Caltech Falls Just Short at Finish
PASADENA, CA - La Verne scored in the 84th minute and Caltech had a shot blocked as time expired to allow La Verne to escape with a 2-1 win.
Bryan Ramirez opened the scoring in the 70th minute when the substitute got in behind the defense and side footed a volley into the goal. Alfonso Moreno played the ball over the top which allowed Ramirez to capitalize on the chance.
Marec Serlin converted a penalty kick four minutes later after Alec Sands got in behind the Leopard defense. Sands used his speed to beat the defender to the ball and was in alone against the keeper, he touched the ball past Darrin Bangle, La Verne's goalkeeper and was taken down in the box. Bangle received a yellow card on the play one of three second half yellows issued to La Verne. Serlin stepped up and converted the penalty to the left of the goalie.
However the fireworks were not done as Fernando Almejo cut in on his left foot and fired a low shot to the near post. Juan Pablo Ocampo was able to get down and make the save, but the ball bounced to Boye Christiansen who took a half volley chance and tucked it into the goal at the 83:32 mark.
Caltech used the remaining time to apply constant pressure to La Verne. They drew a free kick just on the edge of the box, but the ensuing free kick was cleared away, and just as time expired Sands stepped into a shot from about 11 yards away but the ball went off the La Verne defense, barely preserving the win for the Leopards.
The first half ended scoreless as Caltech collected four shots all of which were on target The two best chances both fell to Thomas Kwok just before halftime. Kwok pounced on a ball that was loose inside the 18 yard box in the 32nd minute. His shot unfortunately went straight at Bangle.
Kwok had another opportunity in the 43rd minute when he got on the end of an Adam Ball cross. Ball played the ball around the defender stepped in behind him and sent a driven cross to the near post. Kwok raced to the front post and headed the ball towards the net but Bangle again prevented the Leopards from going behind.
Caltech dominated for stretches of the game and had a great opportunity to pick up their first win of the season, but were turned away at the end of this exciting back and forth match.