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Nicklaw’s last-minute header lifts Vaqueros over No. 4 Oxnard, 1-0

With his back to the goal, Kyle Nicklaw pulls off a back- flick header to score the game-winning goal at 89:10. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)
With his back to the goal, Kyle Nicklaw pulls off a back- flick header to score the game-winning goal at 89:10. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)

Kyle Nicklaw executed a perfect back-flick header on a 31-yard free kick by Luiz Garcia in the final minute of play on Tuesday night, lifting No. 17 SBCC over No. 4 Oxnard 1-0 in a key WSC North men's soccer match at La Playa Stadium.

The Vaqueros (8-3-4, 1-2-3) got their first conference win and handed the Condors (13-3-2, 4-1-2) their first conference loss. The win vaulted the Vaqueros into 11th place in the Southern Cal power points and the top 16 teams make the playoffs.

After playing the first half and sitting out most of the second half, Nicklaw was inserted into the game at 81:50 and scored the game-winner just 7:20 later at 89:10. Nicklaw is second on the Vaquero scoring chart with five goals, just one behind Christopher Robinson.

"I was standing in front of the box trying to confuse the defenders so nobody could mark me very well," said Nicklaw, a freshman forward from Crespi High. "I ran onto goal, turned around and saw the ball was coming straight at me. I just tried to flick it on goal and change the direction a little bit.

"When I saw it in the back of the net, I was really happy."

The game was physical and exciting with both teams getting quality scoring chances in the second half.

"We knew how big this game was, it was huge," said Nicklaw. "We needed this to keep our spot in the playoffs and the power points are really going to help."

Oxnard's Isaac Perez had a 1-on-1 breakaway at 80:40 and SBCC goalie Patrick Mahon was up to the challenge. Mahon came well off his line to get a piece of the shot by Perez and keep the sheet clean.

Mahon made three saves – all in the second half – and Condor goalie Salvador Perez recorded four of his six saves in the second half.

Oxnard outshot SBCC 11-10 but the Vaqueros had the upper hand in shots on goal, 7-3.

Robinson scored a goal in the 75th minute but the flag was up for offsides. Two minutes later, Mahon made another solid save on a hard shot by defender Noah Dollenmayer.

"That was a very good game, I really enjoyed watching it," said SBCC coach John Sisterson. "It was an intense game with lots of end-to-end play and the goalkeepers making good saves. We thought one goal would win the game and fortunately it was us. Both teams played very well.

"That was a great free kick by Luiz and Kyle made a nice flick for the goal. We thought we needed fresh legs late in the game and that's why we put Kyle in there. I was very impressed by the defensive play of Sam Pinto, he was the man of the match."

SBCC will host Moorpark on Friday at 2 p.m., then make a rare Sunday appearance in a home makeup game vs. Santa Monica at 2 p.m.

An Oxnard defender grabs Luiz Garcia's jersey during Tuesday night's WSC showdown
between the No. 17 Vaqueros and No. 4 Condors. Garcia is a freshman from San Marcos High.
(Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)