Kajiwara's Goals are Enough in Men's Soccer Opener; Golden Goal in 95th Minute Captures Win

Kajiwara lifts Crusaders with both goals on Friday including golden goal.
Kajiwara lifts Crusaders with both goals on Friday including golden goal.

IRVING, Texas – It was a memorable collegiate debut for Nat Kajiwara (Southlake, Texas), as he netted both goals for the University of Dallas men's Soccer team. His second scoring result came off his golden foot to lift the Crusaders (1-0) to a 2-1 victory in overtime over George Fox University (0-1) on Friday. Dallas has now won consecutive season openers at home and have prevailed in the last two openers to go to overtime. The most recent was a UD 1-0 victory at Concordia University on this day in 2012. Cool note about that match was the golden goal happened 45 seconds earlier (94:05) in there contest compared to Kajiwara's Friday happening at the 94:50 mark.

Kajiwara also had the first official goal of the 2017 season on Crusader Field with an early netter just under six minutes after the kickoff. Fellow classmate Tomas DePetris (Houston, Texas) was credited with his first point of his career with the assist that helped the forward sneak the ball past the keeper at the top of the box.

The score remained 1-0 through the remainder of the first half and the Crusaders enjoyed an 11-2 edge in the shots column. George Fox responded with a 14-9 advantage in shots in the next stanza. Moises Manon got the equalizer nearly around the same time frame that UD had scored in the first half. His goal counted at the 51:07 minute mark and was assisted by William Rudd.

Each team battled to break the deadlock, but were unable to. Sean Carlin (Puyallup, Wash.) came up with seven saves in the match and six of them in the second half. The team also protected the net with a ball batted out to the right side of the field at the 65:20 minute mark. Carlin delivered a pair of critical saves in the 75th and 82nd minute. He also added two more saves with less than five minutes in the half to leave the score 1-1. The Bruins attempted five of the last seven shots in regulation with four on target over about a 12-minute span. Less than a minute before that, Trae Hampton (Paducah, Ky.) had a header on goal.

Even though the Crusaders were unable to produce much offense in the later stages of the second frame, George Fox's Alejandro Saldana was given his second yellow card with about five to go and his second yellow in less than 10 minutes. That led to a red card which helped the home squad be up a man 11-10 the remainder of the game.

It took almost five minutes in overtime, but the Crusaders did outshoot the guests 5-1. Manon had his first attempt blocked after a card to Sean Taylor (Austin, Texas) created a set piece. The Crusaders did appear to have a good opportunity as Chima Ogueri (Garland, Texas) broke free, but George Fox's goalkeeper Austin Burdick came up with a huge save in the 93rd minute. Kajiwara would not be denied when he had an opportunity deep in the box, as his first shot was contested by a Bruin defender, but immediately recovered on the ball. His shot went into the back of the twine and the freshman joined a group of his teammates celebrating on the right side of the field in front of the student section by the hill that is near the campus parking.

The Crusaders attempted 25 shots with eight on goal in the game. Besides the lone UD scorer, Andrew Ciancone (Houston, Texas) had two on frame and was the only other player in navy to have multiple of those. Carlin was credited with his first career win by making seven saves against eight shots faced in 94:50 minutes. The Crusaders earned nine corner kicks with five in the first half and four in the second. George Fox had a trio the entire match. Manon attempted a game-high nine shots with five on goal. Burdick was saddled with the loss as he snagged six saves in 94:50 minutes. The Bruins also drew 16 fouls and had 10 more than their opponent.

QUOTABLES

"We started strong, but lost a grip on the game in the second half. Some young players stepped up into important roles. I feel a number of players had good games. Not to overlook those efforts, but my instant impressions are that Cody Briggs turned in exceptional work defensively and triggering the attack…and you have to look at Nat Kajiwara on offense with his 2 goals." – Head Coach David Hoffmann's thoughts on the match

"As our captain Luke [Schwarz] says you take what the game gives you, so you take an opportunity and it pops back out and you just go at it again." – Kajiwara on his golden goal

"Momentum wise it is everything. Winning a game and to start a season after we have worked hard all preseason and getting a taste of what it is actually going to be like and will help us going forward." – Kajiwara on how important winning this type of game early can mean to the team

GAME WINNING SHOT

 

UP NEXT

Dallas is on the road to Howard Payne University tomorrow with a 4 p.m. start time.