By Damien Guzman
The East Los Angles College men’s soccer team upset then No. 2-ranked Los Angles Mission College Eagles, 1-0, in a match of CCCAA South Region ranked teams.
ELAC is currently ranked 11 in the state. Mission is No. 17-ranked. Mission boasts forward Ericson Penate who was the CCCAA’s third-best top scorer in the state scoring six goals going into the match with ELAC.
Penate received a red card, at the 22-minute mark, after punching ELAC defensive player Juan Gallegos in the chest.
ELAC’s Hector Reyes received a red card one minute and 30 seconds into the game putting ELAC down a man.
Penate’s ejection evened the field. A yellow card was also given to Mission forward David Flores after a hard foul.
After Penate received a red card, referees huddled up with the Mission coaches to explain why their player was being thrown out and not ELAC’s.
Penate threw a punch and Gallegos was only playing physical. “We missed him on the field, he takes command of the game and he scores for us,” Mission midfielder Guilherme Vargas said regarding Penate’s ejection. “Having him out of the game made it harder for us to win.”
After Penate was ejected, the Huskies were more aggressive in trying to score their first goal of the game. ELAC forward Alex Guerrero received a well-placed pass that he headed into the goal 10 minutes before halftime to give them the lead and eventually the win.
The game was chippy from the start and players pushed, shoved and argued after penalties were called. “I feel like the team can play any style, whether it’s a physical game or a possessive game,” Guerrero said.
The Huskies outplayed their opponent, played clean and still brought physical contact on the field to pull off a close win.
“ELAC has a reputation of being the ones to start problems, but we are a completely different team and we represent our school in a very educated fashion,” Guerrero said.
The Huskies will begin South Coast Conference play at Cerritos College, 4 p.m. on Sept. 30.