Dixie State University men’s soccer kicked the season off to a great start as they defeated two PacWest competitors.
Within the first 12 minutes of the game, midfielder Jandir Porta, a sophomore from West Valley City, scored a goal against Chaminade University of Honolulu, with the help of midfielder Angel Estrada, a sophomore from Pasadena, California.
The play made its way from the defensive line to midfielder Gabby Medina, a junior from Mesquite, Nevada. Medina then made a clean pass between two Chaminade defenders to Estrada who assisted in Porta’s successful shot on goal.
Although Chaminade had several shots on goal, the team was no match for DSU’s defensive line and goalie. Toward the end of the second half, Chaminade came close to scoring after receiving a free kick shot from the 28-yard line just shy of the goal on the left hand side.
“The victory was DSU’s 20th-straight regular-season win overall and 14th-consecutive conference result,” said Steve Johnson, associate athletic director-media relations, on Friday morning’s press release.
Two days later, DSU competed against Biola University, a team that has been officially welcomed into the PacWest Conference for the 2017 season.
“We’ve played [Biola] before…and today they were full of energy,” said head coach Jonny Broadhead. “They’re a little bit faster in playing the ball [compared to Chaminade] and know where they are going.”
With the first half at a stand still resulting in a 0-0 total score, Biola proved to be a challenge for the Trailblazers.
Nevertheless, Broadhead came back the second half placing midfielder Zach Beckman, a junior from Centerville, in center-mid during the second half in hopes of changing the flow of the game.
Broadhead said he wanted to address “the battle of energy versus composure” by placing Beckman in center-mid to help the defensive line keep a tight frame throughout the remainder of the game.
“I probably should’ve asked [the players] to play a little tighter, but because [the first half] was 0-0, I wanted them to take a little gamble,” Broadhead said.
And that gamble proved to be in favor of the Trailblazers.
With less than 20 minutes remaining in the first half, the center referee calls a foul on Biola giving DSU a free kick from the 18 yard line.
Forward Ather Dawood, a senior from Tucson, Arizona, took the free kick launching the ball toward the bottom lefthand corner of the goal, which then slips past the keepers hands and rolls into the net.
That was Dawood’s first goal of the season.
“I think my goal was lucky, but I’ve been wanting to score for the longest time for my teammates,” said Dawood. “And [that goal] wasn’t just me…it was the whole team.”
Now with six wins under the men’s soccer teams belt, two of which were PacWest matches, it is on its way to a winning season, one that will guard the team’s championship title.