Aliso Viejo, CA:
Deadlocked 2-2 in the closing moments of the Oaks southern California road trip, Menlo's Eric Angell found the back of the net to secure a thrilling 3-2 Oaks win over Soka University (2-6-1). In the 89th minute, the senior midfielder from Redwood City set up for a free kick, before blasting one just inside the near post to send his Menlo teammates into an absolute frenzy down in Aliso Viejo. The exciting victory completes a perfect 2-for-2 road swing, and moves the Oaks overall record to 4-1-3.
"It was a clutch goal that wrapped up a big time team effort for us," Menlo Head Coach Mike Keller said on the final dramatics. "Soka is tactically difficult and well coached, so it was a really good mental and physical test for us. I was proud of our guys; they left it all out on the field."
Angell's late heroics proved to be his second score of the match, after jump starting the Menlo offense with a goal in the fourth minute. Just 3:42 into the clash, fellow senior Alex Vukic set Angell up from in close, who then ripped one into the back of the net for the early 1-0 Oaks lead.
Credit the Lions who would respond with a Marco Timm score in the 22nd minute, with the assist credited to both freshman Luis Herrera and junior Akira Takahata. The Soka trio would be heard from again, after an Andrew Cota penalty kick goal put Menlo up 2-1 in the 58th minute. The score was the seventh on the season for Cota, as he continues to lead the Oaks in goals.
Then in the 62nd minute, déjà vu all over again as Timm produced the equalizer, with the assist awarded to both Herrera and Takahata.
Menlo keeper Alex Palomarez made six saves while allowing two goals in the victory, and the Lions' Omar Artega was forced to stave off 13 shots, coming up with ten saves and surrendering three goals. The Oaks outshot Soka 20-16, including 14-6 in shots on goal.
Menlo will now turn their sights on their first Cal Pac North matchup of the 2012 campaign, as the Oaks get set to host Pacific Union on Wednesday, October 3rd. Kickoff is slated for 3:00pm.