Santa Barbara, CA - Looking to rebound from last week's loss, to San Diego Christian, the Golden Eagles men's soccer team travelled to Westmont College for a match-up with the Warriors. The match was an evenly matched contest that came down to the final minutes. With a goal, late in the second half, the Warriors pulled out a 3-2 win over the Golden Eagles.
La Sierra jumped out to the early lead when Sid Dube scored (5th minute) from the right wing on a pass from Roman Santiago. After each team exchanged good scoring chances throughout the remainder of the half, it was the Golden Eagles who took the slim 1-0 lead into the half.
Eleven minutes into the second half, Gerald Ben scored the equalizer on a pass from Emmanuel Akyen. Ben struck for another goal in the 68th minute, giving the Warriors a 2-1 lead.
With the clock running down it seemed as though a tie was inevitable, until the Golden Eagles were called for a foul, on Akyen, inside the penalty box, awarding a penalty kick to Westmont with just over three minutes to play. But goalkeeper Wade Dixon denied Akyen's shot, diving to his left and punching the ball out of the box.
Just over one minute later, it was Akyen who made the most of a second chance, when he scored an unassisted game-winning goal from the right side. Akyen is currently ranked number four in the NAIA, in game-winning goals.
In a match that the Golden Eagles will be able to pull many positives from, they must deal with the emotions that come with such a tough loss, and move on. "I thought our boys played well, we just lost focus there for a few minutes, in the second half, and it cost us the game," said head coach Jesse Olivas.
With the loss, La Sierra falls to 4-4 on the season. Their next match is scheduled for Friday, when they travel to The Master's College, at 3pm. The Mustangs are 3-4 on the season.
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