ERAU’s prolific second half locks up Cal Pac title
College Men's Soccer
MERCED, Calif. — A four-goal outburst in the second half propelled Embry-Riddle men’s soccer to a 5-2 victory over Marymount during the Cal Pac Championship final on Saturday in Merced, Calif.
Coming into this year’s Cal Pac tournament as the No. 2 seed, the Eagles path to a conference championship was wide open after No. 1 UC Merced was knocked out by No. 5 Marymount in Thursday’s semifinals. However, the Eagles were obviously going to have to overcome a surging Mariners team that came up from the play-in round.
The first half featured an even battle as both sides ended up with 16 shots by the end of the match. ERAU’s Sergio Monteiro (8th minute) and Marymount’s Luis Coronado (20th minute) traded goals to send the game into halftime knotted up at 1-1.
In the second half, however, the Eagles broke the game open starting with a 57th-minute strike by Jacob Baker off an assist from Chiedu Ikeme. Lucas Garcia and Mason Laaksonen followed suit and bagged a goal each to put that game on ice at 4-1.
Despite Marymount scoring a consolation goal thanks to Josip Mijic free kick in the 82nd minute, Ethan Carlson put the icing on ERAU’s cake when he converted a Dom Savage assist for their fifth goal. Not to be overlooked, Eagles goalkeeper Michal Serdynsky made eight crucial saves to help keep the Mariners at bay, pun intended.
The last time the Eagles won a Cal Pac Conference Championship was when they won it back-to-back in 2012 and 2013. With the win on Saturday, the team earned a berth in the NAIA National Championships as an opponent and location is yet to be determined.
Aaron Valdez is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier of Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter at @Valaaron_94. Email email@example.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2031.