By Liliana Marquez
The East Los Angeles College men’s soccer team closed the season with a 6-1 defeat against Los Angeles Harbor College last Friday at Seahawk Stadium in Wilmington, Calif.
The Huskies wanted to finish the season strong, but the cold weather and knowing that they were not advancing to the playoffs had them giving up before the final whistle.
“Many of the guys had no motivation to go out there and play in the cold. Especially knowing we weren’t going to the playoffs,” ELAC Assistant Coach Javier Aguiñiga said.
This was the worst defeat for the Huskies since their 5-0 loss against Pasadena City College back in 2010.
Down 2-0, Husky Jonathan Barajas scored a goal five minutes into the second half.
Harbor counterattacked and the Huskies were not intense enough to stop them from scoring five goals in the second half.
“We were in the game and we had opportunities to have tied or even gone up on the score until that second half, where we made some dumbfounded mistakes just as in other games. It was just not our season,” Aguiñiga said.
Harbor’s Eric Medina scored a hat trick and an assist. Teammates Guillermo Beltran, Raymond Agano and Gima Terrance scored a goal each.
The Huskies kicked off with the wind going against them. Every ball they shot lost force and direction because of the wind.
ELAC’s first clear goal attempt came during minute 16, when Keith Moreno received a pass from Juan Garcia. Moreno took a shot, which the wind deflected, sending it off the field.
Three minutes later, Harbor scored the opening goal, and ELAC’s goalkeeper Juan Escobar left the field injured. Husky Juan Martinez stepped in to take Escobar’s place.
Harbor had a chance to score when Jesus Fregoso took a corner kick, but teammate Juan Perez sent the ball over the crossbar.
Despite looking like Escobar’s season was over after leaving the field injured, he went back to the game just seven minutes after being substituted by Martinez.
The season ended sooner for Husky Alan Miranda, who was forced to leave the field during the 30th minute-mark due to an injury.
Escobar prevented Harbor from scoring the rest of the half, making vital saves for the Huskies.
A minute after the start of second half, Escobar made a great save that had the ELAC bench on their feet cheering for him. Harbor then scored and had a 2-0 lead.
In 30 minutes, Harbor scored four goals, and ELAC did not respond.
“This year’s team had the talent to have competed against any team, but I think that’s where we all fell to the power of overconfidence. Hard work beats talent and it showed this season. Although we worked hard, it did not compare to the prior two seasons where we had playoff berths,” Aguiñiga said.
“They were not intense and didn’t play team ball. There is so much negativity going around. Even though you don’t want it, it’s there,” Assistant Coach Felipe Bernal said.
ELAC ended the season 5-10-7 overall and a took sixth place in the South Coast Conference with a record of 3-9-3.