Dixie State University kicked off Pacific West Conference play with two home games in three days.
First with a overtime draw vs. Azusa Pacific University Thursday night, followed by a shutout victory vs. Point Loma University. DSU is now 3-1-1 to start the season.
Forward Frankie Mallek, a sophomore business administration major from Yuma, Arizona, scored the first goal early in the match Thursday night from 15 yards out off a headed pass from junior forward Santiago Alejandro.
“I saw [Alejandro] go up for the header and knew he was going to win it,” Mallek said. “I saw [APU’s] keeper coming out, I looked far post, and took a touch and saw it hit the net.”
The Red Storm dominated the majority of the first half, but APU capitalized when a DSU defender lost his balance, giving the Cougars a free cross from the right side of the field that was headed in by forward Callum Wallace.
The teams battled back and forth in the second half, but both teams were unable to take the lead. DSU goalkeeper Bradley Trella, a junior psychology major from Chandler, Arizona, had a total of six stops including two diving saves near the end of regulation.
“I think it sends a strong message,” Trella said. “We’re not going to be the same team that we have been in the past.”
Overtime was action packed with highlight reel saves from both goalkeepers and a game-saving header from an APU defender. The Red Storm would finish overtime with five shots, but it was not enough to get the win.
APU was picked to finished first in the PacWest while DSU was picked to finish second to last.
“We went into the game knowing the rankings don’t mean anything,” Mallek said. “We’re a new team, and we’re here to shock the nation.”
DSU recovered nicely Saturday with a win against PLU. The Red Storm would score on a long throw-in from Captain Bryan Baugh, which was headed in by junior defender Jason Arollo only five minutes into the game.
DSU would get off 11 shots off in the game, but only two were on target. PLU were get off nine shots with five of them being on target, but almost all the attempts were well contested, making it no challenge for the DSU goalkeeper.
The Red Storm held off PLU to cruise to a 1-0 victory, DSU’s first conference win. DSU continues PacWest play Friday against Dominican University of California in San Rafael, California, at Kennelly field at 3 p.m.