Oct. 7, 2012
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LOS ANGELES - The LMU men's soccer team struck first, but Portland responded with a pair of goals to rally past the Lions, 2-1, in West Coast Conference action Sunday at Sullivan Field.
For the second straight match, the Lions came out fired up and put early points on the board. Sunday afternoon it was freshman Luc Brubaker with his first collegiate goal at the 13:22 mark.
John McFarlin began the play, beating a Pilot defender to the endline to the left of the goal and sent a cross at the far post for an onrushing Christian Alvarado. Alvarado's header shot was tipped away by Portland keeper Justin Baarts, but Brubaker rushed to the back post and one-touched the loose ball into the open net.
With just over four minutes remaining in the first half, an LMU foul set up a free kick opportunity for Portland just outside the top right corner of the box. Hugo Rhoads sent the free kick at the back post where Keith Grubisich headed it back to the front of the goalmouth where Colin Anderson one-timed the ball into the near-post netting.
Tied 1-1 to start the second half, the Lions earned a penalty kick opportunity in the 57th minute when Ryan Felix was pulled down inside the box. But Pedro Velazquez' shot was not far enough out of the reach of Baarts who dove to his right to punch the ball away.
The tables turned six minutes later as LMU was called for a holding foul in the box, setting up a PK attempt for the Pilots. But the Lions Paul Blanchette came up with a big save on Steven Evans' shot, keeping the teams at an even 1-1.
It was Portland's Jamie Velasco who finally netted the game-winner in the 80th minute when he took a pass from Ricardo Carrillo near the top of the box and blasted a right-footed shot into the right post netting.
The Lions had a pair of corner kick opportunities and a shot on goal by Velazquez in the final minutes, but Baarts and the Pilot defense held their ground, improving to 5-5-1 overall and 3-1-0 in WCC play.
LMU (3-7-2, 1-2-1 WCC) concludes its current three-game WCC homestand on Wednesday, hosting San Diego at 2 p.m. at Sullivan Field.