Most of the wins for the Westmont men’s soccer team have come easy this season. And, looking at the 4-1 final of Wednesday’s match between Westmont (10-1, 4-0) and Hope International one might surmise it was another easy victory, but not quite.
“Last year, the way our season ended was bad. We had some tough injuries and some tough breaks and we came back this year with seven seniors and we came together and were motivated,” senior defender Tim Heiduk said.
In fact, it was the Royals who got on the scoreboard first, attempting and converting on a penalty kick opportunity in the 18th minute. This was just minutes after Hope’s goalkeeper, Oscar Sierra, thwarted Westmont’s PK opportunity.
Down 1-0 is not something the Warriors are used to, but they responded quickly and powerfully.
In the 28th minute, Heiduk scored his third goal of the year off a cross from Owen Bates.
“They swung the ball to me, I got some space so I kept going, I played up Owen who has been great. He whips it across and I was able to put it away,” Heiduk said.
Just 12 minutes later, Samuel Tuscano put the Warriors in front with a beautiful, deep shot 25 yards away into the top left corner of the goal.
Up 2-1 at the break, Westmont was not satisfied and got an insurance goal in the 50th minute when Jonathon Romero was in the right place at the right time and scored a goal off a rebound.
Goalkeeper Edward “Lalo” Delgado then put the Royals away with a penalty kick conversion in the 83rd minute to score the first goal of his career.
“The seniors are resilient. I mean when you have been through what our seniors have been through the last four years – the highs of beating UCSB and the lows of some really bad losses – makes these guys great leaders,” Assistant coach Johnny Whallon said.
With the win, has now won four straight since a 3-0 loss to Cal Poly SLO.
“I wish we could get that one against SLO back, but we learned some important lessons through that. We had a bad two minute period against Cal Poly that cost us the game but in turn, we did that to Vanguard to beat them so we learned something and I think we could play with anybody,” Whallon said.