DURANGO, Colo. — Kosta Kordistos scored on a pair of headers to lead No. 3 Fort Lewis (22-1-0 overall) to a 2-0 win against No. 17 Cal State-Los Angeles (15-2-6) Saturday, securing FLC’s fifth trip to the NCAA Division II men’s soccer semifinals.
“I thought we probably had one of our best first halves all season,” third-year FLC head coach Oige Kennedy said. “We possessed the ball really well and worked hard off it.”
Kordistos put FLC ahead for good at the 16:43 mark when he headed a shot off the far post off a crossing pass from the right off the foot of Artur Piperkov. Piperkov had been played into open space by Casey Dean.
His second marker, which came at 55:13, was set up by some hard work in close. Joey Madigan possessed the ball down the left flank and floated a cross that missed the heads of players in front of the goal and skipped toward the end line. Thomas Hoang, though, stopped the ball as it neared the line and volleyed it back in front of the goal where it was won in the air by Dean. Kordistos buried the ball for his seventh score of the season.
“He’s been working very hard and it finally started to click for him in national tournament games,” said Kennedy. “He gets himself in good position.”
The Skyhawks owned a decisive 24-15 advantage in shots, 9-4 in shots on goal. Ryan Wirth made nine saves for FLC while notching his 14th shutout of the season.
Kennedy was impressed that Wirth and the Skyhawk defenders kept a clean sheet against the Golden Eagles, who had scored 55 goals during the season.
“All credit to them,” he said of California State-Los Angeles. “That’s a very good team. As we’ve learned from experience, the California schools usually beat up on each other and come into these tournaments with records that could be better. They were a very dangerous team on the break.”
Kennedy praised his entire squad for their defensive effort.
“I think everybody was solid defensively,” Kennedy said. “They have three good strikers, and to keep them quiet and reduce them to long range efforts was very good on our part.”
Waleed Cassis, CSULA’s freshman goalkeeper, recorded seven saves including back-to-back blasts off the feet of Kordistos and Hoang midway through the second stanza. Cassis suffered the first loss of his collegiate career, having entered the game with a 10-0-5 mark.