Just another team victory: Corsair soccer continues winning streak

“Claodio” chants broke out amongst the Santa Monica Corsair faithful midway into the first half of Tuesday’s matchup between the Victor Valley Rams and the Santa Monica Corsairs. Midfielder Claodio Maalouf intercepted an errant pass from the Victor Valley defense and fired the ball into the back of the net for his second goal of the game and eighth goal of the season.

The stage was set for a huge matchup between two of the Western State Conference’s men’s soccer elites when Victor Valley, in the midst of an eight game win streak, traveled to face the one loss against the Santa Monica Corsairs on Tuesday.

With a quick start the Corsairs were able to seize control of the game that before it started, appeared as if it would be highly competitive. Maalouf, SMC’s star midfielder, was able to put the Corsair’s on the board early after he was fouled inside the Victor Valley box and then converted a penalty that he put in the bottom left corner of the net.

Following their initial success SMC was able to sustain control of the game throughout the first half, limiting Victor Valley’s offensive attack.

With about ten minutes left in the first half, Danny Hulbert stole the ball in the midfield and connected with a teammate on a through ball leading to a shot on goal. Forward Victor Tapia would follow the shot with a headed rebound for his second goal of the season and extended the Corsairs' lead to 3-0.

In the second half, the game became very physical. Multiple fouls from both teams occurred as well continued pushing and jockeying for position that elicited regular complaints from both the Rams and the Corsairs.

According to Coach Tim Pierce, the multitude of penalties allowed Victor Valley easy opportunities on offense, opportunities which were not seen in the first half.

Despite the Rams’ increased offensive attack, the Corsairs were able to continue to stifle the Victor Valley attempts on goal.

For Pierce, it was a combination of Victor Valley’s missed opportunities and a “solid” performance by the Corsair backline and goalie that allowed the Corsairs to keep their third consecutive and fifth clean sheet of the season.

The match provided yet another opportunity for the Corsairs to exhibit the great talent they have assembled for the 2015 season. The team was able to showcase an extensive roster using 21 of the 25 members of the team. For the first half the starting unit was able to gain control of game and extend their lead to 3-0. Following the half, the reserves came out and were able to manage the game and sustain the lead that was earlier established.

Recently the Corsairs have been on a dominant streak, outscoring their opponents thirteen to zero in the last three games. The cohesion the Corsairs has been able to exhibit recently in games is coming at the right time. They will begin a stretch where seven of the next eight games they play are on the road, starting tomorrow when they will travel to face Glendale Community College.