The Gonzaga men’s soccer team defeated California Baptists 3-2 Monday evening at Luger field.
The men’s team has been on a winning streak this season, coming off their last game winning 2-0 against St. Thomas, and we’re hungry for another win.
“We’ve been working a lot on coming together as a team,” said Demitrius Kigeya, a junior forward. “Being resilient and keeping belief.”
The Bulldogs dominated possession, holding the ball for 54% of the match and spending 54% of their time on the offensive side of the field.
A corner kick granted to the Lancers allowed their junior striker Bryan Iliohan to score their first goal. Within seven minutes, Gonzaga was down one.
This was the moment Gonzaga realized they were going to get a run for their money. They began moving the ball across the field. Freshman forward Logan Dorsey was given the opportunity to shoot, but his attempt was intercepted.
As the ball made its way back down field, Caleb Kiner, a freshman defender, attempted to block a goal, but a toe punt from the Lancers swiftly made its way passed the goalkeeper.
Nevertheless, Gonzaga made their comeback 23 minutes into the game. Kigeya, along with his teammates, were crowding the opponents goal. After a lot of commotion, and back-and-forth near the Lancers goalpost, Kigeya was able to lay the ball into the net.
“The guys unfortunately started slow, and we gave them two goals in the first 15 minutes," said head coach Aaron Lewis. "But what these guys continue to show is a resiliency to just keep fighting, and so, more than the tactics part, I think that just their mentality that they keep showing up and fighting until the end."
After this goal, it was clear Gonzaga was out for blood. They spent the rest of the first half moving the ball across the field and playing with passion. Unfortunately, they ended the first half losing freshman forward Angelo Calfo after a foul which resulted in him tearing his ACL.
“Before this game we had talked about playing for, and doing things for more than just ourselves, and I think we did that for Angelo,” Kigeya said.
Within minutes of the second half, Gonzaga and California Baptist fought furiously as the ball travelled up and down the field. Gonzaga maintained dominance with their offense, but was unable to deliver the ball to the back of the goal.
The Bulldogs were able to secure their second goal within 21 minutes after Sebastian Karlholm, junior defender, laid a ball across the field to Leon Sitz, a sophomore midfielder.
“We showed that we can finally come back from down and win. I think that’s a big step,” said Kigeya.
When Milo Libby, a freshman defender, received a yellow card, it was uncertain if the team would be able to keep their stamina through the end of the game.
However, Gonzaga continued to surprise the crowd. Wylie Trujillo, a freshman forward, finished the game when his kick delivered the ball to the back of the net.
“I think today’s a little bit more special even than the first three, because of the caliber of the opponent,” said Lewis. “So I’m really excited.”
The team is preparing for its next match against CSU Bakersfield this Friday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m.