By Liliana Marquez
The men’s soccer team started the second half of the season with a victory over Long Beach College last Friday at Weingart Stadium with a score of 5-0.
This was a big game for the Huskies after starting conference play with a draw at Long Beach earlier in the season. With a match that some spectators and players rated as their best performance so far on the season, the Huskies displayed some great tactics, touches, passes and shots on an unforgettable afternoon for the team.
East Los Angeles College’s goalkeeper Juan Escobar was a key factor in the game as he made some difficult saves and had an outstanding performance. The game started with ELAC having the first goal attempt with a throw-in by Galo Moreno, where the ball was stolen by the Vikings who generated a counterattack move but were not able to score.
During minute four, a foul was committed against ELAC’s Omar Garcia and Julio Fernandez took a shot, which was no trouble for the Vikings.The first clear opportunity for the Huskies came during minute six, when a shot by Kevin Gomez hit the left post, preventing ELAC from opening the score. A free kick was awarded to the Huskies and Gomez took the shot, but the ball bounced off the Viking crossbar to Husky Geovanni Rodriguez who took a shot that went off the field.
Long Beach’s first good opportunity to score came in minute 14 when they were awarded a corner kick.The Huskies were able to prevent them from scoring.ELAC was controlling the ball, and had the most chances to score but they were still lacking the final touches to finish their moves. A throw-in by Kevin Lichtenwalter to Adolfo Larios at the 20 minute mark generated a good move which was interrupted when the Vikings committed a foul halting play.
Four minutes later, ELAC’s goalkeeper Juan Escobar caught a Vikings’ shot by throwing himself to the ground.During minute 28, the Huskies started to show their skills and work as a team by creating a move where Gomez took a shot that the Vikings goalkeeper was able to save. Two minutes later came ELAC’s first goal. The goal started with a throw-in by Moreno which was sent to Larios who sent the ball directly into the net.This was Larios’ second goal in conference games.
At minute 33, Danny Suarez, who entered as a change three minutes before, had his first goal attempt.His shot caused some trouble to the Vikings’ goalkeeper who was forced to throw himself to the ground to save the ball which almost slipped off his hands.
A couple of minutes before the interval, Suarez had a chance to extend the scoring.The move started with Giovanni Reyes running toward the Viking’s post and giving a pass to Suarez. He tricked the Vikings’ defense and instead of taking a shot to the left of the post, he went to the right, sending the ball into the net.This was the second time Suarez scored against the Vikings and was also his second goal in conference.
The Huskies went to half time winning 2-0 over the Vikings.As the second half started, Long Beach started putting pressure on the Huskies to even the score when the Vikings took a powerful shot, but Escobar made a great save and prevented them from scoring.A minute later, Escobar made another great save. This was followed by a move by Salvador Medrano who send a pass to Reyes who took a shot which was sent to a corner kick.The corner kick was taken by Lichtenwalter who sent the ball flying directly into the hands of the Vikings’ goalkeeper.
At minute 57, ELAC’s goalkeeper made yet another great save.During minute 60, the Vikings made a terrible mistake, which cost them a goal. It all started when ELAC was given a throw-in which was taken by Moreno.
One of the Vikings jumped and hit a header that sent the ball directly to one of his teammates who, in an attempt to send the ball off the field scored in his own goal. The performance of ELAC’s goalkeeper, their own goal, and the score were starting to frustrate the Vikings.During the next eight minutes both teams attacked, looking to score more goals.The Vikings did not want to give in but ELAC wanted more goals.
During minute 68, ELAC showed once again their abilities and worked as a team to score what some spectators thought was the best goal of the afternoon. Christian Ventura stole a ball at midfield, and sent a short pass to Gomez, who passed it to left mid-fielder Medrano.Ventura kept running toward the goal and asked Medrano for a pass.Medrano centered the ball to the top of the 18 box and Ventura was able to reach it and take a shot. The ball hit the pole, then the turf, and found its way into the net.
At minute 75, ELAC’s goalkeeper Escobar kept showing that his saves and interventions were crucial during the game by making another great save. Four minutes before the final whistle, the Vikings committed a foul on Yuchen Wang in the penalty area and the referee awarded a penalty kick to the Huskies. Moreno took the shot and scored the fifth and final goal of the match.This was also Moreno’s second goal in conference play.At the end, the Huskies were happy and satisfied with the victory.
Assistant Coach Felipe Bernal said, “We took advantage of their mistakes. The goalie had a great game. They gave us space and we took it. We deserved this, the kids worked really hard.” Goalkeeper Juan Escobar said, “It was a good victory. We always wanted a victory like this. We are improving both individually and as a team.” Galo Moreno who scored the penalty said, “During the first part of the season we had our troubles but we are coming stronger. What surprises me about my teammates is the way they have been playing recently.”
Danny Suarez who scored the second goal said, “On the first half we did a good job and worked as a team. During the second half the changes the coach made were important. We are progressing little by little and that was reflected in today’s performance.” Christian Ventura said, “We did an excellent job and we just showed that we have been working hard for this and that we have the team to go far and to accomplish big things this year.”