MSoc: Warriors rise up, beat Fresno Pacific

Picturesque goals from senior Cody Howen and freshman Austin Lack propelled Westmont Men’s Soccer to a 2-1 victory over Fresno Pacific  Saturday at Thorrington Field.

Howen’s goal came just five and a half minutes into the game. Senior Nana Ayken received a pass and sent a scorching pass 20 yards up field, where  Howen tapped a bender of a shot safely to the right of Sunbirds’ goalkeeper Andrew Luis.

Lack’s goal came in the 76th minute of the game when fellow freshman Matt Lariviere pulled off a beautiful play. Lariviere heel-tapped  a through ball to where Lack outran a defender, corralled the ball, a coerced a shot past Luis.

“It was huge,” Westmont coach Dave Wolf said of the second goal. “Undoubtedly it turned out to be the critical moment of the game. To get two young guys linking up for such a decisive moment, is very encouraging. Up to this point, our freshman have mostly been energy guys. However, that play was not comprised of only energy, it was completed with a touch of class. It was fantastic. I’m happy for those two guys. They’ve worked really hard and came up clutch.”

The Warriors were outshot 16-9 , but the Sunbirds put only three on goal, converting  once in the 79th minute.

Twelve of Fresno Pacific’s 16 shots materialized in the second half. The additional pressure certainly tested the Warrior defense late in the game.

Wolf stated that he expected this game to be a challenge defensively.

“We had a lot to do defensively at the end of the game. Today was going to be hard because of how much the guys had to exert on Wednesday (against Marymount),” Wolf said. “I felt that we were better (than Wednesday) with the ball in the first half, and that was encouraging. Certainly, the last 30 minutes were nerve-racking, and not very pretty – it was just surviving until the end.”