SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The torrid start to the season continues for the 16th ranked Lions (11-2, 6-0) as they continue to rewrite the Vanguard record books. Their 6-0 start to conference play is the best in school history and they did it on the backs of two stellar individual plays by Sebastian Cortez (JR/Hawthorne, CA) and Brandon Gomez (SR/Los Angeles, CA). The 1-0 victory at Westmont (5-3-4, 4-2) marks the second straight victory in Santa Barbara and serves as payback for the loss the Warriors dropped on the Blue and Gold last fall.
The opening few minutes of the contest was back and forth as each team attempted three shots culminating in the header attempt by Nathan Miramontes (SR/Fullerton, CA) at the 6:38 mark. Then, the Lions fired off three shot attempts in a row with the final one being Cortez's 10 goal of the season which came just under 16 minutes into the game. The midfielder shot from 12 yards out on the left side of the box.
During the first 45 minutes of play, Vanguard held a slight 11-8 edge in shots and the Lions took two of the three corner kicks taken during the first half. Gomez came up with three saves during the first period and the Westmont goalkeeper stopped five of the six shots he faced. Vanguard was the enforcer during the contest with 10 fouls whistled in the first half, six more than the Warriors.
The second half saw the offensive output slow significantly down as only seven total shots were attempted – four by the Lions. As the match ticked into the final six minutes of play, a foul was called on Miramontes and it resulted in a penalty kick for the Warriors. Gomez sat squarely in front of the goal and dove to block the attempt by Gabe Thurner which was then calmly kicked out of play by the Blue and Gold defense. This marks the third PK save for Gomez in the last two contests.
Cortez posted a game tying high with three shots, all of them being on frame. The only four shots on goal were attempts by Miramontes, Jose Castillo (SR/Orange, CA), Martin Arrieta (JR/Pasadena, CA), and Ruben Arellano, Jr. (SO/Hawthorne, CA) Gomez stopped a total of five shots to preserve his fifth clean sheet of the year including three in his last four outings.
Next Match: Saturday, October 14 at 2:30 PM at Hope International University