SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – Menlo College Men's Soccer began its quest to defend the GSAC title with conference play beginning on Thursday. With every team in the conference gunning for the Oaks, RV The Master's University was the first team to get a crack at taking down the champions. That is just what they did on their home turf, using a whopping 28 shots to shut down the Oaks and win 3-0. The Mustangs picked up their sixth win to go to 6-1-2, while Menlo falls to 4-3-1 on the campaign.
As was the case in the women's game, the Mustangs came out of the gate strong and with a lot of offensive pressure, something they were able to sustain throughout the duration of the game. They cashed in with their first legitimate chance of the game at 9:40 with a goal from Benjamin Tembo off a pass from Tristin Rochow, making it 1-0. Menlo had just come up empty handed on their side of the field after an offensive attack went stale. Fernando Menera, Evan Snodgrass and Efrain Bonilla all had shots in a few different sequences, including a corner kick from Leonardo Barcellos. Menlo was never able to capitalize and then allowed the goal on the other side of the field. From that point on, the Mustangs used their strong offense to their advantage, putting up an impressive 14 shots in the opening half.
Things remained the same in the second half, with the Mustangs also taking 14 shots in the second stanza, but they were able to score twice and put enough distance to not have to worry down the stretch. Just 63 seconds into the half, Luis Garcia-Sosa received a brilliant pass from Trevor Mangan and got the shot past Julio Naranjo to the bottom right corner. At 67:04, Tembo scored again for the Mustangs after getting a steal in the defensive zone for the Oaks, and scoring for the second time and sealing the deal at 3-0. The Oaks were able to get off 12 shots of their own, though just five of those were on goal. Bonilla, Menera, Franco Varga, and Ryan Branigan each recorded a pair of shots in the game, with both of Varga's being on target.
Another tough game is on tap for the Oaks, with a date against #25 Westmont up next on Saturday at 12:00 PM. Menlo will have two more road games in conference play after, and then they will return home for the start of October.