(Riverside, CA) The Park University Gilbert men’s soccer team’s run in the California Pacific Conference Championships ended tonight with a 2-1 loss to 13th-ranked Westcliff in the tournament semifinals held at La Sierra University. The Bucs season ends with a record of 6-9-4 and they had a 5-4-3 in conference play.
The Bucs lost 5-0 to the Warriors earlier in the season but this was a much more competitive game. WU got on the board in the second minute with a goal by Jordan Di Lonardo before the Bucs could even settle in to the game. Park would tighten things up for the remainer of the half allowing only one more shot on goal.
The second half started just like the first with WU scoring in the first minute of the second half to take a 2-0 lead and it looked as though they might cruise home to a win. But the Bucs applied a lot of offensive pressure in the offensive zone and finally got on the board in the 81st minute as Ilan Rodriguez-Roda scored on a set piece pass from senior Max Gross to cut the score to 2-1.
The Bucs had two more opportunities to tie the game over the las nine minutes as Konstantinos Hinteregger got a shot on goal in the 84th minute and Simon Puchner had a header which went wide with eight seconds left on the clock.
The Bucs showed this young team had come a long way and grown over the course of the season. After being outshot 18-5 and 11-2 in shots on goal in the first game, Westcliff still had more shots but it was closer (14-10), and the Bucs had more shots on goal (6-5). Each team had 12 fouls and each team had two yellow cards.
The Buccaneers only say goodbye to a few seniors and return everyone else from this team which should be brimming with talent and confidence heading into next season.
Press Release courtesy of Park University Athletics – Preston English