MONTEREY PARK, CA — The East Los Angeles men’s soccer team bounced back from a 2-1 loss to Mt. San Antonio College with a big 1-0 win today against Rio Hondo College in a key South Coast Conference North Division game.
ELAC improves to 5-1-4 overall and is tied for second place in the SCC at 1-1.
Defending state champion Mt. SAC (8-1-1, 1-0) leads the early SCC race and Rio Hondo (7-2-1, 1-1) falls from first to second.
Rio Hondo and Mt. SAC meet on Tuesday while ELAC is at Pasadena City College. An ELAC win with a Rio Hondo win or tie will put ELAC in first place in the SCC.
Against Rio Hondo, it’s the first ELAC win vs. the Roadrunners in two years of SCC play.
Rio Hondo joined the SCC last year. ELAC pulled the series to an even 1-1-1.
The teams meet again on Halloween, Oct. 31 at Rio Hondo with a 4 p.m. start.
The rivalry with Rio Hondo was huge in the 70s through the 90s and showed no evidence of a lapse since.
The heated game drew five yellow cards and a red.
Rio Hondo got three yellow cards (Oscar Salazar, Alejandro Luna and Abel Trejo), two in the second half. ELAC’s yellow cards (one more of a reaction to being pushed) were to freshman midfielder Edwin Vasquez (Jefferson HS) and to freshman Salvador Alvarez (Locke HS).
Rio Hondo sophomore midfielder Carlos Zarate drew a red card in the 48th minute for pulling down an ELAC player after a ball went out of bounds, which the referee caught.
The Roadrunners, down a man, took the following three shots with fast tempo, the first in the 60th minute, and another from a corner/shot on goal in the 61st minute.
ELAC sophomore goalkeeper Joshua Moreno had the save.
ELAC’s second half adjustments gelled their offense who followed with the three unanswered shots, in minutes 58, 59 and 78, the latter a missed shot by freshman forward Kevin Rodriguez.
Four minutes later sophomore forward Valentin Mercado (Animo Ralph Bunche HS) found the net from a quick jab assist by sophomore midfielder Edward Robles (Wallis Annenberg HS).
It was Mercado’s fourth goal of the season.
The Huskies had the 1-0 lead and the momentum. ELAC continued to out shoot Rio Hondo for the remaining time, 6-3 and the both teams generated opportunities.
ELA outshot Rio Hondo during the game 23-7 that included 11 shots on goals of which 10 were saved by their sophomore goalkeeper Jose Paredes.
Rio Hondo added seven shots on goals, all saved by Moreno.
In the first half, the Huskies outshot Rio Hondo 5-1 in the first 24 minutes that included attempts from freshman midfielder Jerson Maravilla (Fremont HS) and sophomore goalkeeper Luis Alvarado (Elizabeth Learning Center) and also a shot on goal from Mercado.
Rio Hondo had a shot ricocheted of left goal post in the 45th minute to end the half.
After a scoreless half against Mt. SAC on Tuesday, the Mounties scored two straight second half goals, the first in the 47th minute from Sam Ponting (unassisted).
Mt. SAC led 2-0 when sophomore forward Andre Gamboa took a pass from sophomore Alexis Diaz-Paya (assist) for a breakaway goal in the 58th minute.
ELAC sophomore midfielder Edward Robles (Wallis Annenberg HS) found net unassisted in the 80th minute, but the Huskies fell short 2-1.
The Huskies game at Pasadena on Oct. 3 begins at 2 p.m.
Follow ELAC Athletics at http://athletics.elac.edu/landing/index and ELAC Huskies Athletics on Facebook.
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia