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TMC Men's Soccer: That's the trick

Mustangs bounce back with a win at home after two straight road losses

Posted: October 5, 2010 10:17 p.m.
Updated: October 6, 2010 4:55 a.m.

The Master’s College midfielder Jake Marchesani, left, hugs senior Joel Peluffo after scoring his second of three goals against Hope International on Tuesday at The Master’s College on Tuesday. Peluffo scored all three of the team’s goals.

With three Golden State Athletic Conference men's soccer teams ranked in the NAIA Top 25, and three others receiving votes, early losses could be hard to overcome.

So having lost two out of three games during a conference-opening road trip, The Master's College returned home needing to get back on track.

And Mustangs senior Joel Peluffo made sure it did.

Peluffo recorded a hat trick in the first half, and TMC held off a late surge by Hope International to get back in the win column 3-1 on Tuesday at Reese Field.

"The game was huge for us," Peluffo said. "We wanted to show everyone that we can do stuff at home. This is our place."

The Hart graduate scored in the 13th, 34th and 42nd minutes to help the Mustangs (5-3-2, 2-2) take a 3-0 lead and rally from back-to-back losses.

TMC won its conference opener 2-1 in overtime over Pt. Loma Nazarane before falling to Fresno Pacific 2-1 in double overtime and 4-0 to No. 7 California Baptist last week.

"You could bounce back from (another loss), but emotionally and mentally is where the struggle would have been," said TMC head coach Jim Rickard. "This is definitely a confidence boost."

Peluffo scored his first goal early when he sent the rebound off teammate Brian Gardner's shot far post and past Royals goalkeeper Jake Brown.

Just over 20 minutes later, Peluffo jumped Hope's passing lane, deflected the ball toward the goal and shot from a seemingly flat angle near post for a 2-0 lead.

The final goal came on a shot from 25 yards out that sailed past Brown and into the top left corner. Midfielder David Alegria assisted on the play.

Peluffo, who was the team's leading scored last year, now has five goals and five assists on the season.

The Mustangs outshot the Royals (5-6, 0-4) 19-4, putting nine on goal to Hope's two.

But in the second half, the Royals began to mount a rally.

After spending most of the game in their own half, Hope began to find passing lanes of its own and countered in the 69th minute on a goal from Manny Plascencia. Adrian La Farge recorded the assist.

"I believe it's a character thing," said Royals head coach Joe Lurker of his team's slow start. "To play 90 minutes, you have to play with passion and we didn't start that way."

After the goal, starting keeper Andrew Bussell was replaced by Saugus graduate Joy Mackey. Bussell finished with one save, while Mackey recorded several takeaways, but no saves.

Brown had five saves.

After Hope's goal, the Mustangs responded with creative passing in the midfield, which led to runs by Peluffo, Storm Lilly, Jader Santos and Jake Marchesani.

Lilly nearly put his team back up by three goals twice in the in final eight minutes, but his shots to the far post missed by less than a foot each time.

TMC plays again at 3 p.m. Saturday when it hosts San Diego Christian.



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