Clan move on in NCAA Championships

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SFU wins first two championship games, move on to quarterfinals

By Bryan Scott

The Simon Fraser men’s soccer team started their quest towards NCAA glory last week, with two games in the championship tourney. The Clan boasted a first-place seeding in their region, which gave them a first-round bye.

The Clan hosted on the California State Stanislaus Warriors, in Hayward, California. They were unable to host in Burnaby, since the border caused issues for some the teams. The Warriors were first to strike. In the 18th minute, Josue Barajas put his third of the year past Clan goalkeeper JD Blakely to give them a 1–0 lead.  On the other end of the pitch, Warrior goalkeeper Clint Long made five saves in the first 45 minutes to maintain the lead at the halfway point.

The Clan responded to start the second half, when Justin Wallace took a pass from Chris Bargholz, which went off the post and in the net to tie the game at one. In the 61st minute, after a phenomenal save by Blakely, Lucas Ferrito got the ball down the field and scored on his own rebound to boost the Clan to a 2–1 lead and a date with the Grand Canyon Antelopes in the third round.

For the game against the Antelopes, the Clan faced adversity before the match even started. A few days prior to the game, the Clan were told there was not enough room in their hotel for four teams, and they had to go to Phoenix, Arizona to play the Antelopes on their home field, despite their lower ranking.

SFU was not going to let a little extra travel time ruin their chances of winning. The Clan came out firing, getting nine shots to the Antelopes’ two in the first half. The game remained scoreless until Matt Besuschko coverted a Juan Sanchez corner kick, to give the Clan a one-goal lead. The lead held until the 66th minute, when Saeed Robinson tied the game on a penalty kick. Despite being outshot 12–4 in the half, SFU got the last laugh. In the 87th minute, leading goal scorer Carlo Basso put in a header on a feed from Bargholz to give the Clan the 2–1 victory. Basso credited his team for the winning goal, “[Wallace] got the ball up to Chris [Bargholz], who put a beautiful ball in to me and I didn’t really have to do much to be honest, just put it in the back of the net.”

With the win, the Clan’s historic season continued on Sat. Nov. 17 when they took on the University of Incarnate Word Cardinals (14–3–2) from San Antonio, Texas.  The results will be covered in the next issue of The Peak.