Los Angeles Soccer: Joe Geletko
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.
Colorado's and Utah's addition to the old Pac 10 -- part of the megaconference movement running riot in the NCAA's Division I -- has changed the landscape in America's No. 2 college soccer conference (the Atlantic Coast remains No. 1).
Four Pac 12 teams are in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's top 25: No. 1 Stanford, the Bruins, No. 17 Cal and No. 24 Oregon State. Washington State is receiving votes.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Chandler Hoffman's hat trick lifted UCLA (4-2-1) to a 3-2 comeback win over UC Santa Barbara -- and back into the NSCAA's top 25. The junior from Alabama has seven goals in his past six games.
Local conference Players of the Week: