by Stephanie Guevara
The East Los Angeles soccer team fell short from qualifying to the California Community College Athletics Association SoCal Regional playoff, after ending a tough season.
The Huskies ended the season 9-6-6 overall and 6-5-3 in the South Coast conference.
From the South Coast Conference, only two teams advanced to the playoffs.
According to head coach Eddie Flores, the Huskies had a better team this season than last season
“We had a better record and better players but we didn’t make it to playoff,” Flores said.
After winning the last four consecutive games, ELAC was defeated by Cerritos College 1-0 in a rescheduled game.
Before winning those four consecutive games, ELAC came back from a three-game losing streak.
According to forward Jordan Elias, after the first game against Cerritos, the team’s performance began to drop tremendously. “After the game against Cerritos the team’s performance began to drop because we had the best defense in the conference and they (Cerritos) scored 5 goals on us,” Elias said.
Half-way through the season, Huskies lost key players due to injuries. According to assistant coach David Garcia, the loss of key players weakened the team in the second round of the season.
“This was the season we had a good solid starting eleven and he had people in the bench, but once we started losing key guys due to injuries, we lost that debt in the bench. At one point we had about five injuries,” Garcia said.
ELAC starting goalkeeper Brian Paredes suffered a concussion when ELAC played El Camino Compton Center. Paredes collided with ECCC forward. The three consecutive losses came after Paredes’ injury.
Coaches and players have a different perspective on how the season was overall.
According to midfielder Alvaro Torres, the season had ups and downs because of the injuries and because other teams in conference had a bad preseason, which was a major factor why ELAC didn’t qualify for playoff.
“The team had a lot of ups and downs and if we would’ve not had that many injuries, our team would have been in a better position,” Torres said.
Torres also said that the team’s frustration when losing played a huge factor because the team wasn’t used to losing.
Although the season didn’t end as expected, four players made it to the all-star team and won awards. Valentin Mercado, Hugo Flores, Aldair Martinez and Jorge Chave form part of the all-star team. Javier Gutierrez won honorable mention.
ELAC midfielder Alexis Cubias and defender Albert Chamagua were also nominated by coaches to the 2015 California Community College Soccer Coaches Association showcase.
According to Flores, the team will have five games scheduled to in spring as preparation for the the 2016 season.
A positive factor for the team will be that the majority of the players will be returning.
“Since 80 percent of the team is coming back, that is a huge plus for us,” Garcia said.