The Bulldogs squared off against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) Thursday night in the semifinals of the SCIAC Championship Tournament. After winning SCIAC last year, many people expected Redlands to make it back to the final match. After 90 minutes of intense, fast-paced soccer, the Bulldogs did not disappoint, as they were able to earn a 2-0 victory and secure a spot in the Championship.
The Bulldogs got on the board early, in the twentieth minute of the game. Sophomore midfielder Jesus Avalos crossed the ball to senior Chase Boone, who smartly deflected the pass to junior midfielder Casey ChubbFertal, who headed in the first goal of the night. The Bulldogs retained possession of the ball for the majority of the first half.
The pressure of the constant Redlands attack caused nightmares for the Stags’ defense. Just one minute before the first half ended, a CMS defender made a costly mistake, heading the ball into his own net to give Redlands a shocking 2-0 lead.
That second goal allowed the Bulldogs to breathe as the Stags upped their tempo, showing that they were desperate for a goal to help them get back in the game. CMS took nine shots in the second half, more than double that of the Bulldogs, who took four. CMS took four corner kicks, as opposed to Redlands’, who took none. The barrage of offense required six big saves by John Melito, Redlands’ junior goalkeeper, to keep the Stags scoreless. He was helped by the impenetrable Bulldogs back line.
The Bulldogs held on for the full 90 minutes to earn their 2-0 victory. Though there was much celebration by the players after the game, the real test comes on Saturday. Redlands will look to win back-to-back SCIAC Tournament championships against Chapman University, who beat the Bulldogs in their last meeting.
[photo courtesy of Sam Keary from goredlands.com]