ELAC men’s soccer gets dramatic 2-1 win at Harbor

East Los Angeles College freshman forward Kevin Rodriguez is cut off by a LA Harbor's Ivan Avila near the goal in an attempt to score in a 2-1 Huskies win. (Photo by Tadzio Garcia)
East Los Angeles College freshman forward Kevin Rodriguez is cut off by a LA Harbor's Ivan Avila near the goal in an attempt to score in a 2-1 Huskies win. (Photo by Tadzio Garcia)

WILMINGTON, CA — The East Los Angeles College men's soccer team picked up a key South Coast Conference crossover win, 2-1, in dramatic fashion tonight at the Los Angeles Harbor Football Stadium against the Seahawks.

Down 1-0 in the first half, the No. 18 statewide ranked Huskies rallied for two goals, the latter in the 85th minute for the one-point win.

The Huskies, 7-1-5 overall, did not settle for a tie against Harbor (2-8-3) after they scored the equalizer.  

“They were pressuring us so we moved up the tempo of our game,” said freshman midfielder Jason Hernandez (Schurr HS). “We caught up with a tie, but that wasn’t enough for us. We stayed on them, scored the second goal and we kept the weight on for the win.”

Harbor scored an unassisted goal from Daberchukwu Anyadike in the 33rd minute and led 1-0.

In the 37th minute, ELAC sophomore midfielder William Morse (Fremont High School) attempted a shot to the left post around Harbor defender Ruben Salas, but it was cleared.

Seven minutes later, in the same spot, Morse was defended by Harbor’s Izaac Adrover, learned from his previous shot and blasted a cross to the left side of the net, this time with a twist move away from the defender and scored the equalizer in the 43rd minute.

The louder ELAC fans drowned the stadium with noise. Two minutes later Morse shot a blast that eked over the left post and it remained 1-1 at the half.

ELAC began the second half the aggressor and shot five times before Harbor got a shot off in the 56th minute.

One of the most exciting plays of the night followed, according to the entire crowd’s reaction, when freshman midfielder Jerson Maravilla (Fremont HS) shot a full 360-spin Roulette move that inched over the crossbar from a pass from sophomore defender Augustin Barros (Santiago, Chile / St. George College).

In the 81st minute, Maravilla crossed a shot to sophomore forward Valentin Mercado (Animo Ralph Bunche HS) who shot wide.

Four minutes, ELAC would not be denied as Mercado found the net from a similar cross, this one an assist by freshman forward Salvador Alvarez (Locke HS), for the go-ahead goal.

Harbor controlled the two-minute stoppage time near their goal. “We gave them opportunities in the last two minutes by not clearing well enough to correct areas on the field,” said ELAC Assistant Coach Ricardo Raygoza. “I think the desire of wanting to win helped them get the win especially at the end.”

ELAC out shot Harbor 17-9, with six shots from Maravilla and three each from Alvarez and Morse.

“We went to Harbor expecting a win because we beat them 6-2 earlier in the season,” said freshman defender Vicente Herencia (Santiago, Chile / Colegio Padre Hurtado). “Harbor played good and was physical, so in the second half we put passion in our play, worked hard and came back to win.”        

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story submitted by Tadzio Garcia

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