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Men's Soccer Rallies And Shocks State No. 1 Mt. SAC, 3-2

Men's Soccer Rallies And Shocks State No. 1 Mt. SAC, 3-2 image

Pretty much everything that could go wrong did go wrong in the first 45 minutes of the Pasadena City College men's soccer team match against state No. 1-ranked Mt. San Antonio Friday at Robinson Stadium. The Lancers were playing without the on-field guidance of head coach Edgar Manvelyan, who was serving a one-game suspension after being ejected for arguing in the team's last match v. Cerritos. 

The team then played perhaps its worst half of the season, getting outshot, 13-1, as Mt. SAC opened up a 2-0 lead. It could have been worse, but PCC goalie Jorge Cervantes made a spectacular diving stop on a penalty kick by Mt. SAC's Kareem Morad in the 42nd minute. 

But as bleak as it looked for PCC, it almost appeared that the soccer gods zapped the Lancers with a magic spell at halftime. For the next 45 minutes, Pasadena put on an exciting and productive offensive attack, scoring three unanswered goals in completing an improbable 3-2 upset over the Mounties.

With just six minutes left, defender Francisco Cantero took a pass from the corner from Francisco Castro and blasted in a 20-yard shot for the game-winning goal. Kevin Figueroa made a brilliant fake on the play, as he purposely left the ball for the on-rushing Cantero.

Pasadena improved to 5-2-3 and 2-1-1 in the SCC, picking up major power points in defeating the Mounties, who saw a nine-match undefeated streak to start the season end. Mt. SAC is 8-1-1 and 2-1-1.

PCC started the comeback when Cervantes sent a long ball that Figueroa brought down in the left corner in front of the Mounties goal. Figueroa then made a beautiful boot, scoring into the far upper corner of the net in the 54th minute. In the 64th minute, Ryosuke Tarui hit a free kick from midfield that was directed by Castro to Khaled Gara, who punched in the short-range shot for the tying goal.

Playing under the assistant coaching tag team of Alonzo Lopez, Henry Cabral and associate head coach Warren Altounian, the Lancers changed to a 4-3-3 positional strategy in the second half. PCC would take eight shots and create numerous opportunities while limiting Mt. SAC to only three shots over the final period.

Cervantes was instrumental in the win as he made six saves, including the PK, and often drove the ball downfield with long boots. PCC's second-half lineup included reserves in midfielders Figueroa, Castro, and Erik Rios, defenders Enrique Miranda and Jordan Brooksher, and forward Tarui. The revamped lineup turned the tide for the Lancers.  

In a SCC match at Cerritos College October 5, the Lancers were blanked, 2-0.

PCC next hosts Los Angeles Harbor College Tuesday, October 12 in a 3 p.m. conference match at Robinson Stadium.

[Photo--Goalie Jorge Cervantes (blue jersey left) is one of several Lancers who joined in celebration moments following PCC's 3-2 win over state power Mt. San Antonio Friday at Robinson Stadium, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 10/08/10
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
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