By: David Carter/GCU Staff
“I saw a lot of positive things that we have been working on in practice, and it is very rewarding to see it put in match play on such a short turnaround.”
Just a week into their seasons, Lopes’ Men’s Club Soccer Head Coach Lance Thompson saw exactly what he wanted from his Grand Canyon University Men’s Soccer over the past weekend. GCU Purple tied with Arizona State University, 2-2, Friday night at Prescott Field on the GCU campus before defeating University of Arizona, 2-0, Sunday in Tucson. Meanwhile, GCU White lost to the University of Texas-El Paso, 2-0, Sunday morning in Texas.
Friday: GCU Purple 2, Arizona State 2
Two seconds stood between GCU Purple and a perfect weekend.
In a match that saw GCU never trail, the Lopes settled for a disappointing 2-2 tie with Arizona State University.
Lopes’ striker Brandon Wishman got the Lopes on the board with an early goal before ASU neutralized it to send the teams to halftime tied, 1-1.
Lopes’ forward Sebastian Nolasco broke the tie with a goal midway through the second half to give the Lopes a 2-1 edge – one they’d own until the final ticks of the clock. With two seconds left in the match, GCU’s Ryan Carlin was whistled for a penalty inside the Sun Devils’ box, which allowed the Devils to tie the match on the ensuing penalty kick.
“They are always one of the top teams in our region,” said Thompson. “We had the opportunity to lock that game up and we did not do it. But we learned from those situations. It was a highly competitive game, and we are two teams that will be in it at the end.”
Sunday: GCU Purple 2, Arizona 0
For the second straight time, GCU Purple’s match was decided in the final minutes. Scoreless for the first 85 minutes of the game, Lopes’ midfielder Avery Weishaar broke it open with two goals down the stretch to give GCU a 2-0 victory.
“The tactics were identical against U of A that we did with ASU,” said Thompson. “We just did a better job of executing. They are historically at the top of the table in our league, so for our team to leave there with a win is a great accomplishment.”
Sunday: UTEP 2, GCU White 0
The nearly seven-hour drive to the Lone Star State didn’t produce a win for GCU White, since two first goals for UTEP were the difference in the match, but it did produce some much-needed instruction.
“This game was a great learning moment,” said Thompson. “We were down by two goals at halftime, and we left that game feeling better than we did starting it. We had some nice solutions to the problems they presented in the first half, and we solved those problems.”
GCU Purple and GCU White each have two home games this weekend at GCU’s Prescott Field.
The two teams will host a doubleheader Friday night, Sept. 13, with GCU White hosting Arizona Christian University at 4:30 pm, and GCU Purple then taking on Northern Arizona University at 7 pm. GCU White will host the University of New Mexico at 4:30 pm Saturday afternoon before traveling to Flagstaff Sunday to battle NAU at 1 pm. GCU Purple will stay at home Sunday to host ASU at 3 pm. All home matches will be played at Prescott Field on the GCU campus, and admission to all home matches is FREE.