News: Men's Soccer Snaps Winless String--Edges El Camino In SCC Opener, 2-1
There was a method to the madness in the pre-conference scheduling made by Pasadena City College men's soccer team head coach Edgar Manvelyan. The Lancers took their lumps in seven non-conference matches, going 0-6-1 against hard competition, including five teams that advanced to last year's regional playoffs.
On Tuesday, Pasadena left Robinson Stadium leading the South Coast Conference (tied) after a hard-fought 2-1, conference-opening victory over El Camino College. The triumph stopped a nine-game winless streak going back to last season for the Lancers.
Zachary Larson, an explosive freshman forward, used his speedy legs to sprint through two Warriors' defenders and rifle in the tie-breaking goal in the 71st minute. It was Larson's team-leading third goal of the season. Larson pulled a Brandi Chastain moment when he immediately took off his jersey in celebration of the score. Larson received a yellow card from the official for his antic.
Things didn't look good for the Lancers when starting goalie Luis Hernandez was whistled for a red card, tripping an El Camino forward on a breakaway in the goalie box. Marco Cervantes' subsequent penalty kick goal tied the game at 1-1 in the 64th minute.
With Pasadena down to 10 players, the Lancers buckled down defensively and used Larson and fellow forward Irving Rosales to put the pressure on El Camino in the offensive end. Unlike recent matches where Pasadena unloaded a high amount of shots against their opponents, PCC took just six shots against El Camino.
One of them was the game's first goal when Luis Flores (Pasadena High) snuck around an unsuspecting ECC goalie Nolan Dean and poked a rolling ball into the net. The goal (assisted by Victor Menchaca) gave the Lancers a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute. Menchaca, Elio Anguiano, Yeyson Caballeros, and Ruben Vera often prevented El Camino scoring chances with steady play in front of the Lancers' goal.
Hernandez made five saves, including a tipaway during the first half on a long free kick. He was relieved by Alex Radillo, who did not record a save. Due to the rule that a player must sit out a game upon receiving a red card, Radillo will start the next game.
"That was a big relief for the players and the coaches," Manvelyan said. "It wasn't a pretty game and not a lot of scoring chances. We concentrated on not getting caught out of position defensively. I'm hoping that the pre-conference has toughened us up a bit. I think it did help us today."
The Lancers return to action Friday, Sept. 28 with a 6 p.m. evening encounter at East Los Angeles College.
[Photo--Zachary Larson (red jersey) battles for the ball with an El Camino defender during the Lancers' 2-1 win Tuesday at Robinson Stadium, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]
Release Date: 09/26/2012