THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The Chapman University men's soccer team lost 3-1 to Cal Lutheran (12-4-2, 9-3-2 SCIAC) in the opening round of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament on Wednesday night. The Panthers (9-7-3, 9-4-1 SCIAC) worked hard to come back and tie the match on a goal from junior Kai Howe, but succumbed to the Kingsmen's strong offense late in the match.
Cal Lutheran struck first just over 13 minutes into the match on a corner. Junior Danny Pacheco found sophomore Joey Arnold on a corner kick, who headed the ball into the back of the net to give the Kingsmen the 1-0 lead. Less than two minutes later Howe found the back of the net on a volley to the lower right hand corner of the goal, tying the score 1-1.
Cal Lutheran and Chapman went scoreless for another 50 minutes, where both teams saw several chances on goal. In the first few seconds of the second half, the Kingsmen got a dangerous play in front of the net but were unable to convert.
The next scoring play came at the 75-minute mark. It was Pacheco once again finding a teammate's head on a corner kick. This time, the junior was able to find senior Daniel Aguilar for the game-winning header goal.
Cal Lutheran scored an insurance goal in the 86th minute, securing their place in the championship match. Senior Brandon Kearney found himself in a one-on-one with Chapman goalkeeper Sean Augustine, tapping the ball just past the outstretched goalkeeper and slotting the ball into the back of the wide open net to give the Kingsmen the 3-1 victory.
Cal Lutheran outshot the Panthers 14-9 and forced Augustine to make six saves. Despite Chapman taking nine shots, Kinsgmen goalkeeper Eduardo Garcia only had to make three saves in the match.
The Panthers finished the 2017 season third in conference with an overall record of 9-7-3 but continue to increase their postseason appearances since joining the SCIAC conference in 2012.
by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant