Undefeated DSU men clinch PacWest title with win over Concordia

Dixie State's Kenny Barajas (18), Dixie State University vs. Concordia-Irvine University, Men's Soccer, St. George, Utah, Nov. 3, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – A monster second half gave the Dixie State men’s soccer team a reason to celebrate Thursday night as the Trailblazers clinched their first outright Pacific West championship with a 3-1 win over Concordia at Legend Solar Stadium.

blazerDAfter a scoreless first half, Dixie State scored three goals in an eight-minute span in the second half to give the Trailblazers an insurmountable lead over the visiting Eagles and the sole possession of the league title.

In the 57th minute Kris Evans broke the tie with a header off a throw in from the right side. Once again it was team captain and defender Bryan Baugh who got the assist on the throw-in.

Dixie State's Bryan Baugh (5), Dixie State University vs. Concordia-Irvine University, Men's Soccer, St. George, Utah, Nov. 3, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Dixie State’s Bryan Baugh (5), Dixie State University vs. Concordia-Irvine University, Men’s Soccer, St. George, Utah, Nov. 3, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“He is amazing,” said Evans, who scored his second goal in as many matches. “To throw the ball that far with his accuracy. I lined up towards the back of the pack and the ball sailed over some other people right to me.”

Three minutes later, the Blazer attack was on again. Blake Damato dribbled down the left side and made a crossing pass to Christian Hall who had emerged from the pack and headed the ball into a wide open net.

“I had my eye on where I wanted to go,” said Damato. “Then I saw Christian. He is pretty good at making things happen. He played the pass perfectly.”

Up 2-0, the flurry continued. Less than five minutes later, Dominic Damato had the ball straight center, 20 yards from goal. He dished the ball to Moises Medina crossing from left to right. Medina then left the ball for Damato on a give-and-go center pass that Damato put into the back of the net. With just over 25 minutes remaining, the Dixie State lead was 3-0.

Dixie State's Gabby Medina (96), Dixie State University vs. Concordia-Irvine University, Men's Soccer, St. George, Utah, Nov. 3, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Dixie State’s Gabby Medina (96), Dixie State University vs. Concordia-Irvine University, Men’s Soccer, St. George, Utah, Nov. 3, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“Up three goals we felt pretty good,” said Blake Damato. “But we knew that we had a lot of soccer left and Concordia is a good team.”

The Eagles came into the match on a five-game winning streak and having scored a total of 22 goals in those five matches.

In the 76th minute, the Eagles did get one back. The Eagles Julian Font got past the defense and put a soft arc on his shot from 12 yards out over a sliding Bradley Trella. They would not threaten again, however, as that would be the only shot on frame the Eagles would get.

The Blazers outshot Concordia 20-7, with a shot-on-goal advantage of 9-1. Christian Hall led the team with four shots. Ather Daewood and Moises Medina each had three shots.

The Blazers are 14-3 overall and 12-0 in PacWest play. They sit atop the PacWest standings with a three-game lead over the Eagles, who fall to 9-3 in conference and 10-5-2 overall.

Dixie State can be the first team to go undefeated and untied in conference play since the conference expanded to 10 teams in 2008 (Grand Canyon went undefeated/untied in 2006 when the PacWest had only three teams). Dixie State will have to beat California Baptist on Saturday. Game time is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

Women’s Soccer
Concordia 1, Dixie State 0

With 38 seconds remaining in a scoreless tie, Concordia’s Natalie Warner had a free kick after a DSU foul from the right side. Her kick went through the congested middle untouched, rolling to Concordia’s Keely Abt, who scored from two yards out inside the left post for the goal for the win, dashing DSU’s postseason hopes.

The Blazers had to win out and get some help to win the conference. They will play their last game of the season on Saturday against conference frontrunner California Baptist.

“We were eliminated tonight,” said DSU assistant coach Nyle Ortiz. “But we still have a lot to play for on Saturday. We have team goals still to accomplish. We have six seniors that have had great careers and want to finish on a high note.”

Dixie State outshot the Eagles 12-9, but were outshot on goal 5-4. Alexis Torres and Darian McCloy led the team with three shots apiece. Kilee Lamb had two shots.

“We played much better in the second half,” said Ortiz. “We got a big lift from Erica Gonzalez. Her energy sparked us and got us more opportunities.” The Blazers outshot Concordia 8-2 in the second half.

The Blazers fall to 10-7 overall and 8-4 in the PacWest. They will finish the season against California Baptist. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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