Thanks to a pair of goals from DSC newcomers and the aid of Mother Nature late in the second half, the Red Storm knocked off No. 8 Cal State Los Angeles 2-1 in non-conference action at Hansen Stadium on Thursday.
Despite being on the short end of an 18 to 7 shot total, Dixie State took advantage of its five shots on goal by burying two in the back of the net. Garrett Garcia lit up the scoreboard in the ninth minute, heading in a center-crossing pass from Michael Ropelato.
CSULA capitalized on a free kick from 26 yards out with a score by Antti Arvola.
An early DSC foul in side the goalie box in the second half gave the Golden Eagles a precious penalty shot. Arvola blasted a shot toward the left post. The ball ricocheted off the hand of Tyler Walters, careening toward the corner flag. The save kept the game tied at 1-1, but knocked Walters out with an injured hand.
Enter newcomer Ryan Brubaker. The former Hurricane Tiger faced a daunting CSULA offense and stopped all three shots he saw over the game’s final 44 minutes.
The Red Storm netted the game-winning goal in the 66th minute. Ryan Benavente set up David Stirland for a header that snuck past the CSULA goalkeeper.
As the Eagles tried to mount a late charge, Dixie State received help from natural sources. A strong surge of wind blewstraight into the city from the South, deadening any passes or shot attempts offered by CSULA. Dixie State also exploited the situation by booming ballsdeep into the CSULA defensive zone.
The Red Storm will have a few days off before closing action in the Dixie State Kickoff Classic with an 8 p.m. match Monday against Colorado Mesa at Hansen Stadium.