(Aliso Viejo, CA) Park University Gilbert men’s soccer head coach Jonas Tanzer can breathe again and more than likely added a few gray hairs to his head after his team scored early and then hung on for 1-0 win over Soka University of Americs in the first round of the California Pacific Conference Men’s Soccer Championships.
The Buccaneers now move on to the semifinals of the tournament where they will face number one seed and 15th-ranked Westcliff on Thursday, November 9 at 5:30 p.m. Arizona time at La Sierra who is hosting the championships.
The Buccaneers move to 6-8-4 on the season with the win, their second of the season over Soka. The Bucs throttled Soka in the opening game of the conference season 5-0, but this game was more like the first two games in the series for this team.
Back in the 2021 season the Bucs and Lions tied at two at Soka as the Bucs down 2-0, scored two second half goals to earn the tie. Then in 2022 the Bucs had the 2-0 lead and Soka scored three goals in the last seven minutes of the game to steal a win from the Bucs and probably cost them a postseason berth a year ago.
Park got the only tally of the game at the 12:55 mark of the first half as Oliver Haaland scored his third goal of the season with an assist to senior Max Gross. It was only shot on the evening for the freshman from Stavenger, Norway and he made it count.
Then the Buccaneers held on for dear life. Soka peppered Bucs goalkeeper Nicklas Lageson with 18 shots for the game, but Lageson stood on his head saving all 10 shots the Lions put on goal.
The Lions outshot the Bucs 18-6 and 10-5 in shots on goal, but the one thing the Buccaneers have learned this season is it is not who has the most shots or dominates the play, it is who is ahead on the scoreboard at the end of the game. The Bucs lost a 1-0 contest against Pacific Union when they allowed only one shot on goal for the game and that shot was the only goal scored in the game.
There were 35 fouls called in the game and eight infractions which brought out a yellow card (3 Park, 5 Soka) and one red card on Soka in the 82 minute and forced the Lions to play the last eight minutes of the game with only 10 players.
The Bucs now face a monumental task in the 15th-ranked Warriors as they have never beaten Westcliff in their previous five matches and lost to them 5-0 earlier this season.
Press Release courtesy of Park University Athletics – Preston English