By Michael Price
Four red cards and four goals highlighted a decisive 3-1 victory for the women’s soccer team over El Camino College Compton Center last Friday at Weingart Stadium.
Huskies Natasha Witzl and Susana Terrones received red cards along with Compton’s Stephanie Serna and Stephanie Pacheco for brawling on the field.
Husky Leslie Rivera scored two goals and had an assist to Jessica Guzman who scored East Los Angeles College’s third goal.
The Huskies didn’t find rhythm within themselves and were not able to string any passes together. As a result were down 1-0 in the first half after a slow start.
Compton struck first when a cross was volleyed over a sleeping Husky backline. Michelle Soto latched on to the pass and shot it for goal past Husky goalkeeper Arlien Sanchez.
ELAC appealed for an offside but the line judge’s flag stayed down.
ELAC charged out the gates in the second half with five attempts on goal in the first five minutes. Outstanding goalkeeping by Jillanita Orozco kept Compton’s lead intact.
Rivera received a cross and drove the ball down the left wing to beat Compton’s goalkeeper Orozco and tie the game near the 60th minute.
In the second half ELAC’s efforts came to fruition when Rivera led a Husky counterattack finding Guzman with a through pass to go one-on-one with Orozco. The Huskies slot home to take the lead.
With ten minutes left, the Huskies charged down the flank with Rivera on the ball. She would find herself open in the box and put one past the goalkeeper to give the Huskies a 3-1 lead.
Afterwards, Witzl received a pass from Guzman. While trying to shield the ball from her opponent, Witzl took a punch in the face by Compton’s Pacheco.
Witzl retaliated and both players went to the ground. As they were separated, Compton’s Serna got involved in the altercation by kicking the grounded Witzl.
The three players were given direct red cards and were sent off the field, leaving the teams with nine players each.
Terrones was also booked with a red card and both teams were left with nine players each.
ELAC Assistant Coach Richard Coria received a yellow card for arguing to the referee.
The Huskies kept driving the ball down the flanks looking for the goal, but the outstanding performance of Compton’s goalkeeper Orozco prevented ELAC from extending the goal difference.
Husky Rivera spoke of her two goals after the match “It was unbelievable. We were losing, 1-0. I had to go in and work hard and win for our team,” Rivera said.
“They (the Huskies) knew if we missed (lost) this game we would drop significantly and miss a playoff spot. The girls came out and showed that they wanted (to win) and that they’re not done,” ELAC Head Coach Tessa Troglia said.
The referees refused to comment on the red cards and the fact that the sheriffs were called after the incident to help keep the game under control.
ELAC’s overall record stands at 7-6-5 and 4-4-3 in the South Coast Conference.
The Huskies will close the regular season against Los Angeles Harbor College at Weingart Stadium Friday at 4 p.m.