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The Golden boys: TMC men's soccer wins title

The Master’s College men’s soccer locks up program’s first-ever GSAC title

Posted: October 31, 2009 10:33 p.m.
Updated: November 1, 2009 4:55 a.m.

The Master's College's Matt Cox (13) jumps over Abraham Gomez (5) of Biola on Saturday at Reese Field. TMC secured the program's first-ever Golden State Athletic Conference title.

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The Master's College men's soccer team made history Saturday at Pete Reese Field.

The Mustangs beat Biola 2-1 and claimed the Golden State Athletic Conference championship - a first-ever for the program.

"This is historical," said TMC head coach Jim Rickard. "I'm proud of the effort my guys have given."

The Mustangs (14-2-1, 9-1) played a very physical, but composed game against the Eagles.

Rickard said that the patience that his team showed with the ball was by design against Biola (12-3-1, 7-2-1).

"We were trying to win it and possess it," Rickard said. "Biola can be very good at the counter attack. Turnovers are much more costly against them."

The Master's defense was boosted by some key stops made by sophomore defender Fabrice Gautrat, who was moved from the left to center a few games back.

"The move has taken the team up a level," Rickard said. "He's tough and feisty. He's a leader."

An own goal by Biola in the 13th minute of play put The Master's ahead 1-0. Sophomore midfielder Joel Peluffo delivered the ball into the box on a free kick and it struck the head of a Biola defender and was deflected to the back of the net.

The Master's junior forward Marlon Lindo dribbled through Biola traffic and delivered a hard shot into the net in the 24th minute for a 2-0 lead.

"We've been working hard all season, and this is the result," Lindo said. "This is a big day for me and a big day for the team."

Biola answered in the 39th minute when sophomore midfielder Tony Montalvo sent a ball into the box, finding the head of sophomore forward Marco Ruvalcaba, who directed it into the net to put the score at 2-1 going into halftime for the game's final goal.

The Master's took 13 shots in the game, with senior defender Guilherme Mitrovitch, junior forward Jacob Marchesani and senior defender Tyler Salvey taking two shots each. Senior goalkeeper Kevin Lawson had four saves in the game.

Biola's sophomore goalkeeper Aaron Fenlason made seven saves in the game. The Eagles took nine shots, with sophomore midfielder Abraham Gomez and sophomore forward Marco Ruvalcaba taking three shots each.

Biola head coach Bryan Kuderman said his team had not faced a team as physical as The Master's, and his team was unable to hang onto the ball.

"We didn't have an answer for them," Kuderman said. "They were physically moving us off the ball."

Rickard likes his team's chances in the playoffs, but said it is important that they "refocus and get down to business."

"All the teams (in the playoffs) are good and they'll throw everything at us," Rickard said. "We need to be better every game. We can't be satisfied with what we have - this isn't the end."

TMC's opponent for the first playoff game is yet to be determined. Saturday's win gives the Mustangs home-field advantage in the playoffs. The first game will be played at 2 p.m. on Wednesday at Reese Field.


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