Orange County SC opened their 2024 Preseason with a 2-1 victory over the Loyola Marymount University Lions at Great Park Field 10 on Saturday, February 3. Goals from forward Ethan Zubak and Open Trialist Mohamadou War were enough to lead the Black and Orange to victory.
The opening 20 minutes of the match were largely played in the midfield, with neither side generating many chances. The first chance of the match came in the 21st minute when forward Thomas Amang intercepted a backpass and was through on goal. However, his shot went just wide of the far post, and the two sides played to a scoreless first half.
After mass substitutions to begin the second half, things began to open up for the Black and Orange. Newly signed forward Ethan Zubak nearly put the home side in front in the 53rd minute with a half volley near the top of the box, but his shot flew just over the crossbar.
Defender Owen Lambe kept the pressure on in the 65th minute after OCSC won a free kick in a dangerous position on the left side. Lambe struck the dead ball cleanly and his shot rattled the crossbar and out, a tremendous effort that deserved a goal, but was left out.
In the 77th minute, OCSC found the game’s first goal after defender Joseph Buckley played a perfectly weighted through ball to forward Mohamadou War, one of the six players selected from last week’s Open Tryouts. War beat the defender to the ball and calmly slotted home the match’s first goal and OCSC’s first goal of the preseason, and the Black and Orange led 1-0.
Eight minutes later in the 85th minute, Zubak doubled the lead for the hosts. The Corona, CA native collected a long ball at the top of the box, struck on the half volley and powered the ball past the goalkeeper for a 2-0 advantage.
The Lions scored two minutes later in the 87th minute, but it ended up being merely a consolation goal as OCSC held on for a 2-1 victory to open the 2024 Preseason.
OCSC will continue their preseason next Saturday, February 10 at Championship Stadium when they host the UC Irvine Anteaters at 10:00 AM in a closed door friendly. For all updates on every 2024 Preseason match, stay tuned to orangecountysoccer.com and follow us on X/Twitter and Instagram for updates.
MILESTONES AND FACTS:
Two Open Trialists had major impacts in today’s game, with defender Zane Baumgardt going the full 90 minutes and forward Mohamadou War opening the scoring in the…