Men's Soccer - Tue, Oct. 12, 2010
ATHERTON, Calif. - If nothing else, Menlo College is willing to put in
the time needed to get a result. On Tuesday the Oaks nearly ran out of
time only for Alex Vukic to score his second goal of the match in the
106th minute as Menlo ran off the pitch with a 2-1 California Pacific
Conference victory over William Jessup at Wunderlich Field in golden
The Oaks appeared to have missed their best chance to win the match when they allowed an equalizing goal in the 79th minute that came out of nowhere. Then, with just more than four minutes until the final whistle, Vukic ran onto a Fermin Martinez pass, leaped to touch the ball past Warriors goalkeeper Tim Rusher, chased it toward the goal line, and slammed it into the net from close range to put an exclamation mark on an important conference victory.
William Jessup had already blown two golden opportunities in the opening minute of the second overtime period. Kyle Dyck found plenty of space to unleash a ferocious hot that beat Oaks goalkeeper Daniel Schwartz, but banged off the post. The rebound bounced right up to Jose Ramirez who had a point blank chance to win the match only to send a header just wide of the same post that denied Dyck.
Menlo started the match strong and took a deserved lead in the 39th minute. Having controlled the match to that point the Oaks were finally rewarded when freshman Sam Zipperstein chipped a pass over the Warriors defense and Vukic beat Rusher to the ball. Vukic flicked the ball into the right side netting for a 1-0 Menlo advantage.
The Oaks lead stood strong for most of the second half and they appeared to be cruising to the final whistle. Then William Jessup showed its class with a quick goal that momentarily sucked the wind out of the Menlo team. David Ayvazyan took possession at midfield of a poor pass between Oaks and sent a ball down the right side for Ricky Ward, who latched onto the ball and beat Schwartz in a one-on-one situation to tie the score.
Schwartz played a strong game to help the Oaks establish a lead and then to keep them in the game after allowing the surprise equalizer. He tallied six saves and directed a strong Menlo defense for all 105-plus minutes of the contest.
Menlo is now 3-1-1 in the Cal Pac, 3-6-2 overall, and in sole possession of second place behind undefeated Holy Names. The Oaks next play at Simpson on Saturday at 3 p.m. William Jessup is 3-2-0 in conference play and 4-7-0 overall.