Redlands 1- 0 Occidental
UR: (22’) ChubbFertal
The matchup slated for 10/21 was as good as it gets in the SCIAC, as the first place Redlands men’s soccer team saw themselves pitted against second place Occidental College, their rivals who sat just one point back in the standings. After scoring a goal in the 22nd minute, the Bulldogs held onto to the lead and walked away with a 1-0 victory on Wednesday night.
Oxy came into the game on a hot streak, victors of their last four matches. But the Bulldogs came in on an even longer stretch, having won their previous six games and sitting in first place, The atmosphere was intense as the whistle blew to kick off the match, and the two best teams in the conference squared off.
After drawing a blank for the first 20 minutes, the stalemate was broken as sophomore Casey ChubbFertal was able to score on a fine shot that made it past the Tigers’ goalkeeper. Though it was the only attempt which found the back of the net for the Bulldogs, their offense was able to find many opportunities, as the squad rattled off 13 shots against a Tigers’ defense which has only given up four goals this season to the other teams in the conference. “They are the stingiest defense in the league… and it was a very good game for us.” said head coach Ralph Perez.
The approximate 200 fans in attendance were loud and supportive throughout the entire match, which made a huge difference according to freshman Arman Mogharei. “There’s nothing better than looking out at the field and seeing all these fans here,” he said. “It certainly gives you that extra oomph when you’re playing.”
The fans were treated to a second half favoring the Bulldogs, who spent the majority of it with possession of the ball, finding a way to challenge the Occidental defense. Though Redlands was not able to capitalize on any of their good scoring chances in the second half, the lone goal in the 22nd minute was all they needed, notching a crucial 1-0 victory.
Perez was pleased with the work his team put in throughout the entire match. “When you look at the overall game, I think we dominated and played really well,” he said.
Despite the game being heavily publicized throughout the school via word of mouth and fliers posted within the residence halls, Mogharei said the team didn’t let the pressure get into their heads. “We didn’t get too hyped for it, we were just doing our jobs and thinking that it was just another game,” he said. That mentality was shown by their outstanding performance against a tough opponent.
The win gives the Bulldogs a four point lead with just three games left to go. The team looks to seal up the top spot in the league before they come home on Halloween night, as they’ll be going against the University of La Verne for the last game of the regular season.
[Image courtesy of Sky Ung, Redlands Bulldog photographer]