Coming off a 3-0 victory over Lipscomb last Monday at the Bren Events Center, UC Irvine men’s soccer (4-3) kept their forward momentum rolling on the road with another dominant 2-0 victory over the Loyola Marymount Lions (1-6-2) at Sullivan Field in Los Angeles Thursday night.
As the last line of defense, redshirt sophomore keeper Alex Waldron has held the fort, tying his season-high record of four saves against Lipscomb before eclipsing that record with five against the Lions.
Having iced their last two opponents, the ‘Eaters currently hold a 218 minute shutout streak.
On the offensive, LMU held the advantage in shots, 17-13, but both teams had six shots connect on goal.
Off those six attempts, senior midfielder Giovanni Godoy sent in the match’s first goal on a penalty kick in the 53rd minute. With the successful conversion, Godoy has already snagged four goals on the season thus far; his third was also the first goal to connect during Monday night’s victory over Lipscomb.
In the 83rd minute, sophomore defender Mario Ortiz secured the win with his second goal on the year — a breakaway strike fed from junior midfielder Daniel Crisostomo from the right wing.
Crisostomo’s assist was his fifth on the year thus far and fourth in the span of the last two victories.
Both teams traded blow for blow in the first half with LMU kicking off the night with a quick header attempt that went wide. The ‘Eaters retaliated with a header of their own as the teams continued to scratch and scramble for the lead.
In the 40th minute, junior midfielder Luis Leon nearly put one through, but his shot narrowly clinked off the post. Crisostomo followed with a shot that was collected by the Lions’ keeper.
A fruitful first half was followed by a highly active second where both teams continued to hash it out. With the scoreboard still standing at null-null, the match turned aggressive with three yellow cards.
UCI took full advantage of the first yellow card assessed to LMU, utilizing the penalty kick to take the first lead of the match.
Desperate to take just their second win on the season, The Lions clawed back with eight shots — two more than the ‘Eaters would have for the period — but Waldron ensured that the ‘Eaters would keep their shutout alive.
With a red card called around the waning minutes on LMU, the ‘Eaters would use their one-man advantage to put the game away on the Ortiz breakaway.
Enjoying a two-game win streak, UCI will try to make it three in a row when they close out a doubleheader and their final preseason match Sunday, Sept. 24 against San Francisco at 4:30 p.m. before opening conference play back on the road when they travel to Davis Thursday, Sept. 28.