Warriors bounce back with tie in Irvine

IRVINE — Westmont rebounded from one its worst losses in history by gaining a 1-1 tie at Concordia in a Golden State Athletic Conference men’s soccer match on Saturday.

The Warriors, coming off a 5-0 thrashing at Biola on Tuesday, took a 1-0 lead in the 8th minute on an own-goal, as Scott Williams’ corner kick deflected off a Concordia player and into the net.

Concordia got the equalizer in the 31st minute when midfielder Willie Velasquez settled a chipped ball and poked it past Westmont goalkeeper Matthew McNab.

“We kind of laid down in the box,” Westmont coach Dave Wolf said of Concordia’s goal. “A couple of goals neither of the highest quality, but probably it was a deserving result.”

The Warriors created some good chances to score the go-ahead goal. Daniel Guzman hit the post in the 50th minute and Nana Ayken had two open looks in the second half sail over the cross bar and another shot in the second overtime go high.

McNab played well after being pulled in the loss to Biola on Tuesday. He finished with six saves, including a clutch one in the last four minutes of regulation and two in the first overtime period.

The Warriors played the last 24 minutes a man down as Anthony Niboli picked up a second yellow card in the 86th minute and was ejected from the game.

“It was a bit of a gut check for us,” Wolf said. “We really appealed to the character side of who they were before the game today, and I thought we got a good response. So there was lot to be grateful for.”

The result leaves the Warriors at 6-2-3 and 1-2-1 in the GSAC. Concordia is 6-4-1, 1-2-1.

The draw on the road was an improvement over the performance at Biola.

“It was a real good bounce-back for the guys today,” Wolf said. “It’s been a tough week for us, we were on the road twice. We got hammered on Tuesday and that was a lot to come back from psychologically. For the guys to grind out a tie on the road against a pretty good team and to do it with a man down, I think was a positive outing for the team.

“I think we got through a tough week and now we come home for three of the next four games and hopefully we can get the train back on the track.”

The Warriors play host to Fresno Pacific on Wednesday.