Vaqueros Branded by the Victorious Corsairs
Santa Monica College's goalkeeper dives to his left reaching both arms out as far as he can reach, but with no luck. The ball trickles by him, deflects off the left post of the goal and rolls into the back of the net. The Corsairs give up their first goal in four games after three straight shutouts. However, this goal put SMC in a difficult situation, down one goal only five minutes into the game.
Santa Monica College's men's soccer team traveled to play against Glendale Community College last Friday, October 2nd. The Corsairs eventually walked away with a 5-1 win.
The Corsairs entered the game with three straight victories after defeating those previous opponents by a tally of thirteen goals to none. Only five minutes into the game, Glendale CC's Ivan de la Torre, netted the first goal of the game to put the Vaqueros up with an early lead.
"It didn't fluster us. We had a lot of game left," said coach Tim Pierce. "Our guys just worked extra hard, you could tell that it woke them up.
The Corsairs felt the pressure of being down, but they eventually caught some air in their sails.
Roughly ten minutes after conceding a goal, SMC found their equalizer in the form of a converted penalty shot by Claodio Maalouf. It was Maalouf's ninth goal in 10 games.
The Corsairs had a claim at another penalty eight minutes after their first goal when Maalouf was taken down in the middle of the Vaqueros' penalty box, yet no call was made.
Coach Pierce jumped up and down on the sideline in utter disbelief wondering if the referee was even watching the same game as him.
"The refs, they are what they are," said coach Pierce. "We had another clear penalty not called but what are you going to do?"
The game looked to be heading to halftime tied until Corsairs' sophomore co-captain, Danny Hulbert, found a magic touch. Hulbert elevated above the defense in the middle of the box to head home a Richard Perez corner kick and put the Corsairs up with only three minutes to play in the first half. However, the magic didn't end there. Only 50 seconds later, Hulbert netted a wonder strike. As he struck the bouncing ball from Saul Medina, Hulbert was taken down by the Glendale goalkeeper. The ball seemed to float through the air, took a bounce at the goalline and bounced into the back of the net. Danny raised his arms up in the air and looked around to search the faces of his teammates, who were left in awe of his miraculous goal.
"I just feel like my guys gave me good service," said Danny Hulbert, "The way we play, we break teams down slowly and tired them out and at the end of the half, they were susceptible to going down. We took the two chances that came to us."
With a 3-1 lead going into the second half, the Corsairs had the ability to rest many of their starters and let their bench players get some playing time.
With the majority of possession, the Corsairs created many chances yet couldn't seem to further extend the lead. Danny Hulbert came very close to scoring his third goal and top off a hat trick, but was stuffed by the Vaquero goalkeeper. SMC found their next tally when Gabriel "Niño Crema" Torres was taken down in the box for the Corsairs' second penalty shot of the game. Torres stepped up to convert the penalty and extend the lead to 4-1.
With nearly all their starters on the bench, the Corsairs never let up. As the game clock was ticking down, freshman winger Jonathon Archilla flew down the right wing, launched a cross into the center of the box, perfectly into the path of fellow freshman Christian Herrera-Cruz, who headed the ball in for the Corsairs' fifth and final goal of the game.
Herrera-Cruz was waiting for his chance to score. "We were talking about it with my teammates that if I scored I'd do the Nae-Nae cause I always do it at practice," said Christian.
Herrera-Cruz's celebration was a fitting way for the Corsairs to finish the game. They deserved the ability to dance and have fun after falling to an early deficit, yet fighting back and destroying the Glendale team.
The Corsairs are now 8-1-1 on the season with four straight wins and are now second in the conference behind the only team who beat them, Oxnard College.