The men’s soccer team dominated Chapman, staying undefeated at home by defeating the Panthers 4-1.
The second half offensive onslaught led the Leopards to victory.
The first half of the game remained scoreless and this became a motivation to score in the second half and re-evaluate. Chapman struck first in the 61st minute as freshman forward Daniel Malikyar scored putting Chapman up 1-0.
“It took the goal by Chapman to wake us up, “ senior midfielder, Fernando Almejo said. “And that shouldn’t be the case because I know we can do better than that. “
La Verne answered back at in the 64th minute as freshman defender Roberto Hernandez scored a goal for the Leopards tying the game 1-1.
In the 52nd minute of the game, freshman midfielder Sam Rudich of Chapman fouled junior midfielder and captain Boye Christiansen allowing Hernandez to come into the game.
The goal was Hernandez’s first goal of the season.
Freshman goalkeepers Dylan Roberts of La Verne and Yuki Schafer of Chapman communicated consistently to players on the field.
In the 66th minute, freshman defender Luis Vargas scored another goal putting the Leopards ahead, 2-1.
It was Vargas’ first goal of the season.
“It was pretty good because then it got the momentum going, “ Hernandez said. “It showed that we were finally getting our heads in the game. “
In the 67th minute, freshman forward, Nathan Gonzalez went past Anthony Fernandez and Dean Navarro, defenders of Chapman scoring a goal for La Verne making the score 3-1 as La Verne kept the lead.
The Leopards were not finished yet. Nathan Gonzalez scored another goal in the 81st minute putting the Leopards ahead, 4-1.
Gonzalez has scored five goals this season.
The Leopards offense has been strong scoring eight goals combined in the last two home games.
“At first, it was a struggle to keep control of the game but we were able to distribute and come out with the win, “ Almejo said. “Next game, we just need to stay focused and patient and just continue to dominate. “
“We just need to press more and make the best out of our possessions, “ Hernandez said. “We need to keep pushing and communicate a lot more and we’ll come out with the win. “
A moment of silence was held before Saturday’s game in remembrance to the passing of Sports Information Director, Will Darity.
It was obvious who the Leopards were playing for.
“This game tonight was dedicated to Will Darity, colleague and long time friend who will be dearly missed, “ head coach Crescencio Gonzalez said. “Tonight he was watching us out there and was loving every single bit of the game. “
The Leopards faced Cal Lutheran Monday at Thousand Oaks, falling short, 2-1, in double overtime.
Freshman forward Saul Uribe scored the only goal for La Verne in the losing effort
It was Uribe’s second goal of the season.
With the loss, La Verne has a 5-2 overall season record and a 3-2 record in SCIAC play.
The Leopards are currently fifth in the SCIAC standings.
Next home game for the men’s soccer team is scheduled for 7 p.m, Saturday at Ortmayer Stadium against the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
CMS has a 3-1-1 SCIAC record and is currently one place ahead of La Verne in the SCIAC standings at fourth.
Jolene Nacapuy can be reached at email@example.com.