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Off to a fast start

The TMC men’s soccer team wins its GSAC tourney opener

Posted: November 4, 2009 8:35 p.m.
Updated: November 5, 2009 4:55 a.m.

The Master's College goalkeeper Kevin Lawson makes a save during the first half of Wednesday afternoon's match against California Baptist University. The Mustangs beat the Lancers 1-0.

It took very little time for The Master’s College men’s soccer team to score in its Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament opener.

And once it did, the Mustangs put on a clinic on how to play from ahead.

Sophomore forward Joel Peluffo scored in the fourth minute for TMC, whose suffocating defense shut out California Baptist 1-0 on Tuesday at Reese Field.

But the Mustangs’ goal did not come without a price.

TMC senior Guilherme Mitrovitch lofted a ball into the 18-yard box for a one-on-one between Peluffo and Lancers goalkeeper Jeff Redinger.

The two met in the air, and as Peluffo headed to ball to the back of the net, he took a shot from the keeper and suffered a concussion.

“I don’t remember anything that happened in the first half,” he said. “The told me, I think they crossed it, I jumped with the keeper, I headed it and the keeper hit me. But I don’t remember.”

Peluffo’s status for the Mustangs’ second-round match is uncertain.

TMC (15-2-1) will play Westmont, which beat Concordia 1-0 in overtime on Tuesday, at home on Saturday. Game time has yet to be determined.

California Baptist (5-7-4) was held without a shot on goal through the first 55 minute of the game until it was awarded a free kick from just outside the 18.

But as Lancers forward Josh Cormier’s shot curved around a wall of Mustangs, TMC goalkeeper Kevin Lawson was waiting with open arms.

“My defense has been holding up all season long,” Lawson said. “We knew we could hold them off. We knew they were a good team and had two big guys at the top, but my defenders are normally on top of stuff.”

Lawson finished with three saves, and with the stellar play of his defense, recorded his 10th shutout of the season.

“You know, we have a really good goalkeeper that communicates with us,” said TMC defender Fabrice Gautrat. “Our back line, we really respect each other. We are open. We are humble to criticism, so I think that really pushes it. We are not big heads, and we always know we can improve.”

Thanks to the defensive efforts of Gautrat, Andy Hegg, David Alegria, Joshua Hoeft and Mitrovitch, the Lancers could apply consistent pressure until midway through the second half.

Most of their chances came off set pieces, but were neutralized by swift clearances and a well-positioned Lawson.

“We talked before (the game) about trying to absorb their pressure and attack swiftly and accurately,” said TMC head coach Jim Rickard. “Not to get crazy with the home game. We didn’t want to chase the game.”

Marcelo Silva recorded two shots for TMC, while teammates Hegg, Jacob Marchesani, Marlon Lindo and Victor Martinez each recorded one.

California Baptist got two shots from Gabriel Gonzalez, and one from Cormier, Spenser Steele and Tim Wardell. Redinger finished with two saves.

“Master’s, especially playing from the front, can do a lot,” said Lancers head coach Ryan Jordan. “They’ve got a tremendous defensive record. They made things very difficult. You have got to find ways to link the game and pass the ball, and I think we had spells of it, but never really enough to created the amount of chances we’d probably need to break through.”


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