By Liliana Marquez
For the first time in the last five seasons, El Camino College Compton Center defeated the East Los Angeles College men’s soccer team, 2-1.
The Huskies suffered a disappointing loss after a second-half-winner strike by Joey Loza of Compton Nov. 4 at Weingart Stadium.
Loza’s goal allowed the Tartars to earn the come-from-behind victory.
ELAC Head Coach Eddie Flores said that the Huskies did not work nor connect and that the defeat was embarrassing for the school and the soccer program.
“They (the players) should all be embarrassed at every level,” Flores said. “They (Compton) got two goals and they defended. They were aggressive and the substitutions were key. They deserved the win.”
The match was crucial for both teams. The Huskies earned a victory on Oct. 31 on the road against Long Beach City College and were looking to earn their second-consecutive win in South Coast Conference play.
Compton Head Coach Jose Garcia said that the Tartars’ main goal for the remaining games is to avoid a 10th defeat.
“This victory means a lot. I think that It’s been a tough season for us in terms of results. We battled through a lot of injuries. If you look at our record, we didn’t lose a game by more than a goal. Every game we either tied or lost,” Garcia said.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t finish or maybe had lousy mistakes. I think the boys worked really hard, so the win is definitely well deserved.”
With the loss, ELAC stands 6-7-5 overall and 3-5-3 in the SCC while Compton is 3-9-6 and 1-6-4.
Loza’s strike, his second of the season, came during the first minutes of the second half. After that, the Huskies tried, but weren’t able to come from behind.
“This victory gives a lot of motivation to us to keep moving forward and not giving up,” Loza said. “It was fascinating to see all my teammates motivated like that.”
The opener came just minutes after kick off with a strike by ELAC’s Hector Reyes, who scored his third goal of the season.
“I felt relieved. I felt that we had the game (under control). I thought it was an easy game and I let my guard down. I felt happy and excited because we thought we had the game, but we were wrong,” Reyes said.
At around the 16th minute Compton was awarded a free kick and Tartar Adrian Guzman scored the equalizer.
“After I scored the goal, I felt a little more relaxed knowing that we just needed to push harder to score another goal,” Guzman said.
While the Huskies entered the game feeling confident after the victory over LBCC and the previous result against Compton (4-2), the Tartars were having a difficult time due to the lack of wins in conference play.
“The morale was very low. It’s just the way it works when you don’t win. Even though we went down in the game, I think the kids were motivating each other and supporting each other from the bench and field,” Garcia said.
“You play more relaxed when you have nothing to lose. We found a really beautiful goal in the first half and that gave us more motivation. I think we deserved the win.”
ELAC’s Reyes said that he believed the Huskies were overconfident and that he personally felt more confident after scoring, so that led to him not giving his 100 per cent for the rest of the match.
He also said that those three points lost against Compton were something the Huskies really needed in their quest to make it to playoffs.
He added that the result brought ELAC down because winning that game would have given them the possibility of moving up to the third play in the conference table.
ELAC has three regular season matches left to play. Flores said that after the loss against Compton, ELAC must win these three matches in order to have a chance to make it to the playoffs.
ELAC will face Mt. San Antonio College on the road on Nov. 7. The Huskies will close SCC play at home on Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. against Los Angeles Harbor College.