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Men's soccer drops home opener to Pacific University

Benjamin Van Kleeck, sophomore midfielder for La Verne, takes possession of the ball in the second half as midfielder Kody Ganico (No. 3) for Pacific University, tries to regain possession. The Boxers defeated the Leopards, 6-0, Sunday at Ben Hines Field. / photo by Stephanie Arellanes

Benjamin Van Kleeck, sophomore midfielder for La Verne, takes possession of the ball in the second half as midfielder Kody Ganico (No. 3) for Pacific University, tries to regain possession. The Boxers defeated the Leopards, 6-0, Sunday at Ben Hines Field. / photo by Stephanie Arellanes

Xenia Martinez
Staff Writer

The men’s soccer team was outmatched in its opening game last Sunday against Pacific University, 6-0.

The game started roughly for the Leopards, giving up three goals to the Boxers in the first half.

However, head coach Crescencio Gonzalez does not believe the score of the game resembles the teams potential and skill for the upcoming year.

The Boxers were led by Travis Birrell who collected two assists while they outshot La Verne 18-8 as a team.

The Leopards had scoring opportunities, but were unable to convert them into goals.

Toward the end of the half La Verne increased it’s physical play, but to no avail.

Many fouls were called for and against the Leopards.

Senior midfielder and team captain Ruben Trujillo has faith.

“I hope we can come together with the new guys. They have a lot of potential and I know we can make it work,” Trujillo said.
The tension followed into the second half, resulting in La Verne receiving three yellow cards.

Pacific capitalized with goals on both a penalty and one free kick.

Gonzalez believes it’s going to be a long, work in progress season.

He also believes that the players need to work on playing together as a team and bringing that all onto the field.

“All we can do is take one game at time,” Gonzalez said.

Senior midfielder Bryan Mejia also felt the chemistry must be improved.

“We have skill, but skill isn’t everything,” Mejia said. “It’s not useful if we don’t come together as a team.”

The loss drops the Leopards’ record to 0-2.

With Occidental just around the corner, all the Leopards can look forward to is stepping up as a team because they feel team effort is what will help their continued success from last year.

The Leopards finished the 2008 season with a record of 10-6-3 to go along with an 8-4-2 record in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

La Verne’s next game is 2 p.m. Friday against Franklin & Marshall in Pennsylvania.

While in Pennsylvania La Verne will play Elizabethtown Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Leopards will play its first conference game against Occidental at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Eagle Rock.

Their next home game will be against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 4 p.m. Sept. 19 at Ben Hines Field.

Xenia Martinez can be reached at xenia.martinez@laverne.edu.

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