Harrell’s early strike stands for Warriors

It didn’t take Doug Harrell long to let his former team know that he had come to play. Exactly one minute into the game, Harrell put the ball in the back of the net and 89 minutes later, Westmont Men’s Soccer (8-3-5, 3-3-3 GSAC) had a 1-0 Golden State Athletic Conference win over The Master’s (6-6-3, 3-5-1) in Santa Clarita.
“It was a good homecoming for Doug,” said Westmont head coach Dave Wolf. “We had a free kick from right around the midfield line. Gustavo played it into the box and it didn’t get cleared. Ben Gordon slipped it to Doug and Doug tucked it inside the far post.”
The goal was the seventh of the season for the senior, which is a team high.
“There are moments in games were you can feel like you scored too early,” said Wolf. “That goal definitely felt that way. We have scored first in most of our games this year and not been able to sustain those leads in quite a number of our conference games.
“But today felt different in that it was very windy. We were playing against the wind in the first half and you felt like any goal against the wind could prove to be very valuable. It was very hard to play out of your own half of the field.”
The shutout was the first in conference for the Warriors this year and was a point of emphasis from the coach.
“The first thing we had on the board in our team talk was the question, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to get a shutout?”, said Wolf. “That felt real good. I thought we had a good response (from the team) after the Fresno Pacific game going to Point Loma and getting that game. We are now unbeaten in the last four games. The next layer of response for the team was to try and post a shutout. So I feel like we have accomplished step two in the bounce back from some of our earlier games.”
Depending on the results of tonight’s game between Vanguard and Biola, the Warriors will be either tied with Biola for fifth place in the GSAC standings or alone in sixth place going into the final game of the season. Saturday, the Warriors will host #18 Vanguard at Thorrington Field beginning at 2:30 p.m. The Lions are technically 8-7 overall, but six of their losses are due to forfeits. The only game they have lost on the field is to #8 California Baptist. None of Vanguard’s forfeits affected their conference record of 7-1.
“Part of Saturday is managing the game relative to player injuries and certain things you want to take a look at going into the postseason,” said Wolf. “(Assistant coach) Dana (Weymouth) and I will sit down and think about that. While the coaching staff may be looking at the bigger picture, the team’s job is to go out and win the game. We feel like we are getting stronger and growing into a better team. This is a good time of year to be doing that.”