By Marina Gutierrez
In the first round of the South Coast Conference Tournament, the men’s soccer team did not go down without a fight against Pasadena City College.
Despite a promising effort, the final score was 3-2.
PCC opened the first half with the ball and made fast touches and strategic passes that helped them immediately make their way into Husky territory.
The Husky defense quickly adjusted and was able to recover the ball and sent it up field to start a counter attack.
The Huskies’ offense started the game determined to score, and was going full force against the PCC defense.
International Brazilian forwards Anco Veiga and Vitorugo Negreiro showed great teamwork by completing passes and moving their way down the field.
Veiga’s and Negreiro’s chemistry was on full display as the two worked well together while on the attack.
For the first 10 minutes of the game, the Husky offense was relentless and kept the ball on the opposing side of the field.
Following a bad pass by the Husky offense, PCC was able to intercept the ball and attempt to score.
The shot attempt failed.
In retaliation, Veiga had a breakaway opportunity to score but ultimately missed.
In desperation to score, the Husky offense fell apart and stopped working together.
In return, PCC began to dominate over Huskies territory.
The Huskies’ defense was strong and was able to hold the back line.
Husky goalie and international Chilean student Tomas Ibarra worked well with his defense.
Ibarra stopped multiple goal attempts.
With 20 minutes left in the half, Negreiro was stepped on and began limping.
Midfielder Matthew Cortez was then substituted in to give Negreiro a break.
Fresh on the field, Cortez had a great pass that led to a shot on goal to Veiga who nearly scored.
The kick was strong but was ultimately blocked by the goalie.
As the struggle for both teams to score continued, PCC became more aggressive and broke through Huskies defense multiple times.
The Huskies defense left the midfield open and gave PCC a one-on-one chance to score against Ibarra.
Ibarra, unphased, was able to stop and block the shot attmept to save his team from giving up a goal.
At the end of the first half the score was 0-0, with both teams having multiple opportunities to score, but neither could finish.
“During halftime, we were all very firm with them and made it clear what they needed to do. We expected them to listen and deliver,” Assistant Coach Joseph Gomez said.
PCC came back from halftime very aggressive and started to apply the most pressure they had all game.
Two times in a row the PCC offense broke through the Huskies defense leaving Ibarra all alone.
Both times Ibarra was barely able to stop the ball, but still made the play.
Regardless of their back to back failed attempts, PCC was not letting up and continued to make strong, quick passes down the field.
In a breakaway play, and yet another one-on-one against the goalie, PCC scored their first goal.
With 35 minutes left in the second half, the score was 1-0.
The Huskies responded by applying more pressure.
Cortez, fueled by PCC’s goal, scored shortly after.
With 34 minutes left in the half, the score was all tied up.
Both teams were now applying consistent pressure to score.
A single mistake by the Huskies defense, leaving a player unmarked, was immediately taken advantage of when PCC quickly scored.
With 27 minutes left in the second half, the score was now 2-1.
The Huskies’ offense quickly responded and was able to score on a corner kick.
Midfielder Yudelfi Echeverria headed the ball over the goalie and into the net to tie the game.
The score was now 2-2 with 19 minutes left in the second half.
With both teams relentlessly trying to score, the Huskies defense stayed strong.
With only five minutes left in the game, the PCC offense had an opportunity to shoot toward goal, which went over the goalie and into the net.
Emotions were running high and Huskies were desperate to score, but ultimately ran out of time.
In a close game, the Huskies lost 3-2.
“I am proud of my team because we didn’t go out without a fight, they played a hell of a game. We hadn’t scored at all the past few games and I’m glad they were able to compete with this team,” Gomez said.