Flooding The Firestorm
October 26, 2013
Scottsdale, AZ -- Sparked by a pair of goals from Jorge Serrano and a second-half explosion, The Master's College men's soccer team took out its offensive frustrations on Arizona Christian Saturday afternoon, routing the host Firestorm 7-2.
Scoring a season-high in goals, the Mustangs snapped a two-game losing skid and improved to 4-9-1 overall and 3-5 in the GSAC where they now own sole possession of sixth place and the final playoff spot in the upcoming conference tournament. The win also avenged a 2-1 loss at the hands of the Firestorm on October 5.
Both clubs had opportunities in the match's initial 25 minutes but both goalies came up big, including Mustang keeper Kyle Cunningham (Saugus, CA) who made a pair of sensational saves on shots by Hanzel Rodriguez midway through the opening half.
However, Rodriguez would not be denied, taking a rebound off a Sidney Jones' shot and putting it by Cunningham for the first goal of the match at the 29:15 mark.
That 1-0 lead lasted all of 1:13, though, as the Mustangs retaliated in quick fashion when junior midfielder Brett Croft (Hesperia, CA) took a cross from Vini Barauna (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and headed it past Firestorm goalie Logan Butzier at the 30:28 mark for his first goal of the season and a 1-1 tie.
A little over eight minutes later (38:43), the Mustangs struck again, going ahead for good on a James Obimbo (Nairobi, Kenya) score that came off a rebound from a Zach Klindworth (Valencia, CA) shot that went off Butzier. It was Obimbo's first goal of the the season.
The Mustangs weren't done, either, in their most productive first half of the campaign. Senior Jorge Serrano (Sylmar, CA), who tied Klindworth with four shots on goal in the match, beat Butzier one-on-one with 2:14 left in the first half to give the Mustangs a 3-1 advantage, one they took to the halftime break. Serrano's tally tied him, at least temporarily, with Klindworth for the team lead with seven goals apiece.
Although the Mustangs were outshot 12-10 over the opening 45 minutes, they held a 7-5 advantage in shots on goal.
That margin and the lead were quickly halved just 1:51 into the final stanza when ACU's Carlos Villa received a cross from teammate Jesse Gerkey and headed it past Cunningham, trimming the Mustangs' advantage to 3-2.
The momentum had shifted in a matter of two minutes and now the Mustangs were on the defensive. It turned out, they were most comfortable there. In a match that had produced five goals in a little over 17 minutes, the offensive fireworks fizzled for a stretch of over 25 minutes until Obimbo entered the game.
Most of that was due to the goalies, including Cunningham, who, according to head coach Jim Rickard "made several big one-on-one saves and had a great game overall."
A little over four minutes after Obimbo re-entered the contest (72:17), the sophomore, on a Klindworth assist, gave the Mustangs a 4-2 lead with his second goal of the evening. That started a scoring avalanche that didn't stop until the Mustangs had blown the game wide open.
After assisting on the previous score, Klindworth found the net himself at the 79:32 mark, putting one past Butzier in unassisted fashion for his club-high eighth goal of the season.
However, less than five minutes later, Serrano tied Klindworth for the team lead again, beating Butzier with his eighth goal to extend the Mustangs' lead to 6-2.
Sophomore Austin Rochow (Canyon Country, CA) capped off the offensive assault (four goals in a 17-minute window) with 47 seconds left in the match, scoring his fourth goal of the year off an assist from Nick Saldivia.
Both clubs shot the ball 21 times, however, the Mustangs held a decisive 15-10 advantage in shots on goal.
In a late-season bid to qualify for the postseason, the Mustangs host the final two matches of the regular season, starting with Wednesday's game against 12th-ranked Concordia on Reese Field. Kick-off is slated for 3:00pm. Back on October 8, the Eagles squeaked by the Mustangs 3-2 in Irvine.