MSoc: Westmont knocked off in GSAC Tournament

The season has come to a premature end for Westmont Men’s Soccer (8-6-2) which fell to The Master’s (10-8-1) in the first round of the Golden State Athletic Conference Championship. The Mustangs scored a goal in each half to claim a 2-1 win and move on to the semifinals where they will match up with top-seeded Hope International (13-4-1).

“I have seen today’s game before,” said Westmont head coach Dave Wolf. “Between the boxes, I thought we played beautifully. There wasn’t a game this year that I didn’t enjoy watching our team play. But in the end, if you can’t turn good territorial play – good possession and good passing rhythm – into goals, then you are going to see games like today.”

The Master’s scored first in the game, taking a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute. Zach Klindworth passed the ball to GSAC Player of the Year Humphrey Mahowa who beat a Warrior defender to get open and then put the ball in the net.

“Klindworth and Mahowa combined just one time in the entire first half,” noted Wolf, “and they scored.”

The Warriors answered back less than two minutes later to tie the game at one. The Master’s goalkeeper Kyle Cunningham tried to push a ball away from the goal, but it found Westmont’s Rodrigo Diaz-Valdes who fired it back at the goal and past Cunningham.

The Mustangs’ second score came after a controversial call awarded a throw-in to the Mustangs in the 70th minute. Jamison Kropilack threw the ball in from the sideline past the goal to Brett Croft who fired off the game winner. Despite a renewed energy from the Warriors, Westmont was unable to find the equalizer before time expired on their season.

“What I will walk away with from this year is that the team defensively was very good,” said Wolf. “I thought the style of football that they played was very good and I thought the chemistry of the group was very good. You’ve just got to be able to score goals. In the end, we weren’t able to conjure up quite enough of that.”