REDLANDS, Calif. — The University of La Verne men's soccer team struck three times in the second half to claim a stunning 3-2 victory over No. 15 Redlands on Friday night at Farquhar Field.
Ryan Adams notched the equalizer in the 73rd minute before Auden Foxe rocketed one in from near the edge of the penalty box with five minutes left in the match to extend the Leopards' SCIAC title hopes.
The Leopards can win the championship outright if Redlands loses to Occidental tomorrow or share the crown with the Bulldogs with a draw in that match. La Verne is chasing the program's first SCIAC championship since 1988.
Regardless of tomorrow's results, La Verne will host the first round match of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament on Thursday at Ortmayer Stadium as one of top two seeds.
"The players kept believing and results followed," La Verne head coach Trevor Persson said. "We are excited to host the first round of the SCIAC tournament."
Casey ChubbFertal opened the scoring for Redlands in the 15th minute with a long-range shot, SCIAC goals leader Chase Boone scored out of a scrum 12 minutes later and the Bulldogs seemed to have all the momentum with them.
But La Verne came out of the break with a renewed sense of urgency. The Leopards drew the first two corner kicks and registered the first three shots of the second half, and Humberto Irra broke the seal in the 68th minute. La Verne got the ball inside the box and after a frantic scramble, Foxe came up with the ball and slotted it into the net to get the Leopards going.
The equalizer by Adams came just moments later. Justin Funes drove a good cross into the box and the freshman finished it off to complete the momentum shift.
Redlands never got a decent chance in the second half as La Verne completely took control. The Bulldogs only got off two shots in the second half and the first one came in the 86th minute as Boone's attempt was blocked in the field. ChubbFertal headed one towards the net in the 88th minute but couldn't get much on it and Greg Veron made the easy save.
"It was a great all-around team effort in the second half, especially in the last 30 minutes," Persson said. "It took us a while to get the nerves out and then we woke up. I cannot say enough about the guys staying with the game plan and following through until the end."
La Verne finishes the SCIAC season with an 11-4-1 record (14-4-1 overall). Redlands falls to 13-5-0 overall and 11-4-0 in SCIAC play.
Kickoff for the first round of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament at Ortmayer Stadium is scheduled for 7 p.m.