By Miguel Angel Lomeli
The Dominguez Hills men’s soccer team season opener at Toro Stadium was a success after coming away with the 1-0 victory against Point Loma on Aug. 31.
Point Loma brought pressure early against the Toros and that created two corner kick opportunities for them in the first five minutes, but they were unable to come away with a score. Point Loma left their defense out of position and that led to an early goal by sophomore midfielder Leonardo Nogueira. His strike in the 12th minute came after a pass from junior Israel Gonzalez from inside the box.
The first half ended at 1-0 in favor of Dominguez Hills.
In the second half the Toros came out much more aggressive. The physical style of play from the first half spilled over in to the second half and that helped lead to more shots on goal.
Nogueira was creative throughout the game, showing skill with the ball on a handful of occasions and pushing the ball up field after a Point Loma turnover.
Physical defense and creativity with the ball by the whole team led to 14 shots by the Toros in the second half.
Senior Goalkeeper for CSUDH, Benito Gonzales, came away with the clean sheet while coming away with four saves and a Dominguez victory.
Then on Sept. 2, the team added another win against Azusa Pacific University in extra time, resulting in a 4-3 result.
Junior forward for CSUDH, Guillermo Saldana put away two goals in the victory. The first goal happened after a shot was deflected inside the box and Saldana was able to kick a turnaround shot that flew by three defenders and into the back of the net.
His second goal came just a few minutes into extra time, when he stole the ball from the defender at around midfield and he advanced the ball on a two-on-one situation.
The Cougar defender made his decision and that allowed for a wide-open look for Saldana with just the keeper to beat. He kicked to the far corner for the golden goal.
The Toros were able to pass efficiently and continuously played the ball into the box throughout the game. They also brought the brand of playing physical just like they did in the season opener.
The second goal for CSUDH came off the head of junior defender Carlos Escobedo in the 44th minute. The assist came from a free kick off the right side from junior midfielder Frankie Hession-Harris.
Just when it was looking like an easy win for the Toros, the Cougars answered with just under a minute left before the first half whistle blew.
The ball was played in on a cross from senior forward Kaleb Armbrust and it found freshman midfielder, David Kwinn, who was able to put his foot on the ball after sliding just in front of the goalkeeper and scores.
After the Cougars tied the game at 2-2 after a handball call in their own goal, Dominguez Hills was able to capitalize off a turnover just outside their own box by an APU defender.
Saldana caused the turnover and junior forward Juan Hernandez was able to score off the deflected shot.
The Cougars did not give up, however. At the 87th minute junior forward Callum Wallace smashed in a shot off the crossbar and into the goal.
The win improves the Toros record to 2-0 with their next game on Sept. 7 against Northwest Nazarene.