By Rogelio Alvarez
The Huskies (4-1-3, 1-0) defeated Los Angeles Harbor College (2-5-1, 0-1), 2-0, in the South Coast Conference opening game last Tuesday.
Freshman forward Valetin Mercado scored a brace in an impressive offensive display from the Huskies.
After a dominating opening 20 minutes from ELAC, sophomore Albert Chamagua’s shot on goal was blocked by LAHC goalkeeper, Brian Hernandez. The rebounded shot landed in Mercado’s path for an easy tap-in.
Freshman goalkeeper Brian Paredes kept a clean sheet and the Huskies defense was able to neutralize LAHC offense for the majority of the match.
“My goal everyday is to get a clean sheet. I was really confident in my defense. We can’t get too high up from the first game, we got a lot more games coming up. All we can do now is work harder,” Paredes said.
Assistant Coach David Garcia was pleased with the Huskies display in the opening conference match.
“We worked for that clean sheet everyday in practice. One of our goals is to be the best defensive team in the conference and hopefully in the state. Starting [the conference] at home with win is great,” Garcia said.
During the last ten minutes of the second half, Mercado increased his goal tally to five goals, after LAHC were caught on a counter attack following a corner kick. Assisted by freshman midfielder Javier Gutierrez, Mercado beat the last defender and fired a shot from 25 yards out that found the back of the net.
The Huskies will have to play the rest of the season without sophomore starting defender Ernesto Rubalcava and sophomore midfielder Jose Gudino, who both have fractured clavicles.
“Throughout the pre-season, we have been unlucky with injuries. Our fitness isn’t where we want it to be right now, and the good thing is that we have subs that will go in and bring the same intensity as the starting players,” said Garcia.
The Huskies will play away at conference rivals No. 5 ranked Mt. San Antonio College this friday at 6 p.m.