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Justin Blachman scored with 2:05 left in a 1-1 tie
Justin Blachman scored with 2:05 left in a 1-1 tie

Blachman's Late Goal Gives CMS Men's Soccer Opening Day Tie at UC Santa Cruz

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Justin Blachman scored the tying goal with just 2:05 remaining in regulation as the CMS men's soccer team opened the 2022 season with a 1-1 draw at UC Santa Cruz on Thursday afternoon.

The two teams also had an opening-day tie a year ago, a 0-0 draw at Pritzlaff Field. CMS continued its streak of 21 straight regular season games against Division III opponents without a loss, after suffering its only regular-season defeat last year to Westmont of the NAIA. 

That streak seemed in jeopardy on Thursday, as UC Santa Cruz took a 1-0 lead late in the first half on a goal from Will Barba. The Stags were able to gradually build some pressure in the second half, though, and finally broke through for the equalizer when Blachman took a pass from Tommy Brown, and bent in a 22-yard right-footed shot to knot the game up at 1-1. 

CMS had one final chance for the win a minute later, but Patrick Watkins had a shot sail high. With the new rules in place for 2022, there wasn't any overtime, as the teams began their season with a draw after 90 minutes. 

Watkins led CMS with four shots, accounting for half of the team's total. Kevin Box went the distance in goal and had two saves. 

CMS will be back in action on Saturday, when it plays a key road game against Trinity (Texas).