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Men's Soccer Snaps 24-Match Winless Streak, 5-0 Over Cuyamaca

Men's Soccer Snaps 24-Match Winless Streak, 5-0 Over Cuyamaca image

Pasadena City College men's soccer team returning sophomores Francisco Cantero, David Krievs, and Francisco Castro had never experienced winning at the collegiate level after the Lancers failed to record a victory in 21 matches last year. New head coach Edgar Manvelyan also hadn't experienced the thrill of victory after the team's two ties to start this season.

All four joined in celebration with the rest of the 2010 Lancers after PCC put a resounding end to the program's 24-match winless streak (0-21-3) Friday afternoon in a 5-0, non-conference blow out over Cuyamaca at Robinson Stadium.

The win was the first by a Lancers team since the second round of the 2008 Southern California Regional Playoffs when they defeated LA Harbor, 4-2, in overtime. It was also the first PCC win on its home field since Nov. 11, 2008 when it routed El Camino, 6-0. That winless streak lasted 12 matches.

Outshooting its opponent 13-6, Pasadena improved to 1-0-2 while Cuyamaca drops to 1-2-1.

While two dubious streaks ended, a more positive streak has started for the Lancers. For the first time in school history, the team recorded three consecutive shutouts, all backstopped by freshman goalie Jorge Cervantes. The local Pasadena John Muir High product made five saves against Cuyamaca, including thwarting a penalty shot by Dominic Del Rio in the game's 35th minute.

After two scoreless ties to open the year against Golden West and San Bernardino Valley, the PCC offense erupted following 200 minutes of play without a goal. In the match's 21st minute, Josh Cuevas' throw-in deflected off the back of forward Omar Reyes to give the Lancers a 1-0 lead. Reyes, another local player from Pasadena High, finished with two goals and an assist.

In the 34th minute, reserve forward Brandon Flores took a breakaway pass from Castro and fired in a shot from 15 yards out to make it 2-0. Only a minute later did Cervantes make a diving stop on the penalty kick to preserve the shutout.

"We've been working really hard in practice on trying to create scoring chances," Manvelyan said. "Once we got that first goal, it definitely took the monkey off our backs. Then we just started playing good soccer, and the goals kept on coming. Cervantes' stop on the P.K. was a huge turnaround moment for the team. That helped take the pressure off of us."

PCC would score three goals in a span of 10 minutes late in the second half. In the 76th minute, Reyes' corner kick hit the outside of the post, but Cantero fielded the rebound in the top center of the goalie box and blasted in the team's third goal. 

Three minutes later, Reyes teamed up with forward Khaled Gara on a beautiful give-and-go play as Reyes received the return pass to beat Cuyamaca goalie Reiss Williams for his second goal. With four minutes left in the match, Gara, from Joatt, Israel, rifled in his first collegiate goal to cap the scoring.

Manvelyan praised the play of Cervantes along with defenders Cantero, Julio Osorio, and Yeyson Caballeros. He also was pleased with his entire forward corps for making plays throughout the match. Midfielder Valentine Obinwa received kudos as well from the first-year head coach.

PCC looks to keep its shutout streak going Monday, Sept. 13 when the team travels to face Taft College in a 3 p.m. match. 

[Photo--Omar Reyes (red 10) is seen here in action earlier this week. He scored two goals and added an assist in PCC's 5-0 win over Cuyamaca Friday, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 09/10/10
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
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