MSoc: Warriors win on 3 first-half goals

Westmont ended the Golden State Athletic Conference regular season with a 3-1 men’s soccer win at William Jessup. The Warriors scored all three of their goals in the first half.

“I think the first half was outstanding,” offered Westmont head coach Dave Wolf. “To come here and be up 3-0 at halftime – it looked a little bit like we got a little bit of our swagger back. This has not been an easy place for GSAC teams to come. So, I felt very positive at halftime.”

Westmont (8-5-2, 5-3-2 GSAC) got on the scoreboard in the 19th minute when Tanner Wolf fired a shot after receiving a pass from Cody Howen.

“I got the ball from out wide and I turned,” described Howen. “Coach has been encouraging us to be calmer around the 18 with a demand to score goals but to try to stay composed and be patient. I love finding Tanner because I know that it is going to be good. I was on the left corner of the 18. He shot it from a couple of yards outside the 18.”

Howen made it a 2-0 game when he scored in the 30th minute off a pass from Rodrigo Diaz-Valdes.

“Rod worked very hard to get down the line,” said Howen. “He slipped me a ball through. I didn’t really know if I would get there, but I figured it was a good spot to go for it so I slid. The ball went off the outside of my foot and past the keeper.

In the 44th minute, Sebastian Kent scored his second game of the season; heading in a cross from Brandon Talsma.

Less than two minutes into the second half, however, William Jessup (5-9-1, 1-7-1) took one back. Jessup was awarded a penalty kick after a foul in the box that was attempted by Mike Mizzoni. Josh Glover blocked the PK for a save, but Mizzoni followed his shot and placed the ball in an empty net.

“The penalty kick changed the complexion of the game,” acknowledged Wolf. “In some ways, I thought that we experienced just a little bit of playoff intensity in the second half because of the PK. The game got going a little bit and Jessup got energized. We had to flip things around mentally because we were on cruise control at half time. I give the team credit for weathering a couple of storms. I thought our young guys in the back were excellent. Cliff (Guillory) was superb while he was in as was Josh Constant.”

On Wednesday, Nov. 5, the Warriors will open the playoffs with a first round game in the GSAC Tournament. Westmont’s opponent and the location of the game will be determined by conference games played by others on Saturday.