LA VERNE, CA — Johnny DeRueda gave the Leopards the early lead, Jovanni Garcia put his squad back on top in the second half, and the University of La Verne men's soccer team picked up a 2-1 home victory over the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen.
The win was crucial for the Leopards who are looking to stay in contention for a SCIAC Postseason berth. La Verne improves to 9-4 overall and 4-2 in SCIAC play to take a hold of fourth place.
The Kingsmen fall to 5-6 overall and 3-3 in conference action. Cal Lutheran and La Verne entered the game tied for fourth place in the conference standings.
DeRueda put the Leopards on top in the 12th minute when Cesar Rodriguez dished him the ball near the sideline. DeRueda drove in and unleashed a shot past the keeper for the 1-0 advantage.
Aaron Winsick evened the game 20 minutes later on an unassisted shot that sent the game into the break tied 1-1
The Leopards responded in the second half when Oluwafunminiyi Akanwo connected to Garcia in the box who sent the ball to the back of the net to put the Leopards up for good. Gacia leads the SCIAC with 13 goals, the next closest player has six. He also leads the conference in total points with 31 with the next closest player registering 13.
Garcia ranks near the top in nearly every major offensive category in NCAA Division III. Entering the game he ranked third in game-winning goals (5), sixth in total goals (12), seventh in total points (29), fourteenth in goals per game (1.00), and fifteenth in points per game (2.42).
After Cal Lutheran rallied off eight shots in the first half, the Leopard backline limited the Kingsmen's chances to just three in the second period. Kevan Rehmani finished the game with two saves.
The Leopards travel to Whittier on Saturday for a big 7 p.m. match-up against the Poets. Whittier is currently tied for second place in the SCIAC.Watch Live Download the SCIAC TV App Follow ULV Athletics on Twitter Like us on Facebook Watch on Youtube Follow us on Instagram