Vanguard 3, Menlo 1
Date of competition: Thursday, October 25, 2018
In a pivotal matchup atop the Golden State Athletic Conference standings, Menlo men's soccer team hosted No. 10 Vanguard University in the penultimate game of the regular season. The Oaks needed to win their final two games and get some help in the standings if they had any aspirations of being regular season champions. That didn't happen as the Lions scored three second-half goals to down the Oaks, 3-1, Thursday and eliminate the Oaks from regular-season title consideration. Vanguard is 11-3-1, 6-1, and the Oaks are 11-5, 4-3.
Controversy strikes first
The game was scoreless in the first half despite the Oaks getting a few great opportunities. Eric Hegmann hit the crossbar on an attempted header in the first half and ended the first half with a two-on-one breakaway but fired wide left. In the 71st minute of the game, Lions found the back of the net first, though it appeared to be stopped by Andres Zimmermann. Sebastian Cortez launched a corner towards Miguel Tapia who fired it into the arms of Zimmermann. The officials ruled, however, that the ball did in fact cross the white line and was deemed a goal, giving the Lions the late 1-0 lead.
Snodgrass strikes back
The Oaks did not wait long to find the equalizer, as Stephen Levy took a throw from deep in the Menlo attacking zone. It got all the way into the box and over the head of Hegmann, where it ricocheted off a Lion defender and towards Evan Snodgrass, who angled his header into the back of the net to tie the game just 90 seconds after the Oaks fell behind. It marked the second goal of the year for Snodgrass and the second assist for Levy.
Lions quickly roar
The Lions pounced back on their feet and found success 63 seconds after the Oaks tied the game. Andrew Robles got a header in the box from Joey Barry and snuck it past Zimmermann to make it 2-1. Four minutes after that, in the 78th minute, Tapia once again found open space in the net with his second goal of the game, deflating the Oaks late in the second half. Vanguard's offense had been potent in the second half all season long, and after the Oaks stymied the Lions in the first half, they broke through the gates late in the game.
One more look at the standings
Menlo is 4-3 in the conference, which is still playoff eligible, though not for a first-round bye. Menlo will be playing soccer on November 3 when the playoffs begin, but their seed is to be determined. The Oaks can finish as either the fourth or fifth seed based on their game Saturday and Westmont's games this week.
Up Next . . .
The regular season concludes on Saturday afternoon with Senior Day, as the Oaks take on Hope International. The game begins at 1:30 pm with Senior Day festivities set to begin just prior to kickoff.
-- Brian Brownfield/Menlo Athletics
posted by Rick Eymer on Oct 25, 2018 at 8:59 pm
Stephen Levy scored for the Oaks. Photo courtesy of Menlo Athletics.
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