Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Soccer team let an early lead slip away Wednesday night as they fell 2-1 in overtime to the University of La Verne.
With :23 seconds left in double overtime, La Verne's Daniel Ortega would convert the game-winner on a deflection in the box. The clock was winding down and the Leopards earned themselves a free kick at midfield. The ball was lofted into the box and bounced around eventually finding Ryan Sanfilippo who took a strike that was blocked by a Poet defender. The ensuing ricochet would make its way to Ortega who connected from 15-yards out to the left side of the goal.
The Purple & Gold still have a shot to make the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Post Season Tournament as they move to 5-8, 4-7 SCIAC.
Whittier controlled the first half outshooting the Leopards 7-4, while earning their lone goal on the evening. RayRay Roberson (Albuquerque, NM) connected for his first goal of the season with two minutes to play in the half giving Whittier a 1-0 advantage.
Then in the second half the momentum swung with La Verne piling on 10 shots with another three corner kicks. The equalizer came in the 80th minute off a free kick. Set up at the top of the box, Cesar Rodriguez ran towards the ball and took a dummy swing, setting up a charging Alan Medina who executed a perfect strike to the top right corner of the box.
Over the final six minutes of regulation La Verne looked for the game-winner with three chances. The first from Johnny DeRueda who saw his header hit the crossbar. The second from James Metoyer who had his shot blocked and the last from Adrian Perez who had his shot saved by freshman keeper Teddy Nickerson (Seattle, WA).
Then in extra time, ULV outshot Whittier 8-2 before getting the game-winner in the final seconds.
Whittier was outshot 22-14 on the game and was at a disadvantage on corner kicks 8-2.
Whittier has a home game this Saturday, October 20 when they host Claremont-M-S beginning at 7:00pm.