Cal Baptist's men's soccer team is 90 minutes from joining its women at the NCCAA national championships at the end of the month in Kissimmee, Fla.
The Lancers first must get past former Golden State Athletic Conference rival The Master's.
Cal Baptist (14-5-0) and TMC (11-5-3) on Thursday advanced to the West Regional final in the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association's annual tournament with home victories. They'll meet Saturday afternoon in Riverside, with the winner heading to Florida.
The NCCAA tournaments will be held Nov. 30-Dec. 3. Cal Baptist's women won the West Regional last week.
The Lancers, who are wrapping up their first season as an NCAA Division II team, pulled out a 2-1 victory over Trinity Lutheran of Everett, Wash., as Willie Rupert converted his fourth penalty kick of the season in the 83rd minute.
Michael Salazar (Moreno Valley/Canyon Springs HS) drew the penalty as Cal Baptist withstood a physical test from Trinity Lutheran (12-5-1), which was whistled for 22 fouls and received four yellow cards and one red card.
Jonathan Garcia (Long Beach/Millikan HS) gave the Lancers a third-minute lead, but Edwin Aguilar pulled the Eagles even four minutes into the second half.
The Master's routed GSAC foe Hope International, 7-1, in Santa Clarita. Kevin Scheunemann scored twice, Marcelo Silva scored a goal and assisted two more, and Jorge Serrano (Sylmar/Sylmar HS and College of the Canyons) and Joel Peluffo (Newhall/Hart HS) added goals and assists to lead the Mustangs. Fullerton-based Hope's season ended at 7-8-2.
In other men's action:
Tom Mohoric's goal late in the first half stood up for West Coast Conference champion St. Mary's (9-6-5), which opened the NCAA Division I playoffs with a 1-0 victory at Cal State Bakersfield to set up a second-round encounter Sunday at No. 7 UC Irvine (16-5-1).
John Dineen's strike nearly 16 minutes into overtime lifted Delaware (13-5-4) to a 1-0 NCAA first-round triumph at Virginia, sending the Blue Hens to Sunday's game at fourth-ranked UCLA (15-4-1).
John Raley's goal in the 11th minute carried Providence (11-7-1) to a 1-0 victory over visiting Princeton and into an NCAA second-round game Sunday at No. 13 UC Santa Barbara (14-6-1).
Cal Baptist 2 (Garcia 3, Rupert pen. 83), Trinity Lutheran 1 (Aguilar 50)
The Master's 7 (Scheunemann 3, 63, Serrano 7, Taves 42, Peluffo pen. 50, Silva 61, Holmlund 90), Hope International 1 (Howard 41)
Home teams listed first