On Sunday, September 3, the Westcliff men’s soccer journeyed south to face one of their toughest opponents yet, Division 1 University of California San Diego (UCSD). Westcliff men’s soccer entered their match against UCSD with a perfect 3-0 record in the preseason and left solidifying their flawless undefeated lead up to the regular season, with a statement win in this history-making game. This win marks Westcliff University’s first win over a D1 ranked opponent across all sports. An unarguable sign that Westcliff Athletics is on the rise and the men’s soccer team is one to lookout for this season.
Westcliff entered the game with immense momentum, having scored 22 goals while conceding only one, an incredible feat both offensive and defensive. The game was fast paced from start to finish with the Warriors quickly taking control in the first half, securing a 2-0 lead. Quentin Hornung, wearing the #10 jersey, found the back of the net in the 10th minute, courtesy of an assist by #11 Wissem Obeid. Their goal-scoring prowess didn’t end there; Italian born Vincenzo Centrella capitalized on another assist from Di Lonardo.This marked the second consecutive game in which Centrella had scored, and Di Lonardo had delivered multiple assists, showcasing their strong form this season. The first half concluded with Westcliff leading 2-0. The score remained unchanged with the Warriors defense holding strong until UCSD managed to score in the 82nd minute. Despite this late goal, Westcliff held strong and in control to finish the game 2-1.
This victory serves as a significant confidence booster as Westcliff gears up for the conference season. The Westcliff University Men’s Soccer team is now ranked #24 nationally among 240+ NAIA colleges. A historic feat for Westcliff athletics as the team remains undefeated, putting them squarely on the competitive map nationwide. It was also a significant milestone for Head Coach Randy Dodge, who secured his first victory over a DI school as a coach. Dodge expressed his happiness for the team’s performance but emphasized the importance of their conference opener on Thursday, September 7, stating, “I am really happy for the guys and the things I saw out of them, but the game is the game,” Dodge said. “A win is a win. All that really matters is our conference opener this Thursday.”
The Warriors have been showcasing their best skills on the field, and defeating a DI school reaffirms their progress in the right direction. Dodge attributed their success to the system they’ve implemented over the past month, emphasizing the team’s commitment to the desired standard of play, competitive spirit, and discipline in maintaining their shape. With the win, the Warriors are prepared to take on the upcoming conference schedule.