-1 Mustang advantage that had been forged by goals on either side of halftime.
Down 1-0 on a Martin Arrieta goal at 28:44, the Mustang offense, which managed just one shot on goal in the opening half, made that count when Justin Ikeora scored his first goal of the year with 51 seconds remaining after a through-ball from Benjamin Tembo.
Then, just 1:02 into the second stanza, the Mustangs claimed their only lead of the afternoon when Tembo fed Trevor Mangan in a two-on-two situation for a goal that put the Mustangs ahead 2-1. Tembo's two assists gave him six for the season and a conference-high 38 points.
Owning their first losing skid of the season, the Mustangs have a chance to end that on Saturday when they entertain second-place Hope International (4-1 GSAC) at 1:30pm on Reese Field.