Los Angeles Soccer: Fresno Pacific
Top-seeded Redlands and No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps romped to easy victories in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men's soccer tournament openers Wednesday night to set up a showdown for a berth in the NCAA Division III championship bracket.
Charles Izydorek (Redlands/Arrowhead Christian Academy) scored his 13th goals of the season just before halftime, then set up Alex Laughton as Redlands (18-3-0) pulled away to a 3-0 victory over visiting Pomona-Pitzer (10-9-0). Cody Carlson (Burbank/Burbank HS) scored his 12th for the Bulldogs, who will be home for Saturday's tournament title game.
Connor Doyle (Hidden Hills/Calabasas HS) scored twice and drew a penalty kick for a third goal to lead Claremont (13-5-1) in a 4-0 rout of Whittier (9-9-0), setting up a rematch of last year's tournament final, won by the Stags.
Redlands, ranked 15th in the Division III poll, won its second successive SCIAC regular-season title, going 12-0 in conference play with two victories over Claremont -- 3-0 at home and 3-1 away.
In other men's action:
- UC Irvine clinched a share of the Big West Conference title when Jesse Vega (Whittier/La Serna HS) quickly answered a UC Davis strike to give visiting Cal State Fullerton (7-6-5) a 1-1 draw. Dan Reese provided a 70th-minute lead for Davis (5-3-1 BWC), which would win a tiebreaker with UCI (6-3-1 BWC) for the top seed in the conference tournament if it beats UC Riverside in its regular-season finale. Vega scored less than three minutes later -- and just 48 seconds after Mark Vasquez (Fullerton/Whittier Christian HS) was red-carded, leaving the Titans a man down. Two more red cards, one for each side, were issued in overtime.
Long Beach State's women are headed to the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years after upsetting 11th-ranked UC Irvine, 1-0, in Sunday's Big West Conference tournament title game.
Defender Bo Rael (Rancho Cucamonga/Los Osos HS), an Oregon transfer, headed home a corner kick by UCLA transfer Nicole Sweetman (Oxnard/Oaks Christian HS) eight minutes into the second half to lift the visiting 49ers (14-5-2), who needed outstanding defense -- led by Alex Balcer, who repeatedly made big plays -- and a little bit of luck.
UCI (17-2-2) hit the goal frame three times, with left back Nikki Forrest (Upland/Upland HS) nearly pulling the Anteaters even with a drive off the right post in the 76th minute.
“We knew we had to have a game plan, we knew we had to be flawless, we believe in ourselves, we know we can beat anyone in the country with the right game plan and the right mentality, and the team's really come a long way,” said Mauricio Ingrassia (Los Alamitos/Los Alamitos HS and Cal State Fullerton), who has won three Big West regular-season titles in seven seasons as Long Beach State coach -- after winning five state and two mythical national titles at Long Beach City College.