David Bates’ goal in the 81st minute off an assist by Nicholas Goldstein put the Embry-Riddle men’s soccer team up for good in a 2-1 win over UC-Merced on Thursday afternoon.
It is the fourth win in the last five matches for the Eagles, which began the season winning only two of their first eight matches, but were only outscored 14-12 during that timeframe.
UC-Merced (5-1-4, 3-1-1 Cal-Pac) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead at home in Merced, California, after David Esparza scored in the 12th minute off an assist by Marcus Decouto.
In the second half, Embry-Riddle (6-5, 4-1 Cal-Pac) responded as Jacob Baker scored an unassisted goal in the 71st minute to tie the match before Bates’ heroics near the end of regulation.
The Bobcats outshot Embry-Riddle 12-8, but goalkeeper Jake Hutto was up to the task, recording six saves in 90 minutes played between the posts to give his club the edge.
Embry-Riddle, trailing only La Sierra University in the Cal-Pac standings for first place, returns to Prescott for a two-match home stand beginning Thursday, Oct. 12, against UC-Maritime. Official start time is 7 p.m.
The Eagles are scheduled to host Sierra Nevada College at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, before hitting the road to face La Sierra on Friday, Oct. 20. Official start time in Riverside, California, is set for 2 p.m.
Brian M. Bergner Jr. is associate sports editor and a columnist for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and SoundCloud at @SportsWriter52, or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.