Los Angeles Soccer: Harrison Doyle
No. 15 Redlands and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps are on target for a fourth meeting this season after both were included in the NCAA men's tournament field announced Monday. If they win their openers Saturday on the Bulldogs' Farguhar Fields, the showdown will be Sunday at 5 p.m.
Claremont (14-5-1) beat Redlands (18-3-1) on penalties to snare the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament title and its automatic NCAA berth, and Bulldogs coach Ralph Perez was happy to see his team's name in the bracket.
“It's the first time that I know of that [the SCIAC] has gotten two teams,” said Perez, whose team is unbeaten in 17 games and had a perfect regular-season conference record. “We don't get the kind of respect that we deserve. Last year I thought we should have been in -- we were 13-3-2 and won conference -- so to get in this year, we're ecstatic.”
Claremont has beaten Redlands in the conference tournament two years running, although this year's result officially goes into the books as a draw.
“We just happened to hit penalty kicks better than they did ...,” said Stags coach Dan Calichman, the former Galaxy captain, whose team lost both league meetings with Redlands. “They had a great year this year, but it's hard to beat a team three times.”
The game hinged on an overtime penalty kick, with Claremont goalkepeeper Ricky Doar denying Cody Carlson's would-be winner.
Both schools have work to do to set up another showdown. Redlands opens the tournament against Northwest Conference co-champion Pacific Lutheran (15-3-0), from Tacoma. Claremont faces Chapman (11-4-3), from Orange), in the second game Saturday at Redlands.
Cesar Diaz Pizarro struck with 2½ minutes to play Friday night, and UC Riverside completed a comeback for a 3-2 men's soccer triumph at UC Irvine, its third victory this season over a nationally ranked opponent.
The triumph leaves the Highlanders (9-5-2), who have twice beaten UC Santa Barbara this season, in position to qualify for the Big West Conference tournament and took command of the league's title race from ninth-ranked Irvine (13-5-1) and gave it to second-place UC Davis.
UCR twice rallied from deficits, with Jose Diaz (Corona/Santiago HS) answering Cameron Iwasa's early goal and Humberto Santiago scoring in the 79th minute to pull the Highlanders even after Christian Hernandez (Palmdale/Palmdale HS) provided a 2-1 edge to the Anteaters in the 68th.
Pizarro (Chino/Ayala HS) scored his team-best ninth goal -- and school-record eighth career winning goal -- in the 88th minute.
UCI remains atop the standings with 16 points from a 5-3-1 conference record, but UC Davis (5-3), one point behind, has two games remaining, one more than the Anteaters. UCR (4-3-2) and UC Santa Barbara (4-4) also are in the race.
In other men's action:
- Luis Silva (Los Angeles/Salesian HS) scored twice and assisted two more goals as UC Santa Barbara (11-5-1) held on for a 4-3 victory at Cal State Fullerton (7-6-4) to climb into fourth place, putting the Gauchos into position to qualify for the Big West tournament. UCSB finishes its regular season with games against Cal State Northridge and Cal Poly, its closest pursuers.
- Cal State Northridge (7-7-3) settled for its second successive scoreless draw, against visiting Cal Poly, and sits fifth, one spot outside a Big West tournament berth, with two games to go.
- Paul Islas tallied twice and Fresno Pacific held on for a 4-3 victory over Concordia (12-3-1), No. 8 in the NAIA rankings, in a showdown for the Golden State Athletic Conference title. Edgar Orozco (Santa Ana/Santa Ana HS, Corona HS and Golden West College) scored twice and added an assist for the Eagles.
Christian Hernandez and Christian Santana each contributed a goal and an assist as No. 7 UC Irvine pulled three points ahead in the Big West Conference men's soccer race with a 5-1 romp Wednesday night at UC Riverside.
Miguel Ibarra (Lancaster/Lancaster HS), Hernandez (Palmdale/Palmdale HS) and Norby Rodriguez (Thousand Oaks/Thousand Oaks HS) scored first-half goals for the Anteaters (12-2-0), and an own goal 2½ minutes into the second half made it 4-0. Santana netted Irvine's finale 10 minutes later.
The Anteaters have won four in a row since opening Big West play with a 1-0 loss to Cal Poly and lead Cal State Northridge, which is 3-1-0, by three points. UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly and UC Davis have six points from four games.
UC Riverside (6-5-1) has stumbled badly since its Big West opener, an upset of UC Santa Barbara, losing three in a row -- including a 5-0 decision against Cal Poly in its previous match.
In other men's action:
- No. 13 UC Santa Barbara (9-3-1) throttled visiting Cal State Fullerton (6-4-2), romping to a 6-0 Big West triumph Tuesday as Luis Silva (Los Angeles/Salesian HS) and David Opoku each scored twice. The shot total was close: 16-13 for the Gauchos. Fullerton lost its third in a row.
- Cal State Northridge (6-5-1) is 3-1 in the Big West after a 2-0 victory Tuesday at Cal Poly. Thomas Ramos and Brian Behrad (Woodland Hills/Taft HS) netted the goals.
UCLA finally has a victory. Another might boost the Bruins back into the top 25.Chandler Hoffman scored his third goal of the season and All-American Kelyn Rowe added another to lift UCLA (1-2-1), one of the chief preseason NCAA title favorites, to a 2-1 triumph Friday night over St. Mary's at Drake Stadium.
The Bruins, ranked sixth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America preseason poll (and as high as No. 2 elsewhere), dropped out of the top 25 following losses to Louisville and UC Davis and a draw at Santa Clara.
Hoffman, who has eight goals in his last 10 games for the Bruins, finished a sequence from Shawn Singh and Eder Arreola (Chino Hills/Chino Hills HS) three minutes into the second half. Rowe's goal, a magnificent blast from just wide of the box to inside the far post, made it 2-0 in the 73rd minute.
UCLA takes on Loyola Marymount on Sunday at 5 p.m. on the Bruins' North Athletic Field.
In other men's action:
- Everett Pitts (Chino Hills/Ayala HS) volleyed home a rebound 16 minutes into overtime to lift No. 9 UC Irvine (5-0-0) to a 3-2 triumph at Wisconsin. The Badgers (2-2-0) rallied after Enrique Cardenas (Coachella/Coachella Valley HS) provided the Anteaters a 2-0 lead with a pair of yeoman's goals in the first six minutes of the second half.
- Kevin Venegas (Lakewood/Los Alamitos HS) sent Cal State Fullerton (3-0-1) to a 2-1 win over UW Green Bay at UNLV's tournament, converting a 73rd-minute penalty kick for the winner.
- Chris Smith (Palmdale/Quartz Hill HS) fed goals by Taylor Bowlin and Yarden Azulay as Cal State Northridge (2-2-0) romped, 3-0, over Missouri State at New Mexico's tournament.