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Leopards stifled on Day 1 of Inland Empire Classic

Leopards stifled on Day 1 of Inland Empire Classic

By Kay Hurd
La Verne Athletics Communications

LA VERNE, Calif. -- The Leopards fell short against two Division I opponents on Day 1 of the Inland Empire Classic.

Game 1 Long Beach State 22, La Verne 2

Rey Julian Castillo and Joshua Vega scored the University of La Verne's only goals in a 22-2 loss to Long Beach State in the first game of the tournament.

The 49ers dominated the Leopards from the start, rattling off five unanswered goals to gain an early lead. La Verne's defense held tight, but it wasn't enough and Long Beach closed out the half, 11-0.

Castillo tested the 49ers goalie early in the game with a quick backhand shot that was barely deflected. Castillo finally found the back of the net a minute into the fourth quarter with a bullet to the top right corner.

Vega then skipped a bullet past goalie Steven Cagle with 17 seconds remaining in the game.

Goalie Ian Hernandez picked up 10 saves against Long Beach.

Game 2 Pepperdine 18, La Verne 4

Four Leopards found the back of the cage, but it wasn't enough to stop a second half surge by the Waves in a 18-4 defeat in the second game of the day.

The Waves scored 11 goals in the second half and limited the Leopards to two from Vega and Guillermo Ocasio, to run away with the win.

A strong defensive first quarter held Pepperdine to only three goals, but La Verne couldn't find a rhythm to get on the board. Jared Hopley connected for the Leopards late in the first half, followed by another bullet from Castillo, but the advantage was already in favor of the Waves who closed out the half, 7-2.

The Leopards return to action tomorrow at 9:00 am against Pomona-Pitzer for Day 2 of the Inland Empire Classic.