News: Last-Second Goal Allowed Jeopardizes Men's Soccer Playoff Hopes
Everything appeared to be in place for the Pasadena City College men's soccer team. The Lancers had taken a 2-1 lead over South Coast Conference-leading and state No. 4-ranked Mt. San Antonio College on a goal by Luis Flores with eight minutes left in their match Friday at Robinson Stadium.
PCC thought it would cap its fourth consecutive victory, but in extra time, Mt. SAC's Abraham Placito headed in a cross pass by Norberto Ochoa for the tying goal just a few seconds before the referee blew the final whistle. The late goal forced the Lancers to settle for a 2-2 tie.
Despite stretching its undefeated streak to seven matches (4-0-3), PCC lost a valuable power point in the power rankings that determine the region's 14-team playoff field. The Lancers are not out of the postseason yet, but stand in No. 16 currently in the power rankings at 1.8316. They are the only team with an under .500 overall record to be as high in the field, now at 5-8-6 overall, but a solid 5-2-5 and fourth place in the powerful SCC.
For Mt. SAC, it was the Mounties first tie of the season as they stand at 15-2-1 overall and 9-2-1 in conference matches.
In the home battle, Eric Chavez gave PCC a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute when he scored his fifth goal of the season on a give-and-go with Flores. Chavez got the return pass from Flores, then circled around Mt. SAC goalie Adrian Topete to score easily on a hard center-of-the-net shot.
After Mt. SAC had tied it three minutes into the second half, the Lancers again took the lead when Flores captured a throw-in by Michael Alcaraz and blasted in his fifth goal. Flores, Chavez and Zachary Larson all are now tied for the team lead in goals (five each).
PCC freshman Marino Bianchi, the team's third-string goalie at the start of the season, played in place of starter Alex Radillo, who had to sit out the match due to a red card in the previous victory. Bianchi proved to be outstanding as he made 10 saves, including a brilliant tip that deflected off the post and stayed out of the net a minute before Mt. SAC's tying score. Defender Yeyson Caballeros also played extremely well. He made a goal-line block prior to PCC's second goal.
PCC has two matches left, and a golden opportunity to possibly crack the top 14 when it visits power-ranked No. 2 Cerritos (state 13th-ranked, 2.15 power ranking) on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Kickoff is 3 p.m. in Norwalk.
Here is a link to the current power rankings:
[Photo--Eric Chavez (red jersey) gets ready to fire in a goal during PCC's 2-2 tie v. Mt. San Antonio Friday at Robinson Stadium, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]
Release Date: 11/03/2012