The Oaks are on their way to the California Pacific Conference Tournament Championship Match, thanks to a thrilling 1-0 victory over Maymount College in the conference semi finals in Vallejo. Menlo will square off with Embry-Riddle tomorrow night at 7:00pm, after the Eagles disposed of Simpson 4-0 in the other semi final matchup.
Deadlocked 0-0 at the half, the Oaks jumped on the board less than five minutes into the second stanza. Junior Christian Abrego picked the perfect time to score his first goal of the season, receiving a beautiful feed from senior Alex Vukic to push Menlo on top 1-0.
The Oaks defense took it from there, with big games from senior defender Eric Angell and senior keeper Alex Palomarez to keep the Mariners off the board. Dating back to the regular season, Menlo has now recorded shutouts in their last four matches.
"It was a definitely a nail biter, but we came together," Oaks Head Coach Mike Keller said on his team's sound performance to move within a win of their second straight NAIA National Championship appearance. "Overall I thought we played well and really toughed one out."
As far as taking on the 18th ranked team in the nation in Embry-Riddle on Saturday, Keller is excited about the opportunity. "Riddle looked good tonight, so I'm looking forward to a great one tomorrow," Menlo's head coach said.
The Oaks and Eagles are set to clash in the Cal Pac Championship at 7:00pm on Saturday.