In a tight battle, the Cal State Stanislaus men's soccer team pulled out ahead in the end to beat Notre Dame de Namur 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at Warrior Stadium.
Josh Handley knocked in the game-winner in the 86th minute to lift the Warriors as they finished the opening weekend with two victories.
"To get two quality wins this early in nonconference play is a good testament to the guys for them coming together, working hard and believing in each other," Stanislaus coach Dana Taylor said. "This will go down as one of the best wins, against a quality side, this season."
Sunday's win followed the team's 4-1 victory on Friday against a strong Fresno Pacific side.
The match started quietly for both sides with very few scoring chances early. Juan Alvarez finally got the Warriors on the board in the 40th minute on a great 1-2, give-and-go play with Kyle Cadigan.
Teams combined for just seven total shots in the first half with Stanislaus taking a 5-2 advantage.
Notre Dame de Namur, however, came out of the gate in the second half with a quick strike to even the score. All-American forward Cristobal Montes dribbled and danced around a couple of Warrior defenders on the far side and scored an unassisted goal just 39 seconds into the half.
"Hats off to (NDNU) for coming out and being ready,” Taylor said. “They took advantage of our mistake. We can't give away easy goals like we did today. But our guys did a good job of staying focused and working hard."
Both offenses then started to take more shots in the latter part of the match and finally in the 86th minute, when Daniel Kuczynski’s shot attempt bounced off Argonaut goalie Jay Tsurouka. Handley was in position to knock in the loose ball for the go-ahead score.
Defensively, the Warriors held a high-scoring team down. NDNU, a 13-3-2 team in 2010, managed 10 shots with four on-goal. Goalkeeper Bill Hambelton and the defense kept the Argonauts from creating opportunities. Hambelton collected three more saves on Sunday.
"I am really proud of the way our backline has come together so early in the season. They've held down the opposing attacks. I really proud of the guys," Taylor added.
Stanislaus now heads into Friday's California Collegiate Athletic Association opener against Humboldt State. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Warrior Stadium.