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Eric Sanchez (#7) celebrates the final horn after his game-winner

Sanchez's Last-Minute PK Gives CMS Men's Soccer 2-1 Win over UC Santa Cruz

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Eric Sanchez converted a penalty kick with 32 seconds left in regulation to give the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's soccer team a 2-1 win over UC Santa Cruz in its 2023 season opener.

CMS took a 1-0 lead in the first half on a goal from John Laidlaw, which came after Jake Allmon had an attempt from close range saved. UC Santa Cruz was able to find the equalizer midway through the second half, and Kevin Box came up big twice with saves to deny UC Santa Cruz in close as the Banana Slugs tried to take a 2-1 lead. 

Laidlaw nearly won it for the Stags with a minute left in regulation, but his attempt hit off the crossbar and bounced back in play. CMS was able to win back possession, and played a dangerous cross into the top of the six-yard area, where the Banana Slugs were called for an infraction pulling a Stag player down in front of the goal. 

Sanchez, who led CMS in goals last year with six, took the penalty kick and buried it to put CMS in front, and the Stag defense was able to clear away a couple of desperation chances from UC Santa Cruz.  Box finished with six saves to get the win for CMS. 

CMS will be back in action when it travels to Willamette next weekend to face the host Bearcats on Friday before playing a neutral site game against Pacific Lutheran on Sunday.