Angwin, Calif- The Pacific Union College Pioneers hit the field at home once more in search of their first win of the season against the Benedictine University at Mesa Redhawks. Despite competitive play and two first half goals, the Redhawks were superior on the day and the Pioneers fell to 0-5 on the season and 0-2 in conference.
The Pioneers opened up play in a back and forth manner, with neither team being able to settle down the game and gain control. Benedictine found the back of the net four minutes in after Gerves Fagan cut inside and placed a low shot into the net. The Pioneers responded after physical play with a beautiful left footed curler into the top corner by Ubaldo Hureta Bueno (JR/San Diego, CA) in the 7th minute. The first half was characterized by end to end play with both teams struggling to gain the lion's share of possession.
With 29 minutes to play, the Benedictine offense almost put it in, sailing inches over the bar. The Pioneers threatened the goal with 26 minutes remaining, an effort from Ubaldo inching wide of the left post after a well measured past by Nathan Diaz. With 23 minutes left in the half, Pioneers shot stopper Darian Roberts (FR/Gastonia, NC) made a stunning save to keep out a long range effort. With 21 minutes to go, the visitors got their second with a low shot from the right side. In the 31st minute, the visitors nodded in a header to score their 3rd, somewhat against the run of play. In the 38th minute, the visitors added another, taking advantage of a lapse intensity from the Pioneers who found themselves at a tremendous disadvantage with the half soon to come.
The Pioneers were given a tremendous opportunity with a handball call against the Redhawks in the box, and Nathan Diaz (FR/Madera, CA) made no mistake from the spot, grabbing the second goal of the game for the Pioneers. Darian Roberts added another fantastic save a minute from half. The half concluded with the Redhawks with a two goal lead, 4-2 at half.
Darian Roberts continued his fine form in between the sticks, adding another impressive save two minutes into the half. The second half featured physical play but little in the way of attacking soccer. The Pioneers defense stood firm and played bravely to prevent any real threats on goal. However, late on in the 71st minute, the visitors added a 5th on a defensive mistake from the keeper. He misjudged a cross into the box, an unfortunate lapse of concentration after a great defensive effort, and Gerves Fagan was able to finish into an open net. The visitors quickly added another after a header from a cross quieting any hope of a comeback and securing Fagan his hat-trick for the day. With ten minutes to go, Darian Roberts continued his incredible play, saving a penalty kick. The game finished 6-2 and the Redhawks travel home with a win.
The Pioneers resume play against University of Antelope Valley September 29 at 3:00 p.m. in Lancaster, Ca.