Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – It came down to the final five minutes of regulation for the first two goals to be scored before the Whittier College Men's Soccer team was able to top the Kingsmen of Cal Lutheran University with a golden goal in overtime.
After seeing Claremont-M-S beat La Verne Saturday morning the Purple & Gold were forced to come up with the win in order to jump ahead of the Stags in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) standings.
The victory moved the Poets to a 7th place finish in the final standings as they finish 2017 at 5-10, 5-9 SCIAC.
The Poets controlled from start to finish outshooting the Kingsmen 27-15 along with totaling 10 corner kicks. They had a number of opportunities throughout the game but the go-ahead goal came at the 84:38 mark from Tait-Mole who received a through ball from Cessna in the box, before putting it away bottom corner past a diving Eduardo Garcia.
CLU though fought in the final three minutes getting the equalizer from Daniel Aguilar who was in the box with three Poet defenders and his teammate Chris Ortiz. Ortiz controlled the ball before touching it to Aguilar who put it away as Poet keeper Nathan Armas (Montclair, Calif.) came out to create an angle.
In overtime, the fans were living and dying by every shot as the teams combined for 11 total. CLU came down quickly opening up the first period as Aguilar was able to get around the back line to get a shot on frame. Armas came out to create a tough angle but Aguilar was able to get around him getting a clean look on goal but his shot would hit the post and ricochet back into the arms of Armas.
Minutes later, the Poets had their first look coming from Erik Dimas (Pomona, Calif.) who took a shot from on top of the box but right into the arms of Garcia. Cal Lutheran then responded at the 97:43 mark as Danny Pacheco tried to squeeze a shot over Armas but again CLU would get denied as the shot would hit the crossbar.
Both teams opened the second OT period with shots that came with saves. Alejandro Trujillo came down two minutes later and had his shot blocked in the box before CLU was able to get off two more looks within a minute.
Then with under three minutes to play, the Poets received a gift as a bad pass on the back line by CLU would allow Tait-Mole to get the steal and make his way into a 1v1 match-up with Garcia. Tait-Mole made his way into the box as Garcia came out trying to force an errant shot but the senior was able to get around the keeper and put away the golden goal.
Tait-Mole finished with 12 shots with five being on goal. Jacob Conlon (Placentia, Calif.) added four and Cessna attempted three.
Armas put together a strong game between the posts totaling four saves against five shots.