The No. 21 University of Redlands men's soccer team squared off against a feisty Pacific University (OR) squad on Thursday evening under the lights on Farquhar Field. After the Bulldogs cruised to a three-goal lead, the Boxers rallied for a pair of late-game scores, forcing the Maroon and Gray to hold on for a 3-2 victory.
Junior midfielder Cameron Doody (Arvada, CO) initiated the scoring for Redlands by blasting a shot past the Pacific goalkeeper in the eighth minute of action. Sophomore forward Kayvon Parsa (West Hills, CA) and junior forward Chase Boone (Beaverton, OR) connected on quick passes in front of the goal, setting up the Bulldogs' early score.
Less than six minutes later, junior midfielder Sergio Valencia's pressure on the defense forced the goalkeeper to mishandle the ball, which allowed him to send a sweet back-pass to Boone, who fired off the close-range shot into the back of the net.
Redlands finished off the first half with an 8-3 advantage on shots, as the defensive presence of junior defender Ben Thompson (Spokane, WA), senior defender Austin Moore (Las Vegas, NV), sophomore defender Spencer Scott (Beaverton, OR), and junior defender Keoni Yates (Kailua-Kona, HI) minimized the Boxers' scoring chances.
Early in the second stanza, the Bulldogs continued to cruise, as highlighted by Thompson's goal that came off of a slotted pass by Valencia and a one-touch assist by junior midfielder Casey ChubbFertal (Eugene, OR).
However, the Boxers refused to go away and mustered two later scores in the final nine minutes of the game, creating an unexpected urgency for the home team.
Despite Pacific's last-minute efforts, Redlands held on for the important in-region win by a score of 3-2.
Overall, the Bulldogs out-shot the opponents, 14-10, with Boone leading the Maroon and Gray with four attempts.
While patrolling the goal in a full-game showing, junior goalkeeper Josh Haskill (Lakewood, CA) recorded five saves in the win.
Redlands (3-0, 1-0 SCIAC) travels to Cal Lutheran University on Saturday, September 10, for a SCIAC showdown against the Kingsmen. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.