The La Verne Leopards took another tough hit as the men’s soccer team lost to Redlands on Wednesday, 3-2.
The first half was filled with unfinished opportunities and yellow cards for the Leopards resulting in a first half score of 2-0 for the Bulldogs.
The first goal of the game came from senior Danny Connors of the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs started off strongly, playing aggressively with better ball control and more agility than the Leopards.
La Verne was not playing as aggressively, and the Bulldogs took advantage of the situation.
Another upsetting goal was made by freshman Pat Roraff of the Bulldogs, as he walked a ricocheted ball into the La Verne goal.
There was a spark of hope as senior Nahavi Mendoza stole the ball towards the end of the half, leading to a promising breakaway, only to be disappointed by a foul from the Bulldogs.
Overall there was a serious lack of communication coming from the Leopards during the first half.
Fans seemed to notice the lack of focus and communication coming from the Leopards.
“The La Verne players seem sluggish, they need to be more physical, or Redlands is going to run all over us in the second half,” said junior movement and sports science major Lisa Bakke.
The mood of the team seemed to change for the Leopards, as they came out very strong early on in the second half.
Freshman Joshua Hill scored the first goal for La Verne in the 44th minute, bringing the score to 2-1, Bulldogs.
The Leopards showed much more aggression, and better ball control as they fought for a come back in the last 40 minutes of the game.
There were a lot of close calls, but the most exciting one was made in the 26th minute as Leopard goalie Jonathyn Lomeli saved yet another threatening shot made by the Bulldogs.
It seemed as though Lomeli was working overtime due to the lack of communication by the defense.
The Bulldogs swiftly answered back to the Leopards’ call with another goal by senior Gilbert Flores in the 16th minute.
To the Bulldogs’ disappointment their goalie gave up a goal to the Leopards.
As Luis Chavez power kicked the ball straight through his legs in the 10th minute of the second half.
Unfortunately the Leopards were unable to get another goal, resulting in a 3-2 loss.
The fans were not the only ones who noticed how slow moving the players were during the first half of the game.
Some of the players acknowledged the fact that they were not playing like they usually do.
“We came out very slow and sluggish in the first half,” Hill said. “We were not that focused, a lot was going on.”
“After we saw how they played in the first half we knew we could play and compete with them for a win,” he said.
The Leopards will try to get over this slump, but it will not be easy as the next two matches are on the road. On Saturday La Verne will travel to Occidental and Wednesday they will face the Whittier.
Christopher Barnes-Baxter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.