GBy: David Carter/GCU Staff
To say that the fall 2019 season opening weekend went well for both GCU Men’s Club Soccer teams might be an understatement.
After holding their first practices just days before getting on the pitch for real, both Lopes’ Men’s Club Soccer squads, GCU White and GCU Purple, defeated New Mexico Tech, 3-2 and 5-1, respectively, over the weekend.
Friday: GCU White 3, New Mexico Tech 2
“We are excited to compete after such a short turnaround from the tryout process and team selections,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Lance Thompson. “Just to paint some pictures in the training sessions and apply the principles in a game-like environment really was a positive thing.”
Despite the short time frame between their first informational meeting (finding out what players would be interested in joining) to competing in their first game, GCU White squeaked by NMT, 3-2, Friday night at GCU’s Prescott Field.
GCU White scored first when forward Sebastian Nolasco scored a goal off a corner kick to give the team a 1-0 lead heading into halftime. Early in the second-half, NMT equalized in the 48th minute to tie it at 1-1.
Ten minutes later, in what looked like a goal someone would see in a soccer movie, Nolasco scored his second goal on a high-ball into the net off a drop kick assist from Lopes’ goalkeeper Ben Ogan in the 58th minute.
Lopes’ midfielder Hunter Gauzza put the match out of reach on a penalty kick to give GCU a 3-1 lead 20 minutes later.
Saturday: GCU White 5, New Mexico Tech 1
The high-scoring offense continued for the Lopes as GCU Purple defeated NMT, 5-1, Saturday morning at Prescott Field.
Five different players scored for GCU Purple, which meant seven different goal scorers among the eight Lopes’ goals scored in the two games.
“It shows that each of us given the chance can put the ball away,” said Lopes’ Men’s Club Soccer Co-President and GCU Purple striker Brandon Wishman. “We do not rely on one specific person to do the entire team’s work. We went three substitutions deep and those guys off the bench are scoring goals.”
“We like that of the eight goals, seven different folks scored them,” added Thompson. “We may have more depth than we initially thought we had. It is a great sign in a very teamwork-like environment.”
Even though GCU had a good offensive weekend, Thompson believes there are some key aspects the Lopes can improve on the other side of the ball.
“All of their goals came off restarts,” (e.g. corner kicks, throw ins) said Thompson. “We have to continue to work on that as we move forward.”
“We have to clean up a few things here and there, but it is really positive, and we have a foot in the right direction,” said Wishman. “It’s a good start going into next weekend.”
Next weekend, GCU Purple hosts Arizona State University on Friday, Sept. 6 at 7 pm on campus at Prescott Field. Two days later, GCU Purple travels to Tucson to play against University of Arizona at 4 pm.
GCU White will travel six hours east to play the University of Texas, El Paso on Sunday, Sept. 8 in El Paso, Texas.