By Stephanie Guevara
Despite losing a decisive match against El Camino Compton Center 0-1, men’s soccer will return to the playoffs after a three-year absence.
The Huskies have lost the last three consecutive games in the same fashion.
Despite the losses, men’s soccer’s previous record helped them advance to playoffs. Throughout the season, not scoring in key moments have anguished East Los Angeles College, and Friday’s game wasn’t the exception.
In two early free kicks, ELAC sophomore forward Edward Robles and freshman midfielder Jerson Maravilla shot directly on goal, but Compton goalkeeper Larry Sanchez had two great saves.
“Our offense had been struggling for the past three or four games in scoring, but not in creating opportunities. Overall, getting the ball possession we need has been there, but we haven’t been able to capitalize in the right moment,” ELAC assistant coach Ricardo Raygoza said.
Both teams played an intense first half and the second half was no different.
During minute 50 of the game, ELAC freshman fullback Edy Martinez was aggressively fouled by Compton sophomore defender Cesar Torres, who received a yellow game.
A total of eight yellow cards were shown in the game. Four of the yellow cards were for ELAC.
“We started off really good, but because of the cards, we started getting at it with the ref. I don’t know if we were out of control, but we started to depend on one player than on the whole team,” ELAC central defender Agustin Barros said.
Throughout the second half, ELAC created more opportunities for goals than Compton. It took Compton less effort than ELAC to score.
“This game was unexpected. They (Compton) had one chance to score and they did. That’s how soccer is. It is what it is,” ELAC defensive midfielder Gustavo Silva said.
In the 77 minute of the game, as Compton sophomore midfielder Jose Albizar took the ball in the left wing, Silva fouled him to disrupt his offensive play.
Compton was given a free kick that freshman forward Alan Arias shot and scored from a deflection by ELAC sophomore goalkeeper Joshua Moreno.
“At the end of the day, it was a fair-played game until the unfortunate goal they (Compton) got that went off of the goalkeeper’s hands. I don’t know what to say. Things happen in the game,” ELAC head coach Eddie Flores said.
The Huskies’ next game is a playoff match at Golden West College on Saturday at 2 p.m.