REDLANDS, Calif. - Redlands showed why it has one of the top offensive teams in NCAA Division III men's soccer on Saturday, beating Pacific Lutheran, 4-1, in an opening round match of the national tournament at Farquhar Field.
Redlands, hosting a four-team regional tournament, takes its 19-3-1 overall record to the regional final against the winner of the match between Chapman and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. For PLU, the season ends with a 15-4 record. The 15 wins is a program record for victories in a season.
The host Bulldogs came into the match with 79 goals in 21 matches, and they added four to that total, scoring two in each half. Playing high pressure all over the field, they controlled possession and ended up with a significant statistical dominance. After out-shooting the Lutes 12-6 in the first half, they ended the game with a 26-10 dominance, and they also had 10 corner kicks to three for PLU.
The hosts got on the board at 11:41 on Cody Carlson's 25-yard rocket past PLU keeper Joe Rayburn into the far-side netting. The Lutes got the goal back at 13:28 when Surafel Wodajo coverted a penalty kick after Spencer Augustin was tripped in the box.
Over the next 20 minutes or so the Lutes countered Redlands possession with numerous counterattacks that put the hosts under pressure.
The Bulldogs took the lead for good at 2-1 on another bullet from about the same spot at Carlson's goal, this one coming off the foot of Alex Laughton.
Redlands scored 4:21 into the second half when Jamie Griffin one-touched a cross from Matej Kustura into the net. At that point, the Lutes had to chase the game, and they nearly scored to get back into it. Spencer Augustin, who finished the season with 19 goals, had his curling right-footed effort touched over the bar by Redlands keeper Andreas Silva.
The Bulldogs wrapped it up with their fourth goal at the 85:55 mark when Griffin crossed to Charles Izydorek, who redirected the ball into the net.
The Lutes put five of their 10 shots on goal, forcing four saves from Silva. Rayburn had plenty of action for the Lutes and ended up with nine saves, including two excellent reaction saves in the second half.
- PLU -