by Carlos Alvarez
The East Los Angeles College men’s soccer team season came to an end at Weingart Stadium last Friday with a 2-2 tie against 10th-ranked Los Angeles Harbor College.
With the two teams heading in different directions, the Huskies played like they were the team heading into the playoffs.
“They definitely played up to their competition. This was by far their best game of the season. We should have easily won, but they fought hard all game,” Harbor Head Coach Bill Barlow said.
Harbor, which awaits the news on who will be their first round opponent came out attacking ELAC’s defense.
Harbor captain Jose Avila opened the score after his shot at goal was surprisingly dropped by ELAC’s goalkeeper Pablo Sanchez-Rodriguez.
“We should have won 2-1. That goal should have never happen,” ELAC Head Coach Eddie Flores said.
With the Huskies not creating scoring threats, ELAC’s Pedro Velasquez and Billy Campos took advantage of a corner kick.
Velasquez found Campos in the left side of box where Campos sent the ball to the back of the net to even the score.
“It was a difficult season. It’s always nice to score, but we’ll learn from this season,” Billy Campos said.
Tempers began to flare when Harbor’s Sergio Cervantes gave an intentional elbow to Husky Jose Garcia-Aranda, drawing only a warning from the referee.
“It was a physical game. Nothing wrong with some extra activity, “ Flores said.
At the 40-minute mark, Harbor Aurelio Partida put Harbor up 2-1, scoring on an impressive free kick from outside the box.
As the second half began, ELAC’s offense seemed determined to get the equalizer, drawing scoring opportunities after opportunities behind the leadership of their co-captain Carlos del Campo.
“Every game is the same for me. I play hard all the time. I wanted us to leave it all out there,” Del Campo said.
The Huskies indeed put their best effort out there. Holding Harbor scoreless in the second half and getting an unexpected offensive contribution from Husky Gun-Uk Ghang.
Midway through the second half, Ghang intercepted a Harbor pass and took it inside the box scoring as Harbor’s goalkeeper Bryan Hernandez hopelessly dove for the ball.
“It meant a lot to me scoring that goal and tying the score. I don’t know what to say. I was so pumped,” an enthusiastic Ghang said.
Though the Huskies failed to get the winning goal, they battled for the ball to the last minute.
“We came out strong and we put pressure on them (ELAC). We let up as the game went on, but they played hard all the game,” Avila said.
With the sound of the final whistle came the end of a frustrating season.
The Huskies finished the season with an overall record of 3-13-5, and 1-8-5 in South Coast Conference play.
“It was the worst season and hardest season coaching at ELAC. Expectations were high, but we just couldn’t get wins,” Flores said.