ALISO VIEJO — After a heroic effort to get Westmont into the GSAC Tournament, junior goalkeeper Abraham Arteaga has been named Golden State Athletic Conference Defender of the Week for the first time in his career.
After Westmont’s starting goalkeeper suffered an injury last weekend, the Warriors called upon Arteaga, their backup, to try and save their season this week. Needing two wins to make the postseason, Arteaga collected 10 saves and two shutouts to lead Westmont to the GSAC Quarterfinals.
“When you think about the ‘next-man-up vernacular’, Abraham has lived it,” said Westmont Head Coach Dave Wolf. “We were really in a situation where we needed that next guy to be ready. Not only did we need somebody ready to play, but also ready to get the job done when called upon.
“That’s exactly what’s happened for us with Abraham. He kept himself ready, he kept himself sharp, and when the moment presented itself, he was ready for it. The week that we just had, we don’t have it without him.”
Arteaga’s most heroic performance came on Thursday against William Jessup, when he collected seven saves en route to the 1-0 win. In the final 10 minutes of the match, the junior was tasked with making four season-saving stops, before the Warriors finally broke through in the 90th minute to score the day’s only goal.
Arteaga made an additional three saves in another shutout on Saturday against Menlo, when the Warriors officially clinched their spot in the GSAC Tournament. Now, Arteaga and the Warriors will play OUAZ in Surprise, Arizona on Saturday at 11 a.m., beginning the final postseason run for Coach Wolf.
On Sept. 29, in Westmont’s GSAC opener, the Spirit handed the Warriors a 3-1 loss.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to training these next few days,” said Wolf. “Anytime you get into the postseason, your eyes automatically are drawn to somebody that you weren’t successful against in the regular season.
“OUAZ, on the day we saw them, was probably the best team we saw all season. They’re an outstanding opponent, and a significant challenge, but the kind of challenge that you want in the postseason.”
Links to tickets and live coverage for the GSAC Quarterfinals are available at athletics.westmont.edu.
Jacob Norling is the sports information assistant at Westmont College.email: firstname.lastname@example.org