Santa Monica And Citrus End In A Tie
A slow start and referees missing in action results in a 1-1 game. The Santa Monica College Men’s Soccer team (5-1-2) played at home versus the Citrus College Owls (2-3-3). The referees were almost an hour late, which possibly led to a sluggish start for the Corsairs. As the players were on the field warming up, Owls head coach Fred Bruce-Oliver said, “This will be a tough game, we will have to play our best ball today.” In the first half Santa Monica failed to get anything going offensively, and allowed an Owl goal to be scored. Eduardo Contreras-Herrera, a midfielder for Citrus, was left open and made SMC pay instantly. Before the game Contreras-Herrera said, “I think we just have to play defensively, and be the first team to score.” He was correct, Citrus College came out with a high effort level and played very physical in the first half.
The Owls knew they were up against a tough Santa Monica team, in fact they did their homework prior to the game. Contreras-Herrera said “We looked at their previous results and see that they have been close games, we have to capitalize on all our opportunities.” Despite the slow start, SMC never once quit. This must have been the message from coach Tim Pierce. Before the game, freshman Cyrille Njomo said, “We got to get nasty and forget about last game.” Santa Monica appears to have a short-memory. In the second half they came out with energy and scored a very important goal. Sophomore, Andy Naidu collected the ball and only had the goalie to beat, and beat the goalie he did. Naidu now has 12-points in eight games. After the game Citrus goal-keeper, Jorge Quinones said, “I feel great we played well, but I think we could’ve played a lot better though.” Although Quinones wasn’t upset at the tie he wanted to win, he said “We should’ve put them away when we had the chances, but these teams were very even, I’m happy with the tie.”
Santa Monica kept fighting but could not capture the elusive second and game winning goal. After the game Oscar Palacios said. “We have to prepare better. We did not take practice yesterday as serious as we could’ve.” Usually after the SMC Men’s team wins, they all credit their work done at practice, perhaps their practices need to be more challenging in the future. When asked if the game being delayed an hour had any affect on them Palacios said, “In a way yeah, we were ready to go and it dis-concentrates you.” Santa Monica’s Rudi Ibrahim had something to say about the hour-delay as well, “You set-up mentally then we had to wait, but that’s no excuse we just got to get that focus back.”
The Corsairs play their next game Friday, September 29th at home, versus College of the Canyons (2-5-1). Ahead of the game Ibrahim said, “We got to play our own game, stay focused, and hopefully we can finish with a win.”