RIVERSIDE, Calif. --- To end their 2011 season, in which they achieved 20 wins for the 10th time in the program's history, No. 17 California Baptist split a pair in the final day of CWPA National invite, beating Fresno Pacific 13-10 and dropping to No. 13 Concordia 15-8.
The Lancers struggled early against CUI, letting the score slide to 4-0 before Matt Puig scored CBU's first goal with 2:47 left in the first quarter.
Back -to-back goals from Christ Toy and Scott Gleason at 3:13 and 2:37 left in the half put some life back in the Lancers' offensive but the Eagles answered with another 3-0 run that lasted until the 4:30 mark in the third quarter.
"We let them stay out in front too long," Head Coach Rick Rowland said. "We needed to start off the game better defensively. They took advantage of every turnover and executed their offense and defense perfectly."
Gleason and Toy each added another mid third quarter but the Eagles scored two 6-on-5 goals to finish the quarter with the 12-5 advantage.
The Lancers were just one of 10 in 6-on-5 attempts while CUI was six of 12.
"That is a big part of where your scoring should come from and we weren't able to finish our 6-on-5's," Rowland said. "Two of them that we missed, they turned around and went up the pool for a two-goal turnaround."
"Unfortunately, you don't like to take one game and have that be the totality of your season," Rowland said. "We did have a solid season with over 20 wins. This is a good group that stood ranked between 15th and 18th all season. It's definitely one of the stronger teams we have had."
Earlier in the day, CBU honored seven seniors before beating Fresno Pacific 13-10 in the third game of the CWPA National Invite.
Five of the seven seniors scored in the morning match-up, including Atkinson who led the Lancers' offense with three goals.
"It was really nice to see Jeremy gat a hat-trick today in his final games," Rowland said. "He, probably more than anyone, played with a lot of passion. He was really fired up after he got each goal so it was fun to see that."
After Atkinson scored first, seniors Peter Hines and Brent Troutman scored back-to-back goals at the 2:39 and 1:53, respectively. FPU answered, however, and forced the 3-3 tie at the end of the first quarter.
Senior Toy scored 31 seconds after Atkinson to push CBU to a 5-3 lead with 5:42 still left in the half. Yet, the CBU goal advantage sparked a FPU rally that included a 4-0 run that resulted in the Sunbirds 7-5 lead halfway through the third quarter.
"Early on in the game, we were turning over the ball too much and giving them opportunities," Rowland said. "But we turned things around. They started turning over the ball and we started getting up the pool."
Senior Jeff Babcock sealed the victory with a goal with 40 remaining seconds.
For the first time this season, all three of CBU's goalies stepped in the cage today with senior Nick Janzen getting the starting nod and recording three first quarter saves. Austen Ramer stepped in for eight saves and reserve Dylan Vrooman tallied two late.
"We're going to miss our seven seniors," Rowland said. "Those guys put in a solid four years for us and helped us accomplish a lot over those past four years. These seniors were a part of the group that had the all-time winning record and the highest ranking of any group we have ever had. The seniors go out with a lot of pride for the things they have accomplished while being here."
"All these guys meant a lot to our program because they have invested their time. These guys stay here every summer and train. They give up jobs at home to stay together as group. They have a give up a lot to put together a good four years so their senior year can be the best they can possible make it."
CBU finished their season with a record of 24-9.