WILMINGTON, CA — Ties are still in fashion for the East Los Angeles College men’s soccer team but the tonight’s draw was sweet because the Huskies scored two goals in the final 10 minutes of the match.
Though the Huskies are still winless, they improved to 0-3-3 overall while Harbor is now 2-3-1.
Although the game was a non-conference match, it was a divisional crossover game as the South Coast Conference split this year into two conferences, the SCC North Division and the SCC South.
ELAC joins the North Division with former SCC rivals Pasadena City and Mt. San Antonio colleges and with add-ons Rio Hondo and Chaffey colleges. The SCC South consists of former SCC rivals ECC Compton, and Cerritos, El Camino, LA Harbor and Long Beach City colleges.
ELAC plays the other four SCC South teams in non-conference crossover games this season.
Against Harbor, ELAC sophomore defender Javier “Javi” Gutierrez (Montebello High School) scored on a free kick in the 15th minute.
“Harbor pressed us very well and forced us to make mistakes,” said ELAC Assistant Coach David Garcia. “They took advantage of ELAC’s mistakes and scored three first half goals.” There are no Harbor stats yet available.
The ELAC mistakes did not deter the Huskies; it made them hungrier to score. Down 3-1, the Huskies were anxious to play in the second half according to Garcia.
“Minus the mistakes, we were the dominant team creating plays,” said Garcia. “The team knew one score would get them back in game. The guys made adjustments and showed good tactical moves.”
Husky sophomore forward Cesar Alvarez (Bell Gardens HS) scored a crossover assisted from a sophomore midfielder Martin Oregel’s (Schurr HS) assist in the 80th minute, to pull the Huskies within one.
Down 3-2, a focused Husky offense scored just over a minute later. A vocal roar from the ELAC faithful echoed throughout Seahawk Field.
Alvarez scored another cross, this time in minute 82, with an assist from Gutierrez. It was his third goal of the season from six attempts.
In the final five minutes, ELAC had three opportunities to increase its lead but could not put it away.
“The guys showed unity and solidarity,” said Garcia. “That’s how we came back.”
Such solidarity play resulted in 16 shots. Gutierrez led the Husky shot attempts with four. Freshman forward Angel Escobar (Schurr HS) added three. Alvarez and freshman midfielder Luis Alvarado (Elizabeth Learning Center) had two shots apiece.
The Huskies’ had eight shots on goal, two from Alvarez and one each from Gutierrez, Oregel, Alvarado, Escobar, sophomore midfielder Alvaro Torres Pera (Cali, Colombia / San Luis HS), and sophomore midfielder Jorge Chavez (Cathedral HS).
Harbor had 10 shots on goal. ELAC freshman goalkeeper Joshua Moreno (Montebello HS) saved four attempts from four shots; of the six other Seahawk attempts, sophomore goalkeeper Ivan Barranco (Schurr HS) saved three.
The Huskies return to action on Friday, Sept. 16 at home in Weingart Stadium against Mira Costa College (0-3-1) with a start time of 6 p.m.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia