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Men's Soccer Can't Sustain Lead With Harbor, Tie 2-2

Men's Soccer Can't Sustain Lead With Harbor, Tie 2-2 image

For the second straight match, the Pasadena City College men's soccer team suffered a defensive breakdown. The Lancers couldn't protect a 2-0 lead as Los Angeles Harbor College fought back for a 2-2, South Coast Conference tie Tuesday at Robinson Stadium.

PCC's tie followed a disappointing 6-1 loss at Cerritos College (Sept. 30), a match where the Lancers led 1-0 and controlled much of the first half. Sophomore midfielder Ryosuke Tarui scored the team's only goal.

Against Harbor, the Lancers (6-2-2, 1-1-1 in conference play) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute as freshman midfielder Antonio Benitez (Pasadena Marshall Fundamental) one-timed a cross pass by freshman forward Vahagn Manoyan. In the 53rd minute, sophomore forward Gor Kirakosyan put some English on a 22-yard shot that curved into the upper corner of the net for his conference-leading 10th goal. Kirakosyan became just the 10th player in PCC history to score 15 goals in his Lancers' career.

The Lancers held the 2-0 advantage until the 67th minute when Harbor's Oscar Caballero headed in a long free kick by Zack Irons. With just 14 minutes remaining, Caballero lifted a pass into the goalie box, allowing Jorge Cervantes to just get a piece of a header attempt that slipped through the hands of PCC goalie Ramiro Martinez and into the net for the tying goal.

While the momentum of the game switched several times, PCC wiggled out of Harbor scoring opportunities thanks in part to sophomore defender Enrique Miranda, who cleared out several Seahawks' scoring opportunities. Kirakosyan, Manoyan sophomore midfielder Ryosuke Tarui, and defender David Gonzalez (Muir High) once again carried the PCC offensive attack.

"We had some mental mistakes and it cost us," said PCC Head Coach Edgar Manvelyan. "Give Harbor credit as they have a sneaky type team. They pounce on offense when they get the chance while playing a more defensive style game. We played well in the first 60 minutes, but it's a 90-minute game. All we can do is keep working hard in practice to stress the importance of playing a complete game."

Martinez made five saves, his best in the opening minute when he tipped away a short-range Harbor attempt. The Lancers may have been lucky to get away with a point in the conference standings as Harbor had a volley goal disallowed by Sean Buker on an offsides call in the game's 23rd minute.

PCC's starting 11 played most of the match as Manvelyan played only two subs, one for only a brief few minutes to fill in for Kirakosyan. The Lancers outshot Harbor, 12-10.

Pasadena next travels to face East Los Angeles College in a 2 p.m. SCC match on Friday, October 7.

[Photo--Lancer Antonio Benitez (23) goes up the sideline while avoiding a sliding LA Harbor defender during PCC's 2-2 tie Tuesday at Robinson Stadium, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 10/04/11
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
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