Men’s soccer continues to lack defensive presence

My Ball—East Los Angeles College freshman midfielder Alexis Arroyo is taken down by Rio Hondo College frehsman forward Daniel Rincon in an away game on Friday’s 3-1 loss.
CN: Noe Ortega

By Stephanie Guevara

In a game where men’s soccer’s defense was unable to stop Rio Hondo College’s offense, East Los Angeles College lost 3-1 on Friday.

An unorganized East Los Angeles College was seen early on in the game, resulting in a goal in minute six.

Rio Hondo freshman forward Tobias Garcia Mendez ran through ELAC’s defense, including freshman goalkeeper Horacio Aguirre, which allowed him to score in an unguarded net.

After the first goal was scored, Rio Hondo dominated.

The Huskies’ midfield was unable to produce offensive plays to attack Rio Hondo.

ELAC’s defensive inconsistency continued through the first half.

However, toward the end of the half, Huskies’ offense awoke.  The Huskies made substitutions that helped the offense.

After sophomore midfielder Jerson Maravilla entered the game, ELAC’s midfield produced many plays for strikes to score.    

In a moment where Rio Hondo had a defensive lapse, ELAC freshman midfielder Paulo Macedo took the ball in the goalkeeper area and shot for a goal, but freshman goalkeeper Jesus Rendon barely tapped the ball for a corner kick.

When ELAC attacked the most in the first half, Rio Hondo scored off of a counter attack. Sophomore midfielder Abel Machuca took the ball in the right wing and passed it to freshman defender Adrian Flores  to score. ELAC’s defense was again take ndown.

“I think we attacked in numbers more than we have in the past couple of games. We defended more disciplined than we have. Overall, we were more organized, defensively and offensively,” ELAC sophomore midfielder Joward Abraham said.

ELAC responded seven minutes later with a goal from Macedo.

Maravilla gained possession of the ball and sent a pass to freshman forward Andres Aceves in the right wing, where he assisted Macedo.

Macedo hit the side of his face against the goal post when he scored.

“We received two goals and I think it’s because we didn’t adjust fast enough. We were being attacked on the wing and we didn’t adjust and that’s what hurt us. Once we adjusted in the wings and changed some players around, it made things better and it gave us a chance to go forward knowing things were secured in the back,” ELAC assistant coach Ricardo Raygoza said.

ELAC continued to pressure Rio Hondo’s defense in the second half.

Husky freshman midfielder Tulio Pinheiro regained possession of the ball in the midfield and took a shot toward the goal that barely missed the net.

Maravilla pressured the defense and it took two, sometimes three, players at a time to take the ball away. In minute 54, Maravilla took down all of Rio Hondo’s defense and shot toward goal, but the goal deviated away from the net.

“I want to say we had a great game because the score doesn’t justify the way we played. We made some adjustments for this game. Coach Ramon did a good job adjusting the group. Unfortunately, we’re still being scored on set pieces, which is something we need to work on,” Raygoza said.

Rio Hondo offense began to attack ELAC again and scored their third goal.  Rio Hondo freshman forward Phuc Nguyen scored off a corner kick where ELAC defenders left him alone to score.

After Rio Hondo’s final goal, the Husky offense stopped attacking.

“The last two season we’ve had a hard time beating them (ELAC). This is our first victory in two years… In comparing  hearts, today (Rio Hondo) showed heart, but I always felt ELAC players had more heart,” Rio Hondo head coach Orlando Brenes said. 

ELAC now stands 4-11-2 overall and 1-4 in conference with three games left in the season.

The Huskies’ next game is on Friday at Chaffey College at 4 p.m.

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