Goalkeeper Alex Palomarez stopped two penalty kicks and Menlo College took advantage to beat visiting UC Santa Cruz, 3-2, in a nonconference men's soccer match Wednesday.
The Oaks (6-3-1) host Cal State Maritime next Tuesday in a Cal Pac Conference contest at 3 p.m.
The game was tied at 2-2 when Palomarez made his first save. An Oaks player entered the penalty are too soon and Banana Slug Michael Hanabusa was given another chance.
"I knew it was important to keep the game level," Palomarez said. "As a goal keeper you definitely feel the pressure when the PK's are coming in, but you've got to keep a cool head, read your forward, and go with your gut."
The second save lifted Menlo's spirits and the Oaks responded by taking the lead minutes later. Gunn High graduate Sam Zipperstein kicked a free kick from way out that deflected off the foot of sophomore Eric Tilbury and into the net.
"To be honest, we were on our heels a little bit before the saves," Menlo coach Mike Keller said. "That brought us back into the game and from there on we had a lot of confidence going forward."
Menlo's Ricardo Urruela and Hugo Conchas each scored for the Oaks. Matheus Barbosa also had an assist.
Menlo College returns to Cal Pac Conference play on Friday, hosting Mills at 3 p.m.
The Oaks (2-8-2) are 2-1-2 and outscoring their opponents, 14-6, since opening the season with seven consecutive losses. They tied their two previous games, mostly recently 1-1 at Marymount College on Monday.
Steffany Dudley scored her team-leading ninth goal, with an assist from Mallory Todd.