LOS ANGELES — The mini-curse has been lifted.
Saul Uribe scored the opener and the game-winning goal against Occidental on Wednesday night to lift the La Verne men's soccer team to a 2-1 win and gave head coach Trevor Persson his first-ever win against the Tigers.
Persson was 0-4-0 against Occidental going into the game and the Leopards had been outscored, 14-3, in those four games.
Uribe got the Leopards off to a crisp start with a goal in the 18th minute. After receiving a good ball from Foxe, Uribe beat his defender to the baseline and chipped it over the Oxy goalkeeper to the near post.
The game settled after the goal but the Leopards sat back just a little too deep to open the second half and Oxy's Connor Allison scored off a long throw in the 78th to plant a seed of doubt in the minds of the Leopards.
But Uribe, who had been on the substitutes' bench before the goal, was re-inserted immediately after the equalizer and answered the bell. Justin Almandinger had his shot saved off the crossbar in the 85th minute; Uribe collected the rebound and rocketed into the back of the net for the winner.
Uribe was the most active player on the field offensively, getting off a game-high five shots.
The Leopards improve to 4-0-1 overall and 2-0-1 in the SCIAC. Oxy falls to 1-4-1 and 0-3-0. The Tigers had three conferences losses all last year.
The Tigers needed a result to end their early season slump and mounted pressure early, getting off three shots in a span of one minute in the 12th minute. But La Verne's field defenders came up with a couple of big blocks and Josh Ramirez saved the third shot.
Ramirez, who missed the first three games of the year due to an injury before making a cameo in a 5-1 win against Caltech, made his first start of the year and did not show any drop-off in form, making a total of six saves.
The Leopards return to action on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Pomona-Pitzer.