Prescott, Ariz. - After winning their final conference match of the season, over UC Merced last weekend, the Golden Eagles vaulted into the Cal Pac tournament by virtue of a higher Modified Ratings Percentage Index used by the NAIA and the Cal Pac.
Grateful to have the opportunity, the Golden Eagles were well aware of the task at hand. The team was matched up against the No. 1 seed Marymount who they had not had much success with during the regular season. In their first meeting, at the beginning of October, the Mariners defeated La Sierra 4-1 in Riverside. Two weeks later, the Golden Eagles travelled to Marymount, where they fell to the Mariners 6-0.
Marymount cruised their way to the regular season Cal Pac title with a 12-1 record. Their only loss in conference play, prior to today, was in their final conference match of the regular season at Embry Riddle.
Showing that they weren't as invincible as they perceived, the Golden Eagles were persistent and opportunistic in handing the Mariners their second consecutive loss in a week, on Embry Riddle's field. The Mariners, the defending conference champions, were the heavy favorite heading into the Cal Pac tournament. But La Sierra would not be deterred.
The Mariners scored the first goal of the match to take the early 1-0 lead. Dakota Shelton put the Golden Eagles on the board, with a tying goal midway through the first half. Marymount took the lead with another goal just before the half, to take a 2-1 lead into the halftime break.
Early in the second half Edgar Padilla tied things up again, at 2-2, with his first of two goals on the afternoon. With approximately 15 minutes left in regulation and Marymount mounting attack after attack, Edgar Padilla netted his second goal, a game winner, to vault La Sierra into the lead.
The Golden Eagles thwarted a handful of Marymount chances in the final minutes to secure the victory and another opportunity.
La Sierra will now face Embry Riddle, the host school, in a showdown for the Cal Pac championship and a spot in the NAIA National Tournament. Embry Riddle won both regular season meetings between the two teams by final scored of 3-2 (October 27) and 2-1 (November 3). The match is scheduled to kick-off at 6:30pm PST.