Lopes fall short in final seconds for two weekends straight
By: Maria Adams/GCU Club Sports Writing Staff
Time to compete. Ready or not.
After only a handful of practices, GCU Purple of the Grand Canyon University Men’s Club Soccer program kicked off their season at the San Diego Cup in San Diego, California where they earned a second-place finish. Days later, the Lopes split two games, experiencing an eerily similar ending to the games as they did in the previous tournament.
San Diego Cup
“The competition at the San Diego Cup was very good,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Petar Draksin. “Most of the teams we were playing had been practicing together and playing games for weeks. GCU Purple competed well the whole weekend and made it to the championship.”
The road to the championship was not easy. The Lopes opened the tournament with a 1-1 tie against University of California, San Diego. GCU then shut out Utah State University, 3-0, followed by a close 2-1 victory over University of California, Santa Barbara.
GCU took on University of Southern California in the championship in what ended up being a close-fought battle.
“It was tied 1-1 most of the match,” said Draksin. “USC scored in the final few seconds of the second half. Right after USC’s goal, the referee called the game. It was a heartbreaking loss.”
GCU 5, Ottawa 1; ASU 2, GCU 1
The Lopes did not waste any time dwelling on the past, shifting the focus to their matchups against Ottawa University and Arizona State University.
GCU found the success they were hoping for when they outlasted Ottawa in a dominant 5-1 win. In a similar fashion to USC’s game-winning goal, OUAZ thwarted the Lopes’ shutout chances with a last-minute goal at the end.
24 hours later, GCU experienced déjà vu, but this time, without a padded lead.
“ASU is a very good team and I knew it would be a tough game for us,” said Draksin. “We played well, but it was another last-second heartbreak. We were up 1-0 the whole game but gave up two goals in the last five minutes.”
The 2-1 loss was not what the Lopes desired, but Draksin had no trouble deciding a new practice plan.
“This week, we are working on offense and finishing strong,” said Draksin. “We need to be scoring more goals, and we also need to stop allowing teams to score on us in the last few minutes of the game.”
GCU has the chance to showcase what they worked on when they face University of Arizona this Friday at the Scottsdale Sports Complex. The game is scheduled to start at 4 pm.
Come out and support GCU Men’s Club Soccer in an upcoming game. Check out the fall schedule here!