RIVERSIDE, Calif. --- California Baptist University scored a goal in the final 10 minutes of each half and defeated The Master's 2-0 Saturday in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) West Region Final.
The win is the Lancers' fourth straight and puts them into the national
championship Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in Kissimmee, Fla. The bracket will be released
They improve to 15-5, matching last year's program-record win total.
"That was just a hard working performance," said CBU Head Coach Ryan Jorden. "We were close to opening the game up in the first half and getting a couple of chances. Then on the defensive end, we did a good job of keeping them in front of us and keeping their attack at bay."
The Mustangs' season comes to a close at 11-6-3.
Jonathan Fausto scored the winner in the 42nd minute on a rip from an awkward angle outside the right side of the area. It knuckled and bent left to right and snuck inside the far post rattling in the upper corner. It was one of just five shots total in the first half between the two teams.
"Anytime you're at home and can take the lead, you can manage the game a little easier," said Jorden. "Playing in front is a lot better than chasing the game."
Joey Pacheco made three saves, all in the second half, for his sixth shutout. It was the Lancers' eight shutout in 20 games as a team.
In the 83rd minute, Marc Hope put the game away with an equally impressive strike to Fausto's from straightaway. Hope took a ball from Cole Schmit, cut to his right then hit a rocket over Mustang keeper Andrew Bussell that just snuck under the crossbar for a 2-0 Lancer lead.
The Mustangs outshot the Lancers 11-9, including a 9-6 margin, but Pacheco saved each of their most dangerous chances.
"We have an experienced group, but the thing that impresses me about this group is the fact that they want to get better," said Jorden. "They keep working hard to improve even 20 games into the season."