Stockton, Calif. - An assist and a goal from senior Esteban De La Torre propelled Pacific to a 2-0, exhibition, win on Monday night against Cal State Bakersfield as both sides saw their first live action of the 2016 preseason. Just a week into training, the Tigers looked to be in good form heading into their third season of action as a quick onslaught midway through the contest got Pacific on the scoreboard while the defense came away with a cleansheet to match the offense's efforts.
"I was really pleased with the guys performance tonight," said head coach Ryan Jorden. "I think everything we've been trying to work on in training showed up and we were able to find our way into playing into a rhythm and style we felt really comfortable with. Obviously you are looking for a result and the guys were able to see one out tonight. To not concede a goal and get ourselves out on the right foot this season were all really good things to start."
Playing three 30 minute periods instead of the typical 45 minute halves, the action did not really pick up in the game for the Tigers until the second frame of play when De La Torre took the field and promptly got the Tigers' rolling offensively. Wasting little time putting his stamp on the contest De La Torre and the Tigers broke through for the first time in the game in the 38th minute of play when the senior started a scoring chance that eventually found the back of the net thanks to junior captain Andres Ochoa. Receiving the ball on the left side of the box, De La Torre slotted a ball back into the middle of field for senior Julio Cervantes who had his back to goal. Realizing he didn't have the shot, Cervantes laid the ball off to Ochoa who had pressed into the attack from which the junior calmly put his shot into the lower left corner to give Pacific the lead.
The beautiful play ignited a surge by the Tigers as Pacific would tally a second time just three minutes later in the 41st minute as De La Torre came up with a goal of his own with a low burner to the right corner from the top of the 18. De La Torre found himself with his own scoring chance thanks to junior Tristan Blackmon after the third-year striker beat the Roadrunner defense on the rightside before sending a pass back to the middle.
"We've talked to Estaban about being a real senior for us and being able to have an impact for us and I think he took that upon himself to have that impact when he came on and he did exactly what we were looking for," stated Jorden when asked about De La Torre's performance.
In addition to the offense, the Tigers' defense was up to the task as all three of Pacific's 'keepers, Curtis Goldsmith, Alexander Williams, and Mateo Gomez, combined to shutout the Roadrunners. On the night, the Tigers' backline allowed just seven shots with only one forcing Goldsmith, who started and played 60 minutes, to make a play on. The final 30 minutes were split between the Tigers' newest 'keepers as Williams stopped a pair of Roadrunner shots while Gomez did not face any in the final 15 minutes.
The Tigers are back on the pitch on Saturday, August 20, for a final tune-up contest before the regular season as Pacific hosts Sonoma State at 7:00 pm at Knoles Field. The contest leads up to the Tigers' season-opener on August 26 when Pacific welcomes Drake to Stockton to kick off the 2016 regular season.
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