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COLLEGE DIVISION NOTEBOOK / MARTIN BECK

Inconsistency Slows Chapman Soccer

October 13, 1994|MARTIN BECK

Chapman men's soccer Coach Gregg Murphy was hoping it would be easier than this.

Last season, the Panthers were 13-4-3, their best finish since Murphy took over the program in 1990. This year, he figured it would be a simple matter to continue to build on that success, and because of Chapman's move from NCAA Division II to Division III, to qualify for the postseason.

But Chapman has played inconsistently--performing well against the better opponents and poorly against the weaker--and faces a struggle to make the playoffs.

"They are not having the year that they had last year," Murphy said, "which is unfortunate because if they were, we would be in serious contention for a playoff spot. Instead we are on the bubble."

Saturday, Chapman (8-3-2) has a chance to possibly move into contention. The Panthers play host to defending Division III champion UC San Diego in a 7:30 p.m. game.

UC San Diego (8-5-0) is ranked No. 3 in the Western region; Chapman is No. 5. Four teams from the region, which includes all Division III schools west of the Mississippi, make the playoffs. California usually gets two spots, one from the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. San Diego and Chapman might be fighting it out for the other.

Murphy is frustrated because the Panthers aren't always playing to their potential. They beat Division I UC Santa Barbara, 6-4, last month, but this week managed only a narrow victory over Concordia and a tie with Southern California College.

"We don't have anyone who is consistently pulling us up," Murphy said. "We have three guys who could do it--Erick (Hurtarte), Armando (Orizaba) and Craig (Bennett)--they can turn a game by themselves. Somebody is going to have to do it if we are going to get that playoff spot.

"I don't think that they realize their potential and when they do, it may be too late."

Chapman has six games remaining in the regular season, two against Division III teams, three against Division II teams and one against an NAIA team.

*

Murphy's mood wasn't helped by the circumstances surrounding the end of the Panthers' game at SCC Tuesday night. The game--tied, 2-2--was called with about 10 minutes remaining when the referee walked off. In his report, the referee said SCC Coach Dave McLeish was not cooperative.

But Murphy and McLeish both said Wednesday that although it had been a physical game, it was never out of control. Before the incident that preceded the end of the game, Chapman had been called for six yellow cards and SCC four. Each team had earlier had a player ejected for being given a second yellow card.

The referee, Arturo Angeles, the only U.S. official to work the 1994 World Cup games, declined to comment, deferring to his supervisor, officials assigner Dan Goldmann.

Goldmann, referring to Angeles' report, said the referee called the game after McLeish was "screaming and yelling" at him.

The dispute started after Chapman's Ronnie Murrietta fell to the ground in front of the Panthers' bench. Murphy said Murrietta was head-butted by a SCC player. McLeish said no SCC player was near Murrietta before he fell. A tape of the game is inconclusive because Murrietta was away from the ball, but several minutes before it shows Murrietta fouling Jorge Perez and apparently taking an inadvertent elbow to the face. McLeish believes Murrietta was hurt on that play and was play-acting later.

Angeles didn't see what preceded Murrietta's fall, but at first determined SCC's Hector Perez was responsible and gave him a red card, Goldmann said. As Hector started to walk off the field, the report says, Jorge Perez said he had committed the foul. Then McLeish approached Angeles "to scream and yell and said the referee should have seen the incident," Goldmann said.

According to Angeles' report, SCC players then started arguing and he called off the game.

McLeish denies he was being contentious. "I asked him, 'Did you see anything?' " McLeish said. "I asked him three times, but he didn't answer."

Goldmann said a report will be issued to each of the athletic directors, who would have authority to decide if the game should be continued or declared a tie or a forfeit.

The incident overshadowed a game in which SCC scored two shorthanded goals to tie the score.

Said McLeish: "I'm a fan of the truth. If my kids do something, I want to find out and I would do something about it."

Murphy said: "It's just shocking to me that a World Cup referee would abandon a college game."

*

Finally ranked: The Southern California College volleyball team moved into the national NAIA rankings this week. The Vanguards (15-5, 4-3 in the Golden State Athletic Conference) are ranked No. 25.

"Unbelievable, that's a good feeling," SCC Coach Eric Boyles said. "For two years we worked so hard, we thought we should name our school RDU, Rodney Dangerfield University, no respect.

"This team knows they're not as physically talented as the other teams in the conference and they haven't played as much volleyball as other teams in the conference, and that makes the fact that they are ranked a neat thing."

Genevie Wright, a senior outside hitter, was named conference player of the week after totaling 23 kills in victories over Cal State Dominguez Hills and Pt. Loma Nazarene.

Notes

Chapman's David Joerger advanced to the quarterfinals of the Division III Rolex-ITA Western Regional Championships last weekend. Joerger, who played basketball and tennis for the Panthers two years ago as a freshman, has transferred back from Concordia, Minn. . . . For the second consecutive year, the Chapman Classic water polo tournament is being held at Corona del Mar High. UC Davis and Loyola Marymount should challenge the Panthers for the title. The round-robin tournament runs Saturday and Sunday.

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