SANTA ANA, CA — Time was running out for the East Los Angeles College men’s soccer team down, 2-1, in the 89th minute. Then, in the 90th minute, an unexpected hero emerged.
East Los Angeles College sophomore Gustavo Silva (Brazil / Fernando Gasparian Public School) shot a perfect corner kick from sophomore Edward Robles (Wallis Annenberg High School) around a Santa Ana defender and above a diving goalie and scored the equalizer in the 90th minute.
After two minutes of stoppage in which Santa Ana took two shots, ELAC earned a comeback 2-2 draw.
Santa Ana scored first in the ninth minute off a shot from sophomore midfielder Everado Serrano (assist Daniel Castro) and led 1-0.
In the first half, the Dons outshot ELAC 9-5.
“They (ELAC) didn’t play to their potential in the first half, and didn’t communicate,” said ELAC assistant coach David Garcia.
Santa Ana midfielder Christopher Lopez received a yellow card in the 31st minute.
After an inspirational speech at the half from Garcia, ELAC stormed back the aggressor in the second half.
“We changed our attitude in the second half and also key was our communication,” said ELAC sophomore defender Andres Martinez (Santiago, Chile / Instituto Tabancura).
ELAC scored the equalizer in the 64th minute off a shot from freshman Kevin Rodriquez (Hawkins High School) with an assist from freshman midfielder Edy Martinez (Fremont HS). The score was knotted at 1-1.
Santa Ana scored in the 74th minute off a shot from Joshua Castellon (assist Noe Alvizo-Chavez). The Dons gained the momentum but ELAC didn’t let up.
When the Huskies scored in the 90th minute, the ELAC faithful rocked the stadium with noise.
“The team had character today and came back with attitude to get the tie,” said ELAC assistant coach Ricardo Raygoza.
ELAC sophomore goalie Joshua Moreno’s (Montebello HS) diving skills were put to the test. He had four saves. “He did a good job today,” said ELAC goalie coach Andy Gutierrez. “We will work on what we learned from today.”
The Huskies outshot the Dons 9-7 including two quick shots in the first two minutes of the second half. Santa Ana added two yellow cards in the 47th minute and the 60th minute. ELAC had four corner kicks in the second half to Santa Ana’s zero.
Santa Ana has a strong men’s soccer program. They were a playoff team last season.
“They’re going to go to the playoffs this season because they’re a decent squad,” said ELAC head coach Eddie Flores.” “When Santa Ana went ahead two to one, we didn’t mark that, but we came back and got the tie.”
“We learned from this game and continue to prepare for conference,” said Flores.
The was the fifth meeting in five consecutive years between Huskies and Santa Ana. The series is deadlocked at 1-1-3. Last year ELAC lead 2-0 at the half and Santa Ana rallied for a 2-2 draw. This year, ELAC returned the favor.
ELAC (1-0-1) hosts Norco College (0-1-1) Friday, Sept. 1 at 4 p.m.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia