SANTA CRUZ, CA--Saturday afternoon saw the clash of two classic west coast rivals between the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs and longtime rivals the Bulldogs from the University of Redlands. This game did not disappoint in any sense of the word. Right from the opening 5 minutes Redlands got on the board their first trip down the field with a breakaway goal from Jeff Willey assisted by Nick Gundersen in the 3rd minute. However, the lead only lasted 30 seconds when the hometown Slugs came right back down the field and scored an equalizer by CJ Villalobos from Fernando Otero.
The scoring then continued from Otero this time with a ripper from his left foot into the upper corner to make the game 2-1 in the 10th minute in favor of the Slugs. Of course in classic rival fashion it was a highly controversial goal from John Brookover, on a pass from Nick Gundersen, that made the score level only 20 seconds later bringing the game to 2 goals a piece! It was then Alex Laughton of Redlands that put the Bulldogs ahead in the 24th minute on a pass from Gundersen yet again.
The second half saw much action in both ends, but a majority of it in the Bulldog's defensive side. It was the Slugs who came out hard in the second half only taking 11 minutes to score and make the game even at 3 goals a piece on a goal from Matt Fondy, with an assist from CJ Villalobos. After full time and no more goals the game entered a nail biting overtime, with much of the action again by the hometown Slugs. However, in the end it was a draw at 3 goals a piece, and a wipe of the braw from the University of Redlands, whom escaped the game with a tie even though being outshot 23-4. Senior goalkeeper Matt Mahowald wasn't able to make any saves on the day, but in the end the result should keep the Slugs among the top 10 ranked teams in the nation. Certainly among the most entertaining games on the weekend this classic match-up was riddled with debatable refereeing, beautiful goals, and hard play. The Slugs now maintain their unbeaten record of 4-0-1, and move on to face Concordia College on Thursday September 17th.