WJU Men's Soccer

Warriors make history against No. 11 Vanguard Lions

ROCKLIN, Calif. – The Jessup men’s soccer team took the pitch for the last time at home for the 2018 campaign on Saturday afternoon with a tough opponent waiting for them on the other side in No. 11 Vanguard University. With the game tied at one apiece through regulation, a double-overtime of 20 scoreless minutes would secure the tie and the Warriors clinching their first trip to the GSAC Men’s Soccer Tournament in program history.

Head coach Greg Lazaga commented on the outstanding performance, “Our guys gave everything today. We were really close to closing the game out but Vanguard is an excellent side and was able to even the score. I am so proud of our group for staying composed as this was our first overtime of the season.”

After the first half of action, there were 12 shots between both teams as the visiting Lions would hold the lead while senior goalkeeper Nick Garcia held down the posts with three saves.

It wouldn’t be until the 61st minute that the Warriors would hit the scoreboard first as Nick Tucker sent a rocket toward the goal from the middle, set up by Johnny Muresan in the corner. The ball would deflect off the crossbar as a defending Lion deflected it, tapping it in for an own goal.

The Lions would attack directly following the goal with four attempts and another two in the following 20 minutes of action but would be unable to convert until the 83rd minute. The Lions would tie it up in a one-v-one opportunity in the final minutes of regulation to send it to overtime.

What seemed like two quick periods of overtime would amount to 20 extra minutes of a scoreless contest as competition ran high in the final minutes, the Lions leading 5-0 in the shots category, but none on goal.

The Warriors fait was dependant on today’s contest and other GSAC competition, so as the buzzer sounded the Warriors heard it for the first time as it was announced that they were headed to the programs first-ever GSAC Men’s Soccer Tournament with the tie.

Three seniors were honored in a pregame ceremony only to continue on to postseason play before hanging up their cleats and jerseys as Warriors; Nick Garcia, Conner Entz and Omar Magana.

The bracket was released by the Golden State Athletic Conference shortly after the final horn announcing the Warriors will head back to Arizona Christian next Saturday to face the Firestorm at 12 pm. The Warriors hold the 3-2 advantage over ACU in head-to-head competition, collecting a loss this season in a close 4-3 battle in the final minutes.

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