Second-Seed Cal Lutheran Secures 2017 SCIAC Men's Soccer Tournament Title

Second-Seed Cal Lutheran Secures 2017 SCIAC Men's Soccer Tournament Title

Cal Lutheran's Brandon Kearney scored the game-winning goal in the 105th minute of play to lift the second-seeded Kingsmen to a 2-1, double-overtime victory over top-seeded Redlands Saturday afternoon's 2017 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Tournament championship match at Farquhar Field in Redlands, Calif.

With the win, Cal Lutheran improves to 13-4-2 overall and advances to the NCAA Division III Championship after receiving the SCIAC's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament. The Kingsmen await their draw which is slated to be announced Monday. Redlands moves to 14-2-2 overall and will await an at-large to the NCAA postseason. 

Cal Lutheran earned its second SCIAC Tournament crown with the first coming in 2013, and will now be making its sixth overall appearance in the NCAA playoffs (2017, 2013, 1998, 1997, 1992, 1991). 

After battling to a 0-0 stalemate through the first 45 minutes of action, the Kingsmen drew first blood early in the second stanza as Cristian Yepez scored in the 52nd minute to give Cal Lutheran a 1-0 edge. 

Redlands answered in the 80th minute when the Bulldogs were awarded a penalty kick following a handball in the box. Kayvon Parsa converted the spot kick and evened the match at 1-1. 

With neither team able to find a winner over the final 10 minutes of regulation or the first 10 minute period of extra time, Kearney sealed the win for the Kingsmen in the 105th minute when Cody Collins sent a cross to the middle of the box that Kearney delivered into the nylon to give Cal Lutheran a thrilling victory. Kingsmen goalkeeper Eduardo Garcia, who made five of his 10 saves in the second half, was named the SCIAC Tournament Most Valuable Player. 

Cal Lutheran earned its spot in the SCIAC Tournament championship following a 3-1 victory over third-seeded Chapman in the semifinals. Joey Arnold gave the Kingsmen a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute following a corner kick from Daniel Aguilar. Kai Howe equalized for the Panthers less than three minutes later as his volley set the score at 1-1. 

In the 75th minute, Aguilar scored on a corner kick service from Danny Pacheco to give Cal Lutheran a 2-1 edge, before Kearney received a pass from Aguilar and fired in an insurance goal into the bottom left corner in the 86th minute to set the final score at 3-1.