By Liliana Marquez
The East Los Angeles men’s soccer team failed to score a victory against No. 12-ranked El Camino College after Warrior Carlos Rosales scored the equalizing-goal to end the match, 1-1, Oct. 28 at Weingart Stadium.
The 82-minute equalizer by Rosales prevented East Los Angeles College from obtaining its third South Coast Conference victory.
This was the second consecutive tie for the Huskies. ELAC now stands 5-6-5 overall, 2-4-3 in the SCC while El Camino (7-1-7, 5-1-3) got its third consecutive tie.
El Camino Assistant Coach Ever Morataya said that the ties against Cerritos and Mt. San Antonio colleges respectively affected the team, but that they are still fighting for conference points.
“We knew it was going to be very physical. It’s always hard to come to ELAC and try to get a (good) result because they know how to play. I think they deserved the tie,” Morataya said.
Although Husky Alfredo Leon scored the opening goal for ELAC at about the 30-minute mark and the Huskies held the advantage for majority of the game, Rosales’ strike just minutes before the end left the Huskies unable to come back.
Leon opened the score after the Huskies sent the ball to the wing and crossed it.
Husky Cesar Alvarez had the ball and held possession. Then, he tried to take a shot and score, but the ball was deflected.
Leon got the ball in the air, volleyed it and drove it into the top corner of the net.
This was Leon’s second goal of the season.
“We were all happy because we followed the game plan while playing against the number one team in conference. It was hard work and we scored to go up,” Leon said.
According to ELAC Assistant Coach Ricardo Raygoza, the Huskies entered the game with a 4-3-3 formation.
“The game plan was to come out victorious with three points. We have been working on that for the past week or two. Three forwards on top gives us a better opportunity to score. It does eliminate a little bit on the midfield, but we get better chances to score,” Raygoza said.
The game plan succeeded with a solid defense and a physical game, ELAC prevented El Camino from scoring throughout the half.
“We made sure that they (ELAC) understood that they had the lead and that they worked hard for it, so they needed to work extra hard to not let it go,” Raygoza said.
He also said that they asked the players to be well organized and to make sure they moved the ball around.
“We make sure that they understand that they need to defend just as much as they fight for the ball,” Raygoza said.
The ELAC defense kept preventing El Camino from scoring. El Camino got lucky with the equalizer.
“They were coming to the game as first (place) in the SCC. We needed the points, but were not able to hold them at the end,” Leon said.
“We had plenty of chances to score, but couldn’t capitalize. The plan was just to hold them and play which we did, but at the end they got lucky and capitalized.”
For ELAC Assistant Coach Melvin Rubio said their defense did a great job.
“Paco (Juan Gallegos) particularly showed great leadership in the back. We called Alex (Guerrero) to play in the back and he definitely stepped up. Overall the team played well, but the ending was very unfortunate,” Rubio said.
Both teams struggled throughout the match despite having plenty of chances to score.
The Huskies came close to scoring again during the second half when Alvarez gave a pass to Guerrero who attempted to score, but sent the ball over the crossbar.
Then came in Rosales to score the equalizer for the Warriors, his first goal of the season.
“As soon as I saw the ball bounce in front of me, I thought, ‘Put it in the back of the net.’ After I scored I wanted to go for another one to get the win,” Rosales said.
Rosales also said that the Huskies closed in the back and that made it complicated for the Warriors to score.
ELAC’s Jose Gudino had another clear chance to make the score 2-1 with a powerful shot that hit the cross bar during the last minutes of the match.
“We had a very good game. Everyone went hard, but we just couldn’t finish at the end. We were up 1-0 and they (El Camino) just found a way to beat us. They caught us off guard and scored the goal,” Leon said.
The Huskies will play at Long Beach City College at 4 p.m. Oct. 31. The Vikings (6-4-5, 4-3-2) currently have 14 conference points.