LA VERNE, Calif. — Saul Uribe scored on a picture-perfect play with five minutes remaining in the game to lift the University of La Verne men's soccer team past Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 2-1, on Saturday night at Ortmayer Stadium.
With the game tied at 1-1 and the Stags mounting all sorts of pressure, Auden Foxe found a hole down the right side. He played a perfect diagonal ball to the far post for Christopher Wong and Wong headed it across the goal to Uribe, who tapped it into the open net to give the win to the Leopards.
The Leopards improve to 12-4-1 overall and 9-4-1 in the SCIAC. La Verne needs to earn just one more point in its remaining two games assure a berth in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament. The Stags fall to 9-6-1 and 7-6-1.
"The win is huge," La Verne coach Trevor Persson said. "There are a lot of teams bunched up in the standings but it puts us right on the verge of getting into the SCIAC tournament."
After a stagnant first half, the game saw huge momentum swings in the second and La Verne fired the opening shot in the 63rd minute. Javier Jasso whipped in a good ball on a free kick from the left wing and it deflected into the net off the head of a CMS defender to put the Leopards up, 1-0.
La Verne retreated into a shell a little bit too much after the goal and CMS took full advantage. The Stags sent wave after wave of attackers up the field and was awarded with a penalty kick in the 80th minute after a collision in the box. Mehron Abdi tied the game at 1-1 as he beat La Verne goalkeeper Josh Ramirez to the low left corner.
Briley Venti nearly got the Leopards back up off the ensuing kickoff as he rattled the crossbar. However, the Stags settled down rode the momentum to keep the pressure on the Leopards. But one counterattack was all La Verne needed.
Before the game, La Verne celebrated the careers of its 10 seniors and all available seniors started the game and delivered the victory.
"We leaned on our senior class a lot over the past couple of years," Persson said. "It's always good to go out with a nice win at home for the families, especially with this big class."
La Verne will close out the regular season with a pair of road games. The Leopards travel to Redlands on Monday for a 7 p.m. kickoff and finish the season at Whittier on Wednesday.