News: Men's Soccer Riding High, Takes 3rd Place in SCC
For the first time in four seasons under head coach Edgar Manvelyan, the Pasadena City College men's soccer team will be advancing to the Southern California Regional Playoffs in 2013. The Lancers capped the regular season with a 5-2 win over El Camino College-Compton Center under the lights of Robinson Stadium Friday.
PCC clinched third place in the powerful South Coast Conference, but more importantly the Lancers are No. 4 (editor's note, now No. 8 but still a top 8 hosts) in the power points rankings that determine the 14 SoCal playoff seeds. Pasadena will host an opening round playoff game, but will need to find an off-campus site as Robinson Stadium is not a regulation width field according to FIFA rules that govern California Community College soccer. PCC has always received a state waiver to play home games during the regular and conference season in order to play at the on-campus stadium.
Pasadena last made the playoffs in 2008 when it made the SoCal semifinals.
Against Compton, the Lancers showed off some of the program’s brightest stars and recognized sophomores such as stand-outs in goalie Gaetano Perez, and forwards Zack Larson and Luis Flores.
Pasadena struck first, scoring with flare when freshman Sergio Benitez sent a cross pass toward the center of the goalie box from the left side, which Flores connected with on a beautiful diving header in the second minute.
With the goal, Flores ties Gary Guenther of the 1998-99 Lancers for 10th place on the college's all-time scoring list with 38 career points (13 goals, 12 assists over two seasons).
Also making his presence known in the PCC record book is Larson, who scored two goals in Friday’s game to boost his career points to 35 (13 goals, 10 assists), good enough for No. 12 on the school scoring list.
Larson’s first goal came in the 16th minute when he launched a rocket from 30 yards out in the middle of the field. His second came in the 53rd minute when his 10-yard shot from the left side of the goalie box rolled into the right side of the net.
The Lancers (8-6-7, 7-4-3 in the SCC) had 27 shots, including opportunities to score several other times.
Defending the net, Perez allowed one goal and made one save against the Tartars’ five shots in the first half, making for a relatively quiet evening even though he was anything but quiet throughout this season.
Perez’s boisterous instructions from the cage led the Lancers on the field and his aggressive style put him at the top of PCC’s goalie record books. In addition to the numbers from his 2006 freshman season, Perez has 10 shutouts and 176 saves in 32 games, making him the college's all-time leader in both those categories.
Benitez and Chris Chemlekian also scored goals for PCC as the team tied a season high for goals in a game (also scored five in a 5-2 win over SCC champion Mt. San Antonio).
Fellow sophomore goalkeeper Alex Radillo played the final 32 minutes of the game, making three saves and allowing one goal: a penalty kick in the 68th minute from Tartar sophomore Raul Estrada.
Compton (6-11-14, 1-9-4) took a total of 12 shots in the game and its goalie, freshman Manuel Leon, made eight saves.
"What a great run for our team," Manvelyan said. "It was my goal to get the team back into the playoffs. It's a great feeling. We've had some internal issues that we think we have solved, and maybe the team is closer now than it has ever been. We just need to focus on each playoff game and play and inspired 90 minutes for each."
Manvelyan cited the play of defenders Mario Monroy, Max Rico, George Barba, Jaime Jimenez, and Rodolfo Munoz as keys to helping the team contain opponents and transition the ball quickly to PCC's midfielders and forwards for quick strikes in the opposite end.
PCC will learn about All-SCC selections and its playoff seeding this week. It will be announced on this website and on PCC's athletics twitter: https://twitter.com/PCCAthletics
release written by sports information assistant Sara Medina with added information from the SID
[Photo--It was PCC sophomore night on Friday, the Lancers sophomores take a pose prior to their 5-2 win over Compton. (from left to right--Gaetano Perez, Alex Radillo, Luis Flores, Jovanny Silva, Eric Chavez, Midya Housepian and Zack Larson, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]
Release Date: 11/17/2013