Santa Monica Soccer Programs Battle Victor Valley
Your Santa Monica College soccer teams welcomed the Rams of Victor Valley College into Corsair Stadium Friday afternoon for a double-header. The games would feature one Santa Monica team looking to get back on track after being thoroughly dominated in its prior match, and another hoping to break a scoring jinx while continuing its winning ways.
Festivities began just after 2p.m. as the Corsairs men took to the field against what can be the most dangerous type of team to face, one with nothing to lose; and with a record of 2-7-2 going in to the match, the Rams fit that profile to a tee.
Include the fun fact that prior to this match, the men’s soccer team hasn’t scored a first half goal in one-hundred and ninety-five minutes, that’s over four halves of playing time dating back to Tuesday, September 19th, and the potential for an upset suddenly becomes very real.
A lunging, left-handed save by SMC goalie, Jesus Alcazar highlighted a strong defensive effort, repelling a point-blank, Victor Valley goal. Meanwhile, the Corsairs offense was busy racking up shots-on-goal, but as the referees whistle blew and the first half ended, the Rams and Corsairs found themselves tied at zero.
Whatever performance issues the Corsairs men have, they clearly keep to a first-half basis, averaging nearly two second-half goals per game. A bar they would clear in the 64th minute, as Kevin Martinez and Carlos Rincon scored on back-to-back goals within seconds of one another to put SMC out front.
The men would continue putting pressure on the Rams for the remainder of the match, racking up quality shots on goals while keeping the Rams on their heels and out of the scoring column.
The win keeps the Corsairs (8-1-2) in second place, mere per percentage points behind undefeated, Santa Barbara. The Rams fall to 2-8-2 on the year. Up next, Santa Monica's Men's play host to the Raiders of Moorpark College, Tuesday, October 10th at 2pm.
The women’s game began under clear skies and bright sunshine. Last match, a 2-0 loss to Santa Barbara had the Corsairs come out aggressive, producing quite a number of shots on goal. Similar issues they faced against Santa Barbara were still in abundance, such as - inaccurate passing which lead directly to turnovers and missed scoring opportunities.
Victor Valley’s lone first-half goal came in the 18th minute, a result of SMC’s lack of transition defense. Corsair's goalie, Emma Romero, was caught too far out of goal. Santa Monica would spend most of the remainder of the first-half exasperating fans with their continued uneven play before finding the back of the net. SMC tied the score at 1-1, with less than five minutes remaining in the half. Eliciting, one of the more cathartic of cheers from the crowd followed the score.
SMC fans wouldn’t get the cheer again until the 68th minute, when Josselline Espinoza scored on a free kick that came in too hot for the Rams goalie to handle. The ball split her hands before rolling into the back of the net, which gave the Corsairs the lead.
The final twenty minutes would see the Corsairs team returning to form, spending the majority of the time playing on the Ram's side of the field. It would be presumptuous of the Corsairs to think this win erases doubt about their recent play.
The win improves the Corsairs record to 7-3-2 and keeps them atop of their division, a game over LA Pierce. Up next, the Santa Monica Women's team travels to take on the Vaqueros of Glendale Community College, Tuesday, October 10th at 7pm.