Saturday, September 12, 2015

Men's Soccer: California (PA) 2 UDC 1

Mehdi Badache (#6) makes his home debut for UDC

From our friends at UDC Athletics...

Firebirds Fall to California PA, 2-1 in Season Home Opener

The University of the District of Columbia Men's Soccer team surrendered two unanswered goals in the second half in a 2-1 home opener loss vs. non-region foe California (PA) on an overcast Saturday afternoon at Long Bridge Park.

The Firebirds fell to 0-3-1 on the season with today's loss while the Vulcans improved to 3-1 and took a 4-3-2 advantage in the all-time series dating back to 2003.

Frosh Kevin Ortez (#9) scored to give UDC a 1-0 lead

Freshman forward Kevin Ortez (Undecided - Alexandria, VA/TC Williams) scored the Firebirds' lone goal nearly 11 minutes into the action off of an assist by freshman midfielder Aaron Noel (Business Management - D'Abadie, Trinidad/Saint Mary's College). The goal was Ortez's 2nd of the season and the assist was Noel's team-leading 3rd. UDC controlled possession for much of the first half, thereby taking a 1-0 halftime lead despite an 8-3 shot advantage by the Vulcans.

Senior GK Louis Connor (#1) records a save vs. Nathan Delgado

The second half, however, belonged to California. The Vulcans had numerous scoring chances thwarted by UDC senior goalkeeper Louis Connor's (Elementary Education - Birmingham, England/Arthur Terry School) diving saves and two shots that clanged off of the post, but Cal (PA) finally got on the board in the 69th minute when Mike Cummings' pass got through the Firebird defense, and Jesse Scheirer blasted a shot from inside the box for the game-tying goal.

Freshman Kevin Claure Guzman (#13)

Ortez nearly answered back for UDC in the 76th minute when he fired a shot from just beyond the box, but it hit off the right post, and the score remained tied for the time being.

UDC Head Coach Matt Thompson

Ultimately, with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Eric Campbell headed in the game-winner off of a beautifully-placed cross by Lubos Kubik on a free kick from the left side of the field.

Senior Elio Hernandez

The Firebirds put together a few quality scoring opportunities, particularly a nice run down the field that resulted in a great shot by junior Mehdi Badache (Mechanical Engineering - Tunis, Tunisia/Santa Barbara City College) to the upper left corner of the net. Cal (PA) goalkeeper Aaron Donley made a terrific, full-extension, diving save to preserve the Vulcans' lead. Cal (PA) held on to win by a final score of 2-1.

Junior Nelson Moreno (#5) takes a breather

The Firebirds will next travel to Erie, PA to take on Mercyhurst University on Tuesday, September 15th at 4:00 PM.

Freshman Forward Kelvin Hererra (#17)

Click here for today's box score.