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Men's Soccer Begins 2011 Season On Winning Note, 4-1 Over Cuyamaca

Men's Soccer Begins 2011 Season On Winning Note, 4-1 Over Cuyamaca image

In last year's debut season for Edgar Manvelyan as Pasadena City College men's soccer head coach, the Lancers clearly played a controlled strategy, emphasizing defense. It showed in the low amount of scoring in PCC games in 2010. The Lancers averaged just 1.45 goals per game, but limited opponents to even less at 1.25.

Manvelyan said two reasons for the low scoring were that the team's strength was with its defenders and goalie while the squad just lacked pure goal scorers.

Going into 2011, the team philosophy is changing direction as now it's the Pasadena offense that could take center stage. The Lancers provided a preview of that offensive punch Friday in their season-opening match, a 4-1 victory at Cuyamaca College.

Gor Kirakosyan, a sophomore forward and leading goal scorer from the 2009 Lancers, and freshman forward Irving Rosales each scored two goals as PCC fought back from an early 1-0 deficit.

After Cuyamaca scored on a penalty kick in the 21st minute, the Lancers struck on an unassisted goal by Rosales, a local recruit from Pasadena John Muir High, in the 27th minute. Nine minutes later, it was Rosales feeding a pass to Kirakosyan (pictured) for a 2-1 PCC lead.

Eight minutes into the second half, Kirakosyan rifled in a score on assists by sophomore defender Derek Olson and frosh midfielder Antonio Benitez (Marshall Fundamental). Rosales capped the scoring in the 57th minute on a combination play from Kirakosyan. Overall, the team scored its four goals in a span of 30 minutes.

"We dominated about 75 percent of the possession on the offensive end," Manvelyan said. "We have some talented forwards and we're going to be a different team than last year because of our scoring potential. We have some finishers, especially with Gor back on the roster. We're going to be pushing the play, forcing other teams to make mistakes."

Against Cuyamaca, freshman goalie Ramiro Martinez made five saves. PCC outshot Cuyamaca, 12-6, overall.

Manvelyan returns eight players from last year, including Olson, Khaled Gara, Omar Reyes, Kevin Figueroa, Yuta Tsujioka, Ryosuke Tarui, Francisco Guzman, Enrique Miranda, and have transfers in midfielders David Gonzalez (Muir High) and Carlos Munoz (Blair).

The Lancers' rookie crop is made up of Rosales, Martinez, Benitez, defender Edwin Sanchez (Cathedral High), defender Anthony Jimenez (Arcadia), defender Joshua Roy (Blair), forward Michael Alcaraz (Burbank), midfielder Vahagn Manoyan (from Armenia), forward Miguel Navarette (Sylmar), defender Lucas Fontes (Burbank Burroughs High), midfielder Kyunghee Lee (from Korea), midfielder Ryan Hernandez (Santa Monica), reserve goalie Fernando Leon (Eagle Rock), and midfielder Midya Housepian (Hoover of Glendale).

Manvelyan is also carrying players on his practice squad, but will try to limit the playing day roster to a maximum of 25 players.

"Obviously we have a deep roster, so that means practice is going to be a constant competition to see who can stay on the active game-day lineup," he said.

"We had some tough games in South Coast Conference play last year where we just couldn't get over the hump because of a lack of scoring. That's why we had so many ties (eight, a school record as the team finished 6-8-8). I'm encouraged and excited about the direction of this year's squad. At least we know we can put the ball in the net, and that's a start."

Release Date: 08/27/11
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu