ORANGE, CA — The East Los Angeles College Huskies men’s soccer team played to a 1-1 draw today at Santiago College in extreme heat and won 5-0 against Norco College yesterday.
The Huskies remain unbeaten in four games and stand 2-0-2. Santiago Canyon improved to 0-2-2 and Norco fell to 0-2-1.
Against Santiago Canyon, ELAC scored in the 10th minute off an unassisted goal from sophomore midfielder William Morse (Fremont High School) and led 1-0.
Santiago Canyon responded in the 35th minute and freshman midfielder Juan Reyes (Corona HS) scored.
“It was very hot today,” said ELAC sophomore defender Agustin Barros (Santiago, Chile / St. George College). “That could have been one of the factors we were off today. Subs and fresh players helped, but it was not enough. The important thing is that we did not lose today.”
There were six yellow cards given in the first half, five to Santiago Canyon and one to ELAC.
“We scored early on in the game and unfortunately the ref made a bad call and gave Santiago a penalty (kick). With that they tied us,” said sophomore Luis Alvarado (Elizabeth Learning Center). “Santiago Canyon got too many chances with three yellows—three calls, which were easily red cards.”
“I also feel that we could've done more with the team we have,” said Alvarado.
The Huskies took seven shots on goal with six saved from Santiago freshman goal keeper Aaron Servin. Unofficially ELAC sophomore goal keeper Joshua Moreno had one save.
Huskies defeat Norco, 5-0
Against Norco, “We worked as a team today, we moved the ball, got some good spaces, and read each other well,” said Barros.
The Huskies scored three first half goals. Freshman midfielder Edy Martinez (Animo Jackie Robinson HS) scored in the 11th minute from an assist by sophomore forward Valentin Mercado (Animo Ralph Bunche Charter HS). Mercado scored in the 25th minute assisted by sophomore defender Yahir Olea’s (Jefferson HS) cross shot.
In the 34th minute, Morse drew two defenders to the line and split a cross shot between them. Freshman forward Kevin Rodriquez (Hawkins HS) read it perfectly and scored. ELAC led, 3-0.
Norco then had organized shifting and anticipated ELAC’s final three shots of the half, stopping the Huskies cold.
“Our game plan was to possess the ball and we did, which put them away early. This enabled us to give a chance to the rest of the team to log in some minutes,” said assistant coach Ricardo Raygoza. “In the second half Norco went on the attack and opened up a little bit more, which the team responded to well, with two goals.”
Mercado scored in the 47th minute assisted by sophomore midfielder Jose Gracia (Animo Ralph Bunche Charter HS). ELAC’s fifth goal was scored in the 58th minute from freshman midfielder Guillermo Guzman (Jefferson HS) assisted by sophomore forward Andy Benitez (Bell HS).
Unofficially, ELAC outshot Norco 16 to 5.
The ELAC goalies saved all four Norco shots on goal. Freshman Julian Zermeno (Linda Esperanza Marquez HS) saved one goal and freshman Luis Angels Alvarez (Aspire Ollin HS) saved three.
Norco goalies saved three of ELAC’s shots on goal. One of them along with a shot attempt were two of the most exciting shots in the game based on the loud reaction of the home crowd. Mercado attempted the shots late in the second half. Both were scissors attempts.
“When I saw the corner kick coming to me, I immediately thought of a scissors kick because of where the defender was standing,” said Mercado. “I pumped it up and shot.” The first scissors shot was sailed wide right. The Norco goalie caught the second scissors attempt from Mercado.
“Mercado always gives us something special in each game,” said Raygoza. “If you come out and watch, you’re going to see something special from him and this team.”
The Huskies are on the road Wednesday, Sept. 6 at Bakersfield College (0-1-1) at 4 p.m.
ELAC ends the week with a home game on Friday, Sept. 8, against Orange Coast College (1-0-2), who is also unbeaten, at 6 p.m.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia