Mens Soccer

Menlo 1, Vanguard 0

Date of competition: Saturday, October 15, 2016

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The Menlo College men’s soccer entered the day atop the standings in the Golden State Athletic Conference and knocking on the door of the NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 poll.

The Oaks made their case for cracking the national rankings with an impressive 1-0 win over No. 20 Vanguard thanks to a goal in the 18th minute from senior Ryan Onizuka.

The goal, his eighth of the season, was a beautiful piece of finishing by Onizuka as he worked himself free from just outside of 30 feet and banged a perfect ball past the keeper for the game’s lone tally.

Vanguard pushed the pace for much of the game and even more so in the second half but the Oaks stood tall and earned the big conference victory to move to 11-2-1 overall and 5-0-1 in conference play while Vanguard falls to 8-4 overall and 3-4 within the conference which currently puts them at fifth on the table.

The pace of the game was very much dictated by the Lions in the early going. Vanguard was pushing the pace and trying to dump the ball up ahead and catch the Menlo defense off guard. However, the backline of Axel Helmertz, Alex Avila and Oscar Reyes combined with the play of keeper Alex Coates-McDowall, was up for the challenge.

Arguably the play of the game came in the 15th minute when the Lions put a ball on the back post for a wide-open Juan Arellano, who looked to have an easy chance to score. Coates-McDowall came flying back into the picture and fully extended with a dive to his left and deflected the threat away to maintain the shutout.

The save flipped the momentum momentarily in favor of Menlo and the navy and white took full advantage.

In the 18th minute Menlo worked the ball into the attacking third and it found the foot of Ryan Onizuka. He shook a defender and uncorked an absolute beauty of a ball that beat the keeper for the game winner.

Vanguard continued to attack and would ultimately outshoot Menlo, 17-9, including a 7-4 advantage in shots on frame, but it would still result in Menlo’s 10th shutout of the season and sixth in its last seven games.

Menlo shifts its attention to its final road trip of the regular season, which pit the Oaks against Westmont and The Master’s University on Thursday and Saturday.
-- Menlo Athletics

posted by Rick on Oct 15, 2016 at 3:53 pm

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